Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

By Corinne Bernstein  |  Posted 03-21-2013

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Low Unemployment  Some politicians are reluctant to say there's an IT skills gap because the U.S. is seeing minimal growth in gross domestic product and overall unemployment is hovering just below 8%. However, IT unemployment is significantly below that—in some cases below 4%, Miano explains.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Innovation's Importance  Nearly three-fourths of IT leaders believe innovation and tech transformation provide the best path for their organization to remain competitive in their industries, according to soon-to-be released research from Harvey Nash.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Skilled Pros Are Scarce  Yet almost two-thirds of the IT execs surveyed by Harvey Nash say their organization's innovation potential is being only partly achieved, largely because of a lack of skilled IT pros. 

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Decline in Grads  The percentage growth in college grads in the U.S. consistently surpasses the overall population growth, but there's been a decline in computer science grads in the last decade.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Fresh Blood  The ups and downs in the supply of computer science grads correlate with the cyclical nature of the economy.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Economy's Long Shadow  Today's economy not only has an impact on the job prospects of today's IT pros, it also "dissuades future talent from studying computer science and related subjects due to a perceived lack of future job security," according to Miano.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Generation Why?  Millennials love to use technology, but a "remarkably small percentage [of them actually wants] to acquire the training to design, repair or manage that technology," according to Harvey Nash.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Diversity Concerns  There's a disproportionately low ratio of women and minorities among computer science and computer engineering grads.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Image Is Everything  The stereotype of the antisocial computer technologist has dissuaded some female students from entering the field.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Talent Supply   Miano cites three main sources for U.S. business to meet demand: homegrown U.S. resources, immigrants with H-1B visas, and moving IT functions offshore. "A constraint on any one of these puts more pressure on the other two to supply resources," according to Miano.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Legal Immigration  The H-1B visa program enables U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations such as computer programming. Miano points to an anti-immigration sentiment surrounding H-1B visas, adding that the supply of IT talent through the H-1B program is not an illegal immigration issue.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap

Little Wage Suppression  The IT skills gap is not a cost issue; it due to a lack of supply, Miano says, adding that the perception that immigration and offshoring lower U.S. IT wages is misguided. "There was minimal suppression of wages both during the dot-com recession of 2000 and 2001, as well as during the rapid growth and influx of 195,000 immigrant IT workers who managed the technology-led recovery from 2001 to 2003," according to Miano.

Exploring Key Challenges of the IT Skills Gap