Leadership investigate

How to solve the tech skills crisis? Make IT cool again

Demand for IT workers is high, but how does the industry shake off its uncool image and attract new recruits?

John Lewis CIO Paul Coby: The UK is in the grip of an IT skills crisis. Photo: John Lewis

The UK is in the grip of an IT skills crisis as the number of people choosing a career in computing continues to lag far behind demand from business.

This shortfall needs to be addressed, warned Paul Coby, chairman of the CIO board of the IT skills body eSkills UK and IT director at retailer John Lewis, speaking at the Digital London conference in London.

eSkills estimates the UK will need an additional 110,000 new IT workers to enter the workforce each year, and the number of people entering the profession is still below what is needed, he said

”I think we have a bit of a crisis. Demand for IT professionals is growing every quarter, so it's really important that we as a nation produce all sorts of IT professionals and skilled users,” said Coby.

Overall the number of applicants to computing courses in the UK is only about one third of the new intake that the IT industry needs. And the disparity between supply and demand looks set to continue, with the proportion of new jobs in the IT sector growing nearly five times faster than the UK average.

Coby believes that many pupils are turned off IT between the ages of 11 and 16, thanks to a secondary school curriculum that teaches children general computing skills that many find boring.

”I asked my son 'Why aren't you doing an IT GCSE?' and he said 'It's because it's about spreadsheets isn't it?',” he said.

”We really need to address this issue because this is when our young people move away from technology.”

In contrast to the UK, students from countries including India and China are embracing careers in technology Coby said, adding that while 44 per cent fewer UK nationals are applying to higher education computing courses than in 2001, applications from overseas students remains “very high”.

”In Bangalore or Beijing technology is a really cool thing to do," he said: ”We really need to get over why IT is cool. It is not a problem that people have in other parts of the world.”

The government has acknowledged that IT teaching needs an overhaul, and has pledged to drop the primary and secondary school IT curriculum this September and leave it up to schools to decide how they teach IT.

But the lack of an IT curriculum will leave a vacuum that it is unclear that schools will be able to fill, even with the help of industry association that are drawing up guidelines for teaching IT and GCSE qualifications.

Coby said that the IT GCSE that is being developed by eSkills and its partners will focus on areas such as programming, games design and web and mobile app development.

He also stressed progress made through eSkills-backed schemes like ITMB course, which teaches university students the IT skills that businesses want, and the Computer Club for Girls, which is designed to address the shortfall in girls involved in IT. Only 18 per cent of IT professionals in the UK are women.

Large tech companies are also backing initiatives to get more people into the IT industry, with Cisco using the Digital London conference to pledge to build another 30 Networking Academies, which provide elearning courses in ICT and networking. Cisco's UK MD for London 2012 told the Digital London conference that 5,000 people will pass through the academies over the next five years.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

59 comments
AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Since the actual blog is about how UK youth perceives UK IT education... but most comments have transferred the Headline alone to a US context :^0

dcolbert
dcolbert like.author.displayName 1 Like

to the UK tech sector that apply to the domestic US. In fact, the trend to have your Indian call center employee answer their phone as "John Smith" or "Jane Johnson" originates in the UK, where the population began to rebel against having "Tikrit Swaminathan" as their help desk agent first. I think that part is silly, by the way. I once literally had a guy with a thick Indian accent tell me his name was "John Smith". I chuckled and said, "Your name is John? John Smith?" "Yes sir. John Smith is my name, and can I ask yours?" "Sure, my name is Samir Rampali". He asked me to repeat myself, chuckled back at me, and continued on, "So how may I help you today?"

jkameleon
jkameleon

... is vileness and perseverance of their shortage shouters.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

He's got selling people out down to an art.

Bucky Kaufman (MCSD)
Bucky Kaufman (MCSD)

I find the IT world to be full of very talented people. They're just not people that anyone wants to invite into their place of business. Their arrogance and sense of entitlement is just too hard on morale. I know they're important and underappreciated people and that what they know could take me down like that (snap) - I just don't need to hear about it all the time.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson like.author.displayName 1 Like

Do you have some sort of personality disorder, or couldn't you find the sarcasm emoticon The most arrogant gimme type ones I've run into all put certs after their names... ...

tbmay
tbmay

I personally can't stand the egos that we, in general have. Disproportionate number of despicable jerks. I most definitely have had to check my own attitude. I know it has not been pretty many times. BUT....when there is a DISPROPORTIONATE number of jerks in a particular discipline, it bodes the question of WHY. I would submit a culture of treating them as if it's just expected they work 20 hours per day to make sure everyone else can go about their routine....to keep up skills on their own time and dime...and to be considered just a bunch of nerds that don't do anything but play with computers....this takes a toll on one's attitude. In other words, start treating your tech workers like people, they might just start acting like them.

