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The IT Skills Shortage

Again this subject receives a lot of attention in the press. CNC Global released their quarterly report (Eagle does it quarterly) and it talks about skills shortages. The resultant press about the subject generates a response from IT professionals who are having trouble finding jobs. I wrote a blog about the IT skills shortage in February last year, I don't think that much has changed.

The facts as I see them ...

1. There is a big demand in Canada for qualified IT professionals, both permanent employees and contract resources.
2. That demand is not likely to reduce because IT is a key component of any business and retiring boomers will reduce the "gene pool".
3. Today employers are still being very picky about what they want.
4. As the skills crunch gets worse they will not have that luxury.
5. As demand increases the qualified resources are applying market force economics and increasing their expectations (salary, or hourly rate for contractors).
6. Employers are struggling to operate in a global economy and trying to contain costs.
7. Offshore solutions are gaining traction because of increased local costs, AND shortages of qualified resources.
8. Companies are not equipped to retrain resources from one technology area to another, particularly with the pace that projects move.
9. There are plenty of good reasons why students are not selecting technology course in university ... however, this is a big problem for the future of our industry.
10. Immigration is a good answer for Canada (hey maybe I'm biased because I immigrated 25 years ago from England).

Kevin's definition of qualified resources: Someone who has the skills to do the job today.

Notes:
1. In IT that can be very frustrating, resulting in very qualified IT resources having difficulty getting work because their skills are in a technology or area that is not in demand.
2. Re-training is often referenced as "the answer", but for many companies the costs and risks are higher than finding other solutions ... such as offshoring.

Whenever the issue of skill shortages hits the press so does the plight of these people. In February last year I also wrote a relevant blog about how progress can hurt.

I don't have any magic answers for the underemployed IT professional today, hard work reset expectations, humility and a willingness to do what it takes usually wins in the end.