Degree requirements challenge tech employers who are already struggling to hire

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Diving Brief:

  • Nearly two-thirds of tech industry decision makers say their companies are struggling to hire, according to a report from Cengage posted last week. The company surveyed 1,000 decision makers from all industries.
  • More than half of employers say they plan to pay for training opportunities to meet growing internal talent needs.
  • Nearly a third of IT decision makers say a two- or four-year college degree was most often required for entry-level positions in their company.

Overview of the dive:

Employees looking to advance their careers look for training opportunities. Regardless of a candidate’s degree, companies want to know what skills they bring to the table – and what internal needs they can fill..

Demand and supply remain mismatched in a technology talent market where open positions always outnumber available candidates.

More than half of IT leaders say their organization struggles to hire and retain the highly skilled IT staff it needs, according to an IDC survey released in July. Unemployment in IT roles remains well below the general unemployment rate: 1.8% versus 3.6%, according to data from CompTIA.

A high-demand tech talent market has reduced the focus on formal college and university designations, Lucy Norman, senior director of talent acquisition at Info-Tech Research Group, said in an email. .

“Hiring managers and business owners need to ask themselves how critical these education requirements really are to their ability to do the job effectively, and whether practical experience and technical skills have more value,” Norman said.

With technical skills in high demand, it’s a job market, especially in areas like software engineering. Four out of 10 software engineers are are considering quitting their jobattracted by higher pay or remote working arrangements.

CIOs can help companies close the skills gap by creating a culture of continuous learning and creating in-house training opportunities, said Ashwin Bharath, founder and CEO of Revature.

“For many companies, the main reason for their growth and survival will be their ability to hire and retain talent,” Bharath said.

Talent retention requires a multi-pronged approach. Leaders need to address issues around company culture, compensation competitiveness, and what projects workers can focus on. Internal training is another factor that allows workers to see a long-term future within an organization.

“Perfecting should start from day one,” Bharath said. “Not after a year.”


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