Why IT is facing a talent shortage

November 18, 2014

The good news is that the job market in the tech industry is booming, with employers looking to hire ever more people to fill the new roles. The bad news is that it many industry analysts are expecting that companies won't be able to fill those roles due to a skills mismatch between the existing talent pool and the requirements of the positions.

IT skills gap a blemish on rosy pictures of tech sector growth
Based on research by the Technology Councils of North America, CIO reported that a broad gauge of general economic sentiment among tech business leaders reported a score of 56.4 on a 100-point scale, up from a mark of 46.3 a year ago. While U.S. economic indicators are encouraging right now, many in the business and technology world are hesitant to start celebrating.

They reported that a potential shortfall of tech and IT workers skilled enough to meet the needs of businesses stymied any chances of more optimism toward the future of the industry and economy as a whole.

A recent article on InformationWeek showed that a recent survey of the IT community revealed that 73 percent of respondents at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, and 88 percent of respondents at large-scale enterprises said that there is currently a shortage of IT talent to fill their job openings.

Why is there a talent shortage?
The main culprit behind the talent shortage is the rapid changes in technology. Technological innovation and business competition is moving at a breakneck pace, and companies that want to stay ahead of the field are clamoring for employees that can anticipate and take advantage of the new possibilities.

"This kind of feels like 1999 or 2007," said Matt Rivera, VP of marketing at IT staffing firm Yoh. "The technologies are moving so fast, it's hard for [employers and job hunters] to keep up. It's hard to engage that talent pool far enough ahead of the need."

InformationWeek reported that IT departments are under pressure to deliver complex, specific solutions at faster speeds. This has created a need for employees with highly specific skillsets in niches like DevOps, cloud security, data analysis and other new business/IT needs. IT generalists, which appear to comprise the majority of the talent pool right now, seem to be finding themselves increasingly obsolete.

Job seekers in the tech and IT market would do well to start digging deeper into a specific niche. Doing so could lead to a highly lucrative position and a happy employer.