The Eagle Blog

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.

4 thoughts on “The IT Skills Shortage

  1. Hi Kevin

    Very interesting Blog. I am a software developer from South Africa and considering immigrating to Canada/Australia.

    What I am trying to establish is: What are the IT skills for which there is a shortage?

    As you rightly point out, IT is a broad field and there could well be a surplus of certain IT skills…

    **mbain@mandelametro.gov.za**

  2. Hi Kevin

    Very interesting Blog. I am a software developer from South Africa and considering immigrating to Canada/Australia.

    What I am trying to establish is: What are the IT skills for which there is a shortage?

    As you rightly point out, IT is a broad field and there could well be a surplus of certain IT skills…

    **mbain@mandelametro.gov.za**

  3. You don’t give much information so I’m not sure how to best help, but here are some thoughts.

    1. I post an excerpt from our monthly newsletter that give a synopsis of what is hot across Canada each month. You can subscribe at the Eagle website … https://www.eagleonline.com/news-categories/news-from-the-nest/.

    2. If you work with a “search company” they can proactively market your resume based upon a lot more knowledge of what you bring to the table.

    3. Winters are cold in Canada.

    4. I don’t think the powder skiing is great in Australia.

    5. Often the desired skills are as much about functional knowledge, project experience and the ability to communicate well as they are about technical capability. If you are serious about immigrating you need to be able to sell yourself.

  4. You don’t give much information so I’m not sure how to best help, but here are some thoughts.

    1. I post an excerpt from our monthly newsletter that give a synopsis of what is hot across Canada each month. You can subscribe at the Eagle website … https://www.eagleonline.com/news-categories/news-from-the-nest/.

    2. If you work with a “search company” they can proactively market your resume based upon a lot more knowledge of what you bring to the table.

    3. Winters are cold in Canada.

    4. I don’t think the powder skiing is great in Australia.

    5. Often the desired skills are as much about functional knowledge, project experience and the ability to communicate well as they are about technical capability. If you are serious about immigrating you need to be able to sell yourself.

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