Thursday, 12 September 2019 03:43

Tech pros advised to increase upskilling to advance careers Featured

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Tech professionals are feeling the impact of the skills gap, with 60% of pros recently surveyed saying they are not actively pursuing a new skill or completed a certification in the last six months, despite advice they need to upskill to advance their careers.

And the IT Pro Day 2019 survey: Building Confidence for Tech Pros of Tomorrow by Solarwinds also reveals that nearly 50% of tech pros who did start a certification process did not complete it due to lack of time to commit.

“Tech pros may know where they want to go, but the road to career confidence can be challenging,” said Joe Kim, executive vice president, engineering, and global chief technology officer, SolarWinds.

“Now more than ever, technology professionals work alongside business leaders to meet organisational goals. At the same time, they must keep up with the tremendous amount of work and responsibility that comes with managing today’s complex tech environments,” said Kim.

“Mapping out the necessary skills and understanding how best to gain those competencies can be difficult, as proven by our annual IT Trends Report from earlier this year.

“For IT Pro Day 2019, we’ve taken it a step further by exploring how tech pros can skill up and become more confident, and how we can help them on their path for career confidence. We’re excited to celebrate the fifth annual IT Pro Day by shedding light on their needs and dedication to their field.

Key findings of the survey are:

Despite the lack of tech pro confidence in managing current and future environments revealed in the Solarwinds IT Trends Report 2019 - Skills for tech pros of Tomorrow - skill development is still on the back burner.

Nearly 60% of survey respondents have not actively pursued a new skill or completed a certification in the last six months.
Some tech pros attempted to pursue a new skill: 63% of survey respondents started a certification process (such as Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, VMware) but did not complete the course.
Nearly half (47%) cited lack of time to commit to completing the course as the reason they stopped before completion.

Organisations are working to resolve the data centre labour shortage in ways that resonate with tech pros.

In-company trainings ranked as a top-three tactic for addressing the labor shortage, with 35% of respondents selecting this option.
Similarly, the majority of survey respondents (54%) cited full-day in-person workshops as providing the most value for the time spent when it comes to IT skills training materials.
Organisations using automation to address this gap (31%) point to business investment in new ways to help their staff develop skills.

Developing soft skills is becoming increasingly important in driving career growth.

Nearly half of survey respondents (46%) cited interpersonal communications skills as most critical for their continued career growth. Other top skills included:

Project management: 56%
Public speaking/presentations: 52%

While most tech pros feel confident communicating with business leaders, they’re not always equipped with the support and tools necessary to do their jobs effectively.

The top two requirements for tech pros to become confident managing current and future environments are:
Increased budget/additional resources: (64%)
More support from IT or business leadership: (48%)

Most tech pros feel comfortable communicating with business leadership when it comes to requesting technology purchases and investing time/budget into team trainings.

Forty-four percent are very comfortable and nearly 50% are somewhat comfortable

Skills in application performance management (APM) are becoming increasingly necessary for tech pros across disciplines to possess. Tech pros have an appetite to develop APM skills further.

Respondents cited application support, troubleshooting, and monitoring as responsibilities they are tasked with falling outside their core job description.

Specifically, 53% cited user experience monitoring of applications as an additional required skill to develop to confidently manage their environment, which points to the continued prioritisation of an exceptional end-user experience.

 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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