An old (sorry Ruth!) and good friend of mine recently posted a blog entry indicating that the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), in partnership with the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), have conducted a recent study and found that Canadian businesses face a looming IT skills shortage in 2011 – 2016. This is very bad news indeed. It would appear that the next wave of graduates are losing interest in some of the pivotal technologies that need to be developed to remain competitive in IT and business.
The problem has been examined and broken down to specific skills pertaining to key technology trends within IT that are not generating interest in today’s youth.
Acute and pervasive skills shortages will affect four occupations in particular:
- Computer and Information Systems Managers,
- Telecommunications Carriers Managers,
- Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, and
- Broadcast Technicians.
These skills include:
- Cloud Computing
- Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Some of the recommendations to combat this risk include:
- Speak at high schools and youth organizations to generate interest in IT careers.
- Encourage interest in math and sciences.
- School boards have adopted the “FIT” (Focus on IT) program.
- Help immigrants to use or develop their IT skills through internships and other venues.
- Develop new curriculum with internships, work placements, and focus on IT careers.
- Encourage diversity and inclusion, especially among women.
- Employers should invest in ‘almost qualified’ candidates and employees.
- Employers should return to investing in training for staff.
- Employers should consider mentoring programs.