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skillsgap jump

This myth is (not) busted: The IT skills gap is real

June 30, 2015
By Vanessa Ulrich

As an IT professional looking for work, I imagine it must be hard to repeatedly hear there’s an “IT skills gap,” and companies can’t find the IT talent they need. “If that’s true,” you might ask, “then why aren’t people banging down my door with high-paying job offers?” At times it may seem like this claim about the IT hiring industry is at odds with the reality. We sought to better understand this conundrum by surveying 1,300 IT leaders and IT professionals on the IT skills gap to see if it’s real, its impact and why it exists.

Here’s some of what we learned:

The IT skills gap is real, but IT leaders feel its impact more than IT pros

The vast majority of IT leaders (80 percent) and IT pros (78 percent) believe the IT skills gap is real. However, in terms of organizational impact, a significantly higher percentage of IT leaders (60 percent) believe the skills gap moderately to severely impacts their organization as compared to IT pros (45 percent). This is likely due to IT leaders having a broader view of organizational operations. Yet it is significant that both groups are aligned in terms of the reality of a skills gap. Additionally, nearly 7 out of 10 IT leaders and IT pros report they do not believe they currently have the skills in-house to address their needs.

IT leaders and IT pros disagree on why candidates and open IT positions do not match

Seventy percent of IT leaders view a lack of technical and soft skills as the biggest issue when looking for quality job candidates, compared to just 25 percent of IT pros. On the flip side, IT pros cite mismatches in experience or education (63 percent) as the main reasons why they were not offered a job for which they were considered, compared to 20 percent of IT leaders. This disagreement suggests both IT leaders and IT pros (yes, maybe even you!) might benefit from an in-depth skills assessment.

Challenges reinforce the disconnect between IT leaders and IT professionals

IT leaders reported an unqualified candidate pool and mismatch of skills as overriding challenges to filling open positions. Budgetary constraints ranked fourth in the list of challenges. Meanwhile IT pros cite unrealistic technical requirements and compensation not meeting expectations as the biggest challenges to finding a job. Thirty-six percent of IT pros said they were never given a reason why they were not offered a position for which they were considered. Fostering a more thorough dialogue about why a candidate is not a good fit for a job is a way IT leaders and IT pros can start to bridge the skills gap. Don’t feel like you can initiate that dialogue on your own? A recruiter, who has your best interests at heart, can help.

While it’s on the organization to plan strategically for their skills needs, arming yourself with this knowledge can help you better navigate the hiring landscape as an IT pro. Want to see the full survey results? Check out the executive summary here.

Or if you’re ready to take the next step, call your local TEKsystems office today to connect with a recruiter who can help you bridge the IT skills gap.

As part of TEKsystems’ public relations team, Vanessa Ulrich reads everything she can about the technology industry and emerging trends. Vanessa blogs about where technology and society collide, giving context and commentary to top news stories. You can reach her with questions and comments @TEK_PR via Twitter.

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