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CIOs Take Stock of Tech Talent - Key Datapoints to Consider

The new year is upon us. It is time for CIOs and talent strategists to take stock and review the workforce plan for 2018. As you do, here are some recent developments to keep in mind:

CIOs Take Stock of Tech Talent - Key Datapoints to Consider

  1. HR managers find it difficult to recruit tech talent, according to an Indeed survey. To fill immediate needs, they are hiring candidates who don’t meet job requirements. As a result, hiring managers report that the shortage of skilled workers is slowing innovation, product development and market expansion--affecting company revenues. Marc Snyder, a technology consultant with KPMG, says CIOs find “the lack of qualified talent is holding them back from innovation critical for business success.”

Skills at all levels in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain, Analytics, Cybersecurity, and Internet of Things (IoT) continue to be a challenge. The challenge is not only finding individuals with the skills, but those who can connect the dots to create business impact. It is quality not just quantity. It seems like the number of people with tangible skills is fewer than demand. For example, there has been a focus for the past several years on Enterprise Data Management, Big Data and Analytics. Finding true data scientists continues to be a challenge. Companies have focused on getting their arms around their data and their disparate systems. Now the focus is on how to exploit the data to improve business decision-making and to create competitive advantage.

  1. While the talent shortage is nationwide, some states appear affected more than others. Among them, California, New York, Rhode Island, Washington and Connecticut have serious concerns about filling tech jobs over the next few years, according to a Third Way study. Equally important, states also report talent shortages--in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. For context, the World Economic Forum Study shows that the U.S. produces approximately 586,000 graduates in STEM, far behind India and China who boast 2.6 million and 4.7 million, respectively.

  1. Across the country, there are more than 500,000 computing jobs, but less than 43,000 computer science students graduated into the workforce last year, says Code.org. And it appears the shortage will worsen before it improves. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1 million more computing jobs than applicants qualified to fill them. Code.org bases its figures on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job creation data as well as information on college graduation rates provided by the National Science Foundation.

  1. For its part, BLS says demand is especially strong for Information Security Analysts. Employment is projected to grow 28% annually through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Information Security Analysts play a key role in combatting cybersecurity threats, a growing concern especially for healthcare companies, government agencies and financial services institutions.

According to a recent article in CIO.com, the seven most in-demand tech jobs for 2018 are:  Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Scientist, Database Developer, Help Desk/Support Technicians, Network Administrator, Data Security Administrator, and System Administrator.

  1. In the next five years, demand for tech talent that delivers on new capabilities will significantly outstrip supply, says a McKinsey study. Specifically, demand for Agile skills could be four times the supply, and for Big Data talent, it could be 50% to 60% greater. The study also finds candidates need to be able to function well on teams, which requires such soft skills as leadership, communication and relationship-building.

  1. The trend towards Agile and Lean is a movement that is changing the way technologists interact with the business, writes Genesis10’s Matt McBride in a recent blog post. In it, he says that the trend points “us to something bigger. It is not just about technology anymore. Business value is derived from interactions, analysis, understanding and business acumen embedded in technology teams. Businesses don’t want ‘just technologists.’ They want people who can combine depth in technology with critical thinking and interpersonal skills.” From his experience, McBride says that technologists don’t find it easy to adopt these skills—and that the business need for this capability is not going away anytime soon.

Already many CIOs recognize the tech talent shortage as an “existential threat” to their businesses, according to a recent CIO Executive Council IT Talent Assessment Survey, that requires innovative approaches to solve for the problem. Subscribe to the blog and join the discussion as we explore: 1) Different strategies and tactics to help clients solve for the growing talent and skills shortages for core and emerging technologies skill sets; 2)  Talent acquisition strategies and 3) Location and recruiting strategies.

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