AXELOS Insight Survey seeks input regarding IT skills development

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AXELOS, which offers the popular ITIL series of certifications, wants your input. Keep reading to understand the rationale behind the 2018 AXELOS Insight Survey.

Take the AXELOS Insight Survey to offer input regarding IT skills development.Yes, we are actually right in the middle of an ongoing revolution, Industry 4.0. But don’t worry, it’s completely bloodless. Because this Fourth Industrial Revolution is defined by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, or cloud computing. All of these, however, are having a disrupting effect on almost every industry around the world.

For every one of us, this means that we are constantly confronted with new and challenging technologies. These new products and services are putting increasing pressure on us to stay relevant, up-to-date and keep up with continuous change. Especially in the digital sector, the need for learning new skills is essential. This has not only to do with the speed of digital innovations but also with the lack of talent the industry is facing.

According to Code.org, a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools, there are currently more than 540,000 open computing jobs nationwide. With this obvious talent and skills shortage, there is need for a boost in trained and qualified professionals to fill these vacancies. To help with this problem, there are already efforts to make STEM and computer science one of the top priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.

On the other side of the ocean, the picture looks similarly bleak. In the United Kingdom, there is a substantial gap between businesses’ demand for digital skills and available candidates. In 2015, the Government body UKCES predicted that by 2022 around 518,000 additional workers would be needed to fill roles.

To help with this skills gap, the Institute of Coding was officially launched in June 2018. And in last year’s Autumn Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged that the world was on the brink of a technological revolution while pledging more than £500 million for digital, data and technology projects.

Until this talent shortage is fixed, however, upskilling the existing workforce is absolutely essential — and certifications play an important role in that process. Within IT, certifications are already very common. They show that somebody is an expert in their field, and that they have essential insight and training. It is not uncommon for those working in the industry to have gained several qualifications or successfully completed a number of training courses.

Indeed, some companies only want to hire IT professionals who have a variety of certifications. This has its benefits, as it ensures that candidates both have the skills needed to fill certain roles and are also the most qualified workers available. Certification also shows that individuals can understand complex technical information, and at the same time are willing to invest in their own career and development.

But looking only at employing staff that are already qualified means that it might take some time to find the right talent — roles could remain vacant for a stretch of time. Organizations should play their own part in upskilling staff and ensure that they have the training to work with new emerging technologies. This means investing in people but in return it also brings value to the business.

It shows that businesses appreciate their employees and are interested in helping them advance their career. It also helps boosting the confidence of staff which will improve their performance and increase productivity — meaning that businesses can further benefit from investing in their staffs’ learning.

As continuing professional development, or CPD, is of increasing importance for professionals when changing jobs, it’s becoming quite regular for interview candidates to ask about a company’s training opportunities. If the answer to this is simply “we don’t do this,” then chances are that businesses are losing out on talent. CPD can be varied — online learning platforms, webinars and workshops, or paid training courses to get certified in particular skills.

Employers need to be aware of one thing: Pay is no longer the only decisive factor when choosing a new job.

AXELOS is now conducting a global survey to gain a better understanding of current perceptions and key drivers for professional training and qualifications. AXELOS therefore invites decision makers, professional certification holders as well as those who are not certified to share their opinions and experience.

We are looking for input on subject areas including Agile, DevOps, cybersecurity, data analytics, blockchain, IT service management, and project and program management, as well as on preferred ways of studying such as massive open online course (MOOC), self-study, and formal classroom courses. We welcome your feedback.

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Margo Leach

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margo Leach is Chief Product Officer at AXELOS. She is leading the company’s new product delivery and business transformation and has been instrumental in the development and management of AXELOS’ PPM and ITSM products. Her successes include the evolution of the ITIL update program and the further development of the Australian market with key partners.

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One thought on “AXELOS Insight Survey seeks input regarding IT skills development”

  1. …”has its benefits, as it ensures that candidates both have the skills needed to fill certain roles and are also the most qualified workers available.” As much as I’d like to believe this statement, it unfortunately isn’t so in many cases. Gaining a cert doesn’t mean you’re “most qualified”. It does mean you have certain knowledge that was testable (verified). Even with a cert, one may need to “hone up” those skills upon being hired.

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