Chal­lenges Of Tech Skill Gaps

Distinguished Magazine - - CONTENT - ANJALI PRASAD SHARMA

As the de­mand for tech­no­log­i­cally skilled pro­fes­sion­als is on the in­crease, there is how­ever a dearth of skilled work­ers. This is cost­ing com­pa­nies bil­lions of dol­lars each year in in­flated pay pack­ages and tem­po­rary hir­ing. All across the globe, coun­tries are fac­ing a chronic tech skills deficit. It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter if they are a de­vel­oped mar­ket or a de­vel­op­ing one, the cri­sis looms large ev­ery­where. With the ever in­creas­ing de­mand for tech­no­log­i­cally skilled pro­fes­sion­als, the dearth of skilled work­ers is cost­ing com­pa­nies bil­lions of dol­lars each year in in­flated pay pack­ages and tem­po­rary hir­ing.

In 2018, or­ga­ni­za­tions faced the in­her­ent is­sue of de­mand be­ing much more than the sup­ply. The need for IT skills is gain­ing mo­men­tum at a speed that can­not be matched by the growth of the talent pool. With dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies rul­ing the roost in most in­dus­tries and do­mains; em­ploy­ees are find­ing it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to up­skill them­selves to keep pace with in­dus­try ad­vance­ments. But the Catch22 sit­u­a­tion is that it has be­come im­por­tant for the em­ploy­ees to man­age to un­learn and re­learn at an un­prece­dented pace, if they wish to stay rel­e­vant.

The rapidly chang­ing la­bor and talent mar­ket are the pri­mary rea­sons why com­pa­nies are fac­ing chal­lenges. Jobs that were top of the fun­nel 10 years ago are not the same to­day and the jobs that are preva­lent to­day might not be im­por­tant a few years down the line. The in­dus­try is chang­ing at a re­ally fast pace and un­for­tu­nately the mar­ket­place is still try­ing to play catch up. An­other rea­son could also be the way em­ploy­ers are putting forth their needs for talent ac­qui­si­tion. To at least at­tempt to bridge the skills gap, or­ga­ni­za­tions will have to reimag­ine the way they present their job de­scrip­tions. This could help align the present day work­force with the hir­ing needs in a bet­ter man­ner. Bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion could lend it­self to fill­ing in the gaps faster.

Schools could step in and make things bet­ter at a holis­tic level. Prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence while still learn­ing at school is one of the best ways for the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to learn the ropes. If pre­sented with the right op­por­tu­ni­ties, stu­dents could as­sim­i­late their the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge with soft skills and gain­fully be­come part of the forth­com­ing work­force. Trans­form­ing ped­a­gogy and build­ing re­la­tion­ships with em­ploy­ers can help the next gen­er­a­tion of work­ers ready them­selves for what awaits them in the real world. Ac­cord­ing to a study, the num­bers are alarm­ing be­cause by 2021, there will be an es­ti­mated three mil­lion va­cant jobs in cy­ber­se­cu­rity across the globe. Not only has train­ing taken a new mean­ing but also the fact that tech ed­u­ca­tion has to be en­hanced to be able to pre­pare the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to cope with the chang­ing de­mands.

The need of the hour is also to em­brace new ways of work­ing. The reg­u­lar 9-5 shift has given way to free­lance as­sign­ments, work-from-home projects, and other non-tra­di­tional forms of em­ploy­ment. Em­ploy­ers need to be more open to novel ideas and the myr­iad ide­olo­gies of a tran­sient work­force. Work­ing styles have changed and peo­ple have dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions from their ca­reers now. So if it’s about flexi-hours or con­trac­tual op­por­tu­ni­ties, there is a need to keep the staff en­gaged at all times for bet­ter pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fi­ciency.

Apart from that, busi­nesses also have to con­sider the vary­ing skill sets, as well as re­quire­ments of em­ploy­ees rang­ing from Gen­er­a­tion Z to Baby Boomers. Tech­nol­ogy is not the only as­pect in this case and care­ful think­ing is re­quired to re­tain and ac­quire talent.

So that they do not lose sleep or talent and at the same time can keep up with this pace of change, busi­nesses need to make sure that their em­ploy­ees are trained reg­u­larly and are up­skilled on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Apart from rel­e­vant train­ing, there needs to be the space and the free­dom to try and ex­per­i­ment with new tech­nolo­gies. By tak­ing one step at a time, or­ga­ni­za­tions can help spear­head their busi­nesses for the years ahead.

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