How the Skills Gap Is Widening in IT 

The World Economic Forum reports that there could be as many as 133 million new positions generated as a result of the new division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms by the end of 2022. This is good news for our global economy after more than a year of struggling through a pandemic. However, the question remains if the skills gap is too wide to meet this high demand for technical jobs? In today's blog we will examine what the skills gap involves, how it’s impacting the IT industry, and how it can potentially be rectified in the coming years. 

What is the Skills Gap? 

According to the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, the term skills gap, “describes a fundamental mismatch between the skills that employers rely upon in their employees, and the skills that job seekers possess. This mismatch makes it difficult for individuals to find jobs and for employers to find appropriately trained workers.”  Work in the digital and IT world evolves at a rapid pace as each new innovation hits the market. Sadly, many in the digital field have trouble keeping up with the constant changes occurring in the industry. 

skills gap

The IT Industry Hit Hard 

A recent Deloitte report illustrates the extent of this problem in the context of technology jobs alone. The report estimates that 2.4 million positions will remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion. Skills gaps happen in every industry, but none is more impacted than the technology industry where things change at such a rapid pace. The rapid advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other emerging technology can happen at a pace that leaves many behind in the learning curve.  Salesforce, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, recently reported several areas that are projected to be in strong demand with weak supply of the skills needed to understand and innovate in the following fields. 


Solutions to Bridge the Gap 

There are several short term and long term solutions to consider when trying to bridge this technological gap that could have dire consequences for the global economy going forward.  One short term solution would be to pay a premium to acquire new talent. Either hike your wages (or add benefits/perks) or risk losing talent to another company needing the same skills. Consider also going outside your normal talent pool to those that may be interested in learning and growing within your organization.  Training from within is a great way to bridge the gap that is appearing in the IT industry. If you know you have bright, talented people, invest in furthering their skills through training, classes, and even higher level degrees.  The World Economic Forum has estimated that 54% of workers will need significant digital reskilling by 2022, and so supplying staff with training now to advance their skill set can be a great way to bridge the gap. Working with outsourced partners could be another long term solution that could help your organization access talented individuals that can be a part of your team at a fraction of the cost of hiring them outright. Third party outsourcing may be a bit of a cost but it will be less than hiring that person or the team of people that could help you full time. Additionally, the diversity of skills found in these managed outsourcing groups is strong.  How is your organization handling the growing IT skills gap? Drop us a line here or on our Facebook Page.