In advance of Veterans Day, Harley Lippman, CEO and founder of Genesis10, one of the nation’s largest professional technology services firms, today called for a ‘surge’ in the training of U.S. military veterans to meet America’s growing need for qualified IT workers.
Currently, the unemployment rate for veterans under the age of 30 hovers around 20 percent with an estimated 60,000 new veterans looking to enter the workforce each year.
“It’s unconscionable that there isn’t a large-scale, coordinated effort to bring these intelligent, goal-oriented and loyal individuals into the IT field, which is literally bursting with need and opportunity,” Lippman said. “Due to a number of converging factors there is a rapidly growing demand for trained IT workers, which is continuing to outpace supply, putting pressure on the bottom lines of companies throughout the economy. At the same time, we have the human capital in the U.S.--especially among the ranks of military veterans who are looking for good jobs.”
According to Lippman, there are several reasons for the current shortage in qualified IT workers. They include:
- The emergence of digitization as a central part of enterprise-wide operations, as opposed to merely product-based use.
- Rapidly emerging technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of things, are exacerbating the strain on IT resources.
- Widespread belief that President Trump’s focus on domestic hiring and tighter controls on work visas will make sourcing of offshore labor less desirable to bottom-line focused companies.
“The trends driving the IT talent shortage aren’t temporary,” Lippman said. “The very nature of IT staffing is undergoing a seismic shift. The good news for companies is that certain adjustments to staffing strategies and policies can become competitive advantages if implemented properly.”
Lippman added: “Chief among these strategies is tapping into overlooked pools. Veterans are ideal for IT roles because they are mission oriented and have continually had to communicate well, collaborate and think on their feet within given parameters. Those soft-skills translate extremely well into enterprise-level IT work.”
Genesis10 has been at the forefront in recognizing the promise represented by veterans, who have often been ‘power users’ of IT products. The firm’s Veterans Program, which partners with some 300 colleges and more than 40 clients, focuses on identifying veterans and helping them articulate how their experience translates to corporate IT work; bridging cultural and skills gaps; providing ongoing customized mentoring and feedback; and placing veterans in roles that correspond to their skills, education, talents and knowledge.
“We and our clients have seen firsthand how companies can realize a competitive advantage by tapping into the talent pool of veterans for everything from service and help desk support to project coordination and technical analysis,” Lippman said. “By scaling the training models that work, we would not only provide meaningful and sustainable support for those who have risked their lives for our nation but also ensure that our domestic economy--powered by the American worker -- remains the most dynamic in the world.