Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CompTIA Survey: Finding Qualified Workers Tougher

Feb 2, 2015Michael Cusanelli | Business Acceleration Infocenter The VAR Guy

The IT industry is expected to continue to struggle to find qualified IT professionals due to a lack of applicants nationwide.

There’s never been a better time to go back to school for a computer or mathematical degree, according to new research from CompTIA. The company’s latest study found that IT technical positions remain in high demand in the United States due to a lack of qualified applicants.

About 68 percent of the 650 executives surveyed in CompTIA’s recent IT Industry Outlook 2015 report said they expect to face a challenging or very challenging hiring environment this year as they struggle to employ qualified technical staff members. The dearth of qualified applicants is thought to be a result of below average national unemployment rates for computer and mathematical technicians, meaning the IT industry currently has a very small pool from which to fill these positions.

“Companies across our industry are delivering affordable, creative technology solutions for businesses and consumers alike, but the persistent shortage of workers educated, trained and certified in the latest technologies threatens to stall the pace of innovation,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, in a statement.

Technicians and IT support and service personnel top this year’s list of most in-demand IT positions, according to CompTIA. Companies are also searching for employees with application development skills, cloud and security expertise and network engineering, data and analytics expertise.

Currently, 43 percent of U.S. IT companies report having job openings, while another 36 percent said they would like to add new hires to their roster to support company growth. Among those looking for new or additional hires, one out of five companies have had to postpone or cancel projects due to a lack of manpower, according to CompTIA.

“Companies may be expanding or moving into new areas and need to employ more workers,” said Thibodeaux. “Moreover, with large numbers of Baby Boomers nearing retirement, it is more important than ever to be thinking about the next generation of tech worker.”

CompTIA cited a report from Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights, which said U.S. businesses posted job notices for nearly 600,000 core IT positions during the fourth quarter of last year. An additional 116,000 new IT jobs were added to the U.S. labor force in 2014.

Of course, CompTIA offers several programs to foster growth in the IT workforce, including the company’s CompTIA CertMaster program and its initiatives to encourage Millennials, women and veterans to enter the IT field.

The IT Industry Outlook 2015 report also revealed that 2015 will be a significant year in terms of overall sales growth in the IT industry due to growing faith in the global economy. CompTIA estimates a growth rate of 5 percent for the global IT industry this year, with a similar figure predicted for the United States market.

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