Technology is improving at a breakneck pace, and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, thanks to the abundance of new computing solutions being developed every day. Just as businesses settle in with the cloud and big data, the Internet of Things will be right around the corner along with integrated infrastructure, innovative cybersecurity software and a handful of smart devices.
So, as an IT professional, how has this affected you the most? Simply put, some of the skills that you’ve learned in the past few years are now far less important than they were a decade ago. And while many organizations might argue that the skills gap does not exist, you know that it does.
“Employees lack an incentive to learn, and employers have no list of certified standards.”
The skills gap is real
In an article for Harvard Business Review, James Bessen, an economist at Boston University School of Law, asserted that the skills gaps is very real. He explained that without a list of certified standards in regard to professional abilities, employers have no idea which talents are required or what type of experiences define someone’s skill sets. On the other side of the coin, employees don’t have an incentive to learn how to do new tasks, especially in a finicky IT industry. Obviously, it’s not like one day, out of nowhere, relational database knowledge will become irrelevant, but a lack of a roadmap can be damaging to the IT market as a whole.
It seems that IT professionals and recent graduates are aware of the current climate of the industry. TechRadar reported that in a study of 250 IT students, only 58 percent of respondents said they were “confident in finding work” within their chosen sector and 5 percent noted that they have considered changing their career path.
While the IT industry might seem to be in dire straits, it isn’t as bad as it seems. InfoWorld explained that for every two qualified IT professionals, there will be one available job. In the social sciences sector, there are 40 workers for that single position. This is definitely positive, but it still highlights the struggle that unemployed individuals with computer technology degrees face.
A need for expertise
If IT professionals are up against other individuals for open positions, the answer seems simple. You must have more skills, knowledge and specific expertise than others, or you’ll be passed over during the application review phase. With that in mind, one route to success and a new job would be to possess multiple traits, which will convey you’re craving to learn more and excel in the open position.
Right now, businesses are looking for professionals with expertise in the cloud, networking, cybersecurity, application development and IT support, InfoWorld reported. Therefore, researching and building skills in those technologies is critical, and every IT professional should strive to do so. With a variety of abilities, you will prove to be an incredibly valuable asset to a team. The key is mentioning those talents specifically on applications, as this will make you stand out to employers.
Another way to close the skills gap would be to investigate the future of enterprise IT. However, this must be approached with an open mind. For example, TechTarget pointed out a quote by Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, in which he stated that the iPhone had “no chance” of gaining any market share. Even someone with a vast amount of industry expertise can fail to comprehend the big picture.
With that said, IT professionals should look at popular cutting-edge solutions such as converged infrastructure appliances and software-defined networking. Simply put, being optimistic about enterprise IT means that you care enough to learn how to use new technologies.
The IT skills gap might seem like your employer’s problem, but this hiring trend will certainly impact any IT professionals. They need to demonstrate that they possess the abilities and traits desired right now and in a few years’ time. Therefore, by educating yourself on what’s popular today and what’s soon going to be a critical aspect of enterprise IT, you are proving to businesses that you can grab the bull by the horns and learn the ins and outs of the mechanics with eagerness.