- Technical skills gaps among employees have grown as more employees work from home, according to a Pluralsight survey of more than 600 technology executives and practitioners. Four in 10 found increased gaps in cybersecurity and cloud computing.
- But upskilling challenges leadership. Workers say being too busy, budget constraints and a distracting environment impede efforts to grow their skills.
- Employers are investing in tools to make upskilling easier, but they're not always used by employees. While 62% of organizations offer online technology skills development, only half of employees used the resource in the last 12 months. Nearly half (47%) of employers invested in virtual instructor-led training, but only one in three employees used it.
As the skills gap grows, the enterprise has options: hire skilled talent or upskill current employees. A tightening labor market makes the latter option more appealing.
The IT skills gap troubles eight in 10 managers in North America, according to a Global Knowledge report released in November 2020. But employees take the brunt of the burden; increased stress and difficulty meeting quality objectives are the top two impacts of skills gaps on organizations.
Companies can overcome the skills gap by retraining existing employees on business-critical skills. The existing workforce already has the business knowledge, and just needs to freshen up on new technical skills.
Vendors are stepping in to help. Cloud giants, such as AWS, Google and Microsoft, offer free cloud training and certification programs to help businesses get workers up to speed on the latest skills. Bootcamps, support for higher education and other programs whether in-house or outsourced help, too.
Even if an organization does decide to hire fresh candidates to bridge skills gaps, malleable candidates that the organization can be upskilled can help consistently meet business needs — and provide new opportunities to unconventional talent.
Internships and apprenticeships, for example, simultaneously train emerging professionals and test drive candidates for full-time employment with the company. The programs solve skills gaps and expand the talent pool.