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5 Mar 2020

The IT Skills shortage and how to solve it

With digital jobs continuing to rise, IT skills are critical for the fulfilment of roles and organisational growth; however, the IT skills gap is increasing. It’s an issue that has been discussed for a long time and despite changes in education and technology, a gap still exists between the role’s organisations are trying to fill and the amount of talent available.

The 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report from Global Knowledge has looked into the IT Skills market and identified the following key findings:


Salaries are going up

Global IT compensation is the highest it’s ever been, partly due to the shortage in the IT skills market. There are however a number of factors at play, including responsibility level, job function, tenure, company size, industry and where you live.


IT professionals continue to train and improve

IT professionals on average earned $5,000 (worldwide comparison) more this year compared to 2018. The main reason? Job performance.

Training to add skills that immediately translate to the workplace is leading to pay increases.


Certifications (still) matter

85% of global IT professionals hold at least one certification, of which over half were earned in the past 12 months. Another 66% plan to attain a new certification this year.

Tech professionals still see the value in certifications and are pursuing them in various categories and technologies.


Top-paying certifications vary by region

The highest-paying certifications worldwide vary quite considerably by region. Top-paying certifications in North America don’t match the top-paying credential in Europe.


How to solve the shortage

At OryxAlign, we work hard to stay ahead of IT needs and skills. From our own experience, we’ve identified three methods that you can use to help with filling your important IT roles.


1. Build a learning culture

A recent survey found that 85% of employees are upskilling in their own time and only 34% of IT employers offer training and development support to attract the right talent. This causes a problem for the employer as well as the employee because employers look externally instead of internally for necessary IT skills. Unsurprisingly employees can end up feeling unsupported and often look for new challenges elsewhere.

To resolve this problem, build and invest in a productive learning culture around employment. Examples of this might include structured one-to-one coaching and shadowing of similar or different roles, frequent lunchtime or early morning seminars, online learning systems and professional development courses.


2. Adopt to technology change

Technology is of course constantly changing; this creates a problem with IT skills too. It is important to embrace a perpetual learning path with IT skills. A skill that is needed this year may be less relevant the following year, and possibly obsolete within a few years.

Following the first point of building a learning culture will of course help with this challenge. There will always be a time lag between the latest skill demand and the number of engineers qualified, but this gap can be better filled with preparation and a continuous learning programme.


3. Remove single vector recruitment processes

It is easy to forget within the world of technology that whatever is being engineered is ultimately for a person. A human. When recruiting roles that require certain IT skills, you can make your job easier by becoming more flexible with qualifications and academic achievements.

Whilst on the surface it may make sense to ensure each candidate has the right skillset, you could miss another important pool of people who have the potential, aptitude or soft skills to deliver what is needed, if not now, but in the future.

2019 LinkedIn report represented a surprisingly high 92% of talent professionals who said soft skills were either as important or more important than hard skills. It is worth reviewing interviewing methods and techniques, such as behavioural questions, to better assess soft skills and future candidate potential.


By OryxAlign

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