Bucky Kaufman (MCSD)
Bucky Kaufman (MCSD)

The real reason IT draws so many jerks is the lack of minimum educational standards. No matter your knowledge of art, history, the other sciences, literature or anything else - if you learn a programming language or how to share a printer on a network, you get a shortcut to big bucks. But like all shortcuts in life, there's a price to pay. That price is that you're infinitely replaceable, are unhappy, feel underappreciated, and are unpleasant to work with - and the same is true for the people you work with. Unfortunately, getting that piece of paper requires not just subject matter expertise, but a human touch as well. For too many techies, that's an insurmountable obstacle.

jkameleon
jkameleon

In the manuals of the CIA, KGB, MIwhatevethenumer & ilk, MICE stands for the standard ways of making people to do your bidding: Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego. Money is expensive, coercion risky and labour intensive. The most cost effective are ideology (when available) and ego (always there). > I would submit a culture of treating them as if it's just expected they work 20 hours per day to make sure everyone else can go about their routine....to keep up skills on their own time and dime...and to be considered just a bunch of nerds that don't do anything but play with computers....this takes a toll on one's attitude. In terms of MICE: Why pay employees money, if you can obtain same or better results by blowing up their egos? Probably the most illustrative example of this is so called "paranoia management", very popular in startups during the 1990s. It's a strong morale boosting stuff, something like the last jolt of electricity applied to ER patient before pronounced dead. It goes like this: "OK, guys, things are getting serious. We are close to a breakthrough. Microsoft, IBM, DARPA, CIA, Russians, Iranians and Chinese had found out about the ultra advanced product we are developing here, and they are worried sick about the potential competition. We must therefore take precautions against industrial espionage. We'll install electronic locks on every door, and CCTV cameras to peek over everybody's shoulder." Here's a real life example, in literary form, and names changed to protect the guilty: http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Virtudyne_0x3a__The_Savior_Cometh.aspx

RMSx32767
RMSx32767

There are many IT folk who "don't do anything but play with computers." For many of them tech is not only a career, it's a life. No interests outside of computers, no soft skills, no interest in people. There is a place for them in IT provided management knows how to handle such a personality.

tbmay
tbmay

....leave them much choice, for the most part? My wife is a teacher, and that has it's frustrations, but she doesn't have the incessant need to "keep up" on her own time just to stay employed. Playing with computers is almost a short term survival mechanism....until you burn out. Kids.....do something else for a living. Seriously.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... in vast majority of cases. I've seen my share of arrogant folks in my long career, and all of them proved incompetent at the end. The innovative solutions they so aggressively pushed through always turned out lousy. > I know they're important and underappreciated people and that what they know could take me down like that (snap) - I just don't need to hear about it all the time. That's the price you pay for operating on skeleton crew. Nothing in this world is free, and neither are layoffs.

mtngrl5
mtngrl5

And without pay, it's nearly impossible to keep up the investment in the skill set. I have done desk top support, network support, development, project management, and dba work. I now drive a tour bus. I make good money, cannot be outsourced, have the time and resources to take on IT projects in my spare time, and I am never on call 24x7x365. I now get to enjoy my vacations, and while having my smart phone go down is never fun, it doesn't keep me from making a living. I had a chat with a head hunter the other day and he said his clients are looking for young kids fresh out of school that they can "mold" into the type of IT workforce they envision. I was there once....18 hour days, no weekends, calls on my vacation and traveling everywhere with a laptop so that I could spend my time on someone else's project....all for a salary that sounded good when I was just out of school but doesn't come close to compensating me for the stress or the time I put into the job. So last time the economy took a dive and all the non-revenue generating positions were reduced, I traded my cubicle for a corner office with a lot of glass and set out to see the world. I loved IT. I loved the work, still do. I hated what the job became. So now IT is my passion and my hobby - I pay for training because I want to learn or know, I take on projects because they appeal to me and make my money doing something completely different.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy like.author.displayName 1 Like

"How to solve the standard of living crisis. Stop sending work to third world countries."

RMSx32767
RMSx32767

Tell Mr Coby that cool or not I'll be pleased to work in the UK. Preferably north of the River Tweed.

c1951
c1951

As a Network Admin. I enjoy my job and i make fun with what ever technical is thrown out at me. WHY all IT's, Are troubleshooters, an the IT field is no joking matter, Technology is constantly on the rise. AN In the IT field you should Expand and learn Newer Tech. WITH KNOWLEDGE COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY, AND IF YOU ACTUALLY PURSUE KNOWLEDGE, the MORE YOU LEARN THE MORE YOU CAN DO.... HERE IS THE COOL ANSWER (THE MORE MONEY YOU WILL MAKE) and everyone here should agree with me when i say it feels GREAT, BEING the one who can solve the issue(THERE IS ALWAYS AN ANSWER) . An putting that EASY MONEY in your pocket... When i say easy money is because when u work an hr and make 60 to 150+ depending the task. There is the COOL in IT. Makes me Feel good knowing i dont have to go bust my a$$ in a factory 5 to 6 days a week. PROBLEM WITH THE WOLD TODAY IS MOST PEOPLE BEAT AROUND THE BUSH and DONT WANT TO TEST THERE CAPABILITIES. But i know for others who see me make that money i know they want to be in my shoes. But 4 them its all about interest and some dont want to apply there self!

FuzzyBunnySlippers
FuzzyBunnySlippers

IT is being rapidly diminished by upper management to the role of data janitors. Very little forethought is given as the 4 P's are being embraced as a monetary positive ( 4 P's = Penny Pinching Pencil Pushers). What many IT personnel know, see, but cannot seem to get across to these people is the idea that the very soul of any company with any form of intellectual property, customer satisfaction, or security/privacy policies that need to maintained, simply cannot 'ship' such responsibilities to the lowest bidder. I see the current trend as an expensive, foolish learning experience for people that still blind themselves to the universal truth that 'you get what you pay for'. Unfