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Technology Worker Shortage, Everyone on Bandwagon

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This week Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) released a report on the state of high tech hiring, and it is really truly a must read.

Like most research in the IT industry, there is a large amount of bias in the report; however, it is still very engaging to read.

Since this fits in with what Noam Eppel, myself, Locutus and others have been saying about the high tech industry and finding the right people to do the right job, at the right time, it is important to understand the relevant results of the survey. In that the person who was summarizing the survey for me said:

“You need look no further than page 33 of that PwC report to see the way out. Of the executives polled, only 46 percent of them said that base pay was a highly effective way of compensating employees, and 27 percent said that other intangibles–such as a collaborative working environment, training, access to leading edge technologies, a career path, mentoring, travel, and risk taking and innovation–were the keys to keeping techies happy and still working for the company. Only 19 percent of the executives thought equity or share options motivated employees, and only 12 percent thought healthcare and retirement benefits were highly effective as motivators, too. In short, techies do the math, and they want a life, not simply a job. What else would you expect?” (IT Jungle)

Given the responses to the articles that I have written, and seeing the responses to other articles as well, the quiet revolution in IT is already underway, and all this without really any prompting other than human needs and the reality of the modern business environment. I think that many of us have ended up in dead end jobs, where there is no movement except out the door, as well as the belief that to get better one has to jump jobs every 2 or 3 years. These problems and processes all add up to the current shortage in IT workers, and high tech skilled workers. Yet companies while they ask the right questions, are still fostering the beliefs that we have, no job security, need to move to a different company to get promoted, and the host of other things that we have seen in the tech industry since 1998.

“Education of techies is a key issue, of course. About 55 percent of the executives polled said that employees with math, science, and engineering skills in the developed countries of the world are drying up–and it won’t be long before emerging markets start experiencing shortages, too. Executives complained openly that the quality of engineering and science graduates in both North America were mediocre, excepting the crme de la crme at the best schools, of course, and that graduates are better in Europe and, in many cases, in Asia.” (IT Jungle)

We look at the current state of education, and I know about this because I am in the process as both teacher and student, yes the quality that is being pushed out of the schools is not the best. If we want to have world caliber folks, we need to have world caliber schools and so on. The idea of continuing education is expensive and hard for many folks with a house, two cars, two or three kids, and the host of other things we have in our modern lives, college education can put a significant drain on the family resources. We go to college only to end up in debt that is a weighing factor in the decision to go back to school, or to school at all.

There are a host of issues in the High Tech hiring process, as well as the ability to continually educate our high tech workers. From work situations that don’t work, to education, to work life balance, we are just now openly beginning to address the issues in a public forum such as IT Toolbox, Computer Weekly, Wired, and amongst ourselves. This starts the process, yet we also need to be aware of the modern issues with businesses, while we might be willing to commit to a series of actions, the company may not, or can not equally commit to us. That is where we are realistically, and we are finally acknowledging some of the root causes of the issues with the IT worker shortage.

Overall, this is a good thing, and we need to continue the discussion and keep up the good work.

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Dan Morrill has been in the information security field for 18 years, both
civilian and military, and is currently working on his Doctor of Management.
Dan shares his insights on the important security issues of today through
his blog, Managing
Intellectual Property & IT Security
, and is an active participant in the
ITtoolbox blogging community.

Technology Worker Shortage, Everyone on Bandwagon
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About Dan Morrill
Dan Morrill runs Techwag, a site all about his views on social media, education, technology, and some of the more interesting things that happen on the internet. He works at CityU of Seattle as the Program Director for the Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Security educational programs. WebProNews Writer
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