Are there industry-specific factors exacerbating the talent shortage in IT?

2.8k views1 Upvote7 Comments

SVP in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Addressing the talent shortage is particularly difficult in IT. If I am a brain surgeon, I'll be performing brain surgeries for the rest of my career. Imagine if I was suddenly told, "Starting tomorrow, you're going to be a heart surgeon. We no longer need brain surgery. We just need to perform heart surgery." If I'm not a heart surgeon, how do I shift to that profession? But technology demands that from its workforce on a continual basis.
2 3 Replies
Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I don't think that's the right analogy. We have doctors, pulmonologists, and primary care doctors who now have to handle COVID. It's not that they had to learn to be a truck driver. I think we're talking about physicians who have a new challenge to face, whereas you're describing being a programmer today, and then tomorrow, being a translator.

SVP in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees

No, I'm referring to the migration from on-prem to cloud. That's a different set of technology and skills. You can’t apply the same skill set and say, "Now I'm a cloud expert and I can architect things in cloud environments." It's a hard transition. The industry is shifting and innovating so fast that the workforce in this industry constantly needs to upskill, and it's very hard to keep up with. 

That's the inherent challenge our industry is facing, because other industries don't have that level of change happening at this rate. You have to be an inherent learner. You have to be passionate about continuously learning and wanting to continue to improve, because the demand is there. Every industry now needs a technologist. The supply is just not enough in that space right now. But it's a real challenge, because we have to continue to innovate ourselves much faster than any other industry.

Advisor | Investor | Former CIO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

We saw this happen even with simple things such as sysadmins racking and stacking servers. Your job has gone away, and you have an opportunity to become a software infrastructure engineer, rather than a hardware engineer—are you willing to do that? Some would like to say, "No, I'll find another job," and eventually, they find their way out of the workforce. But there are just multiple layers to this challenge.

VP( Network Engineering and Delivery) in Telecommunication, 10,001+ employees
Almost every industry from manufacturing to services is adopting cloudification, softwarization , automation and analytics in a big way. This transformation requires similar  skill sets and this demand supply imbalance is creating talent shortage.
VP, Chief Security & Compliance Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I appreciate the dialog here, it is a keen interest of mine to apply intentional readiness to migrate or advance strategy to education/training so that it evolves with the pace of tech and business adoption.  So in the case of your discussion  and  I believe the RCA is a combination of both discussions.  Case in point, the readily available cloud certifications, though important, miss the "boots on the ground" ready to support the migration of companies.   The need for applied skills ranging from refactoring, use cases, architecture and revised approach to implementing in a manner which optimizes digital capabilities while reducing costs is a significant experience gap. 

The solution may require intentional integrated strategy where applied learning incubators accompany text certifications.  However in all of this, to your point Bret, the whole process needs to be simplified.   
Thanks for the discussion.
Digital Transformation Executive in Software, 10,001+ employees
I think the future of work & culture are huge factors in retaining and hiring competent people. People are looking for location independence (work from anywhere), with a human-centric company that aligns to their values. The market has become much more competitive than it ever was!

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