AI, business process automation the hardest skills to find

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The most difficult to find skills this summer are those in emerging and growing technology areas, including artificial intelligence, business process automation and the Internet of Things.

That is the finding of a major new technology jobs report from CompTIA entitled “Assessing the Skills Gap.” The study looks at the experience of organizations hiring for critical IT positions, what organizations are doing with technology, and the impact that any skills gaps has on the industry.

Setting the stage for the findings is the fact that nearly half (46 percent) of all organizations believe the skills gap for top tech job areas is getting worse, and will continue to do so. Furthermore, only one-third of organizations believe they have any sort of process in place to address the problem.

Topping the list of the largest skills gap – the difference between the demands for certain skills and the supply of talent that has those skills – are the emerging and growing technology areas as noted above. This isn’t really surprising, since emerging technologies of any kind always outpace experience workers with those skills, until the workforce can play catch-up to some degree.

Tied with emerging technologies were skills for integrating different applications, data sources, platforms and devices, at 59 percent of respondents. Closely behind was cloud infrastructure and cloud application skills, at 57 percent, and digital business transformation skills or skills for modernizing legacy hardware or software.

Also especially problematic is the cybersecurity skills gap, the study notes.

“In a world defined by digitization and interconnectivity, shortcomings in cybersecurity expertise and experience make for an ever-more precarious situation,” the study says. “Organizations rank data security as the most pressing cybersecurity skills gap domain, reflecting the growing importance of data across every industry sector of the economy.”

The skills gap problem overall has grown to the point that 80 percent of executives surveyed said they are at least somewhat concerned about it. The problem as they see it is that too many technology workers today lack advanced skills. That forces organizations to provide more training, to hire outside contractors, or to do without.

So what are the solutions?

First, organizations need better ways to provide on-the-job experience such as internships, respondents said.

Secondly, organizations need better ways to provide intense job training such as apprenticeships.

Third, students should be exposed to career options in IT at an early age.

Fourth, certifications and credentials to validate skills and knowledge should be given more weight.

Finally, organizations need to develop better assessment methods for evaluating the skills of job candidates.


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