Tech pros need to upskill, raise confidence

Technology professionals are feeling the impact of the skills gap, with 60% among them not actively pursuing a new skill or completing a certification in the last six months according to the IT Pro Day 2019 survey from SolarWinds. Fielded last August, the survey was conducted by SolarWinds and yielded responses from 177 technology professionals from across the globe, including those from public and private sectors.

Results show that, of those tech pros who did start a certification process, nearly half did not complete it due to lack of time to commit.

Survey results found increased support and budget from IT and business leaders are the top two requirements for tech pros to become confident managing current and future tech environments. At the same time, developing skills in interpersonal communications is critical for continued career growth. While most tech pros feel confident communicating with business leaders, they’re not always equipped with the support and tools necessary to do their jobs effectively.

In-company training ranked as a top-three tactic for addressing the labor shortage, with 35% of respondents selecting this option. Similarly, the majority of survey respondents (54%) cited full-day in-person workshops as providing the most value for the time spent when it comes to IT skills training materials.

Skills in application performance management (APM) are becoming increasingly necessary for tech pros across disciplines to possess. Tech pros have an appetite to develop APM skills further.

“Tech pros may know where they want to go, but the road to career confidence can be challenging,” said Joe Kim, global CTO at SolarWinds. “Mapping out the necessary skills and understanding how best to gain those competencies can be difficult, as proven by our annual IT Trends Report from earlier this year.”

Confidence Gap

70% of all tech pros surveyed are not “completely confident” in having all the necessary skills to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years—even though 98% of tech pros have worked to develop a skill over the past 12 months.

Interestingly, the lack of confidence in skillsets is prevalent in similar degrees across enterprises of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.

When it comes to the idea of implementing or managing specific technologies, emerging tech is a pain point: the three technologies IT pros feel least equipped to manage are AI, machine/deep learning, and blockchain, in that order.