CONTRIBUTOR

Insufficient training measures are placing technology professionals at risk of lagging behind in skill development, especially when it comes to skills that help support an organization’s CIO and CTO, according to data unveiled by Skillable.

The survey, conducted by Propeller Insights, encompassed more than 1,000 tech workers, where 35% held managerial positions and over a quarter were at the C-level.

Despite a substantial investment of $102 billion in training expenditure by companies in 2022, 40% of tech workers surveyed expressed frustration with existing learning technologies and offerings.

Survey respondents cited a lack of improvement in job performance and career advancement opportunities.

According to respondents, the top five crucial technical skills essential to support CIOs and CTOs include IT infrastructure library (ITIL) at 53%, IT service management (ITSM) at 45%, database management at 40%, AI for IT operations (AIOps) at 37%, and database design at 33%.

These individuals raised concerns that current training programs have failed to keep pace with industry changes or adequately equip them for future challenges.

Seth Robinson, CompTIA vice president for industry research, says for all the desire to invest more in development and training, he thinks a lot of companies are in the early stages of that process.

“Even though we’ve been talking about this for a while, I don’t think that there are tons of companies that have really mature practices or a strong skills-based approach,” he explains. Some of the largest companies are developing an internal skills library and they have the resources to do it.”

However, beyond those enterprise level companies, it becomes a little bit prohibitive or challenging for a company to try to think about what are the skills that they need, how they communicate that across the organization and how they ensure they’re staying on top of things.

“That’s why there’s such an outcry for more standards around this, and there some work to do to get training programs to the point where they can keep up with the environment and where it really is focused enough for technical employees to be getting the cutting edge skills that they want to have,” Robinson says.

From his perspective, HR leaders are the key stakeholders in helping develop training programs, while the technical management team is second in line behind them as they’re the closest to the skills.

“Where most of the communication needs to develop is to translate some of those technical skills into language the HR team can understand as they’re developing programs to implement within their organization,” he says.

The survey also uncovered a desire among tech workers for a more engaging learning experience, with more than two-thirds (67%) advocating for real-world applications to enhance their skill development.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) respondents expressed the need for more role-specific content, with 37% facing challenges due to insufficient training tailored to their skill level or expertise.

He explains there is a balance to be struck with an overall training and skills based hiring and career development approach that offers training provided by the organization through in-house learning platforms and the ability for employees to make their own path.

“Finding the balance of that hybrid approach is going to be the thing a lot of companies explore as they do the work trying to meet employee needs for building their skills,” Robinson says.

Thomas Vick, senior regional director at Robert Half Technology, says organizations appear to be improving their efforts at IT training measures.

“Because it is still a very competitive market, employers are realizing they must allow for additional training and upskilling of their employees or those employees are going to look for other jobs–or their skills are going to become antiquated,” he says.

Upskilling efforts are indispensable to helping their people learn more and learn new technologies – not just retention, but also attracting new employees and then being able to continue to fill the gaps on what they need to know when it comes to technology.

“Right now, there’s a default to go to virtual learning because it keeps people involved in the day to day work and that type of thing, which can be a very beneficial tool,” Vick explains. “Where we’re seeing organizations get more bang for their buck is when they’re doing peer to peer training where the person can actually mentor and learn from a peer and be able to ask real world questions and learn from that perspective.”

He adds organizations should also be open to providing financial aid for these individuals to go to the trainings they want to go to, and which are tailored towards what they want to learn.

“It gives them more choice in what they’re doing to further their own career and interests,” Vick says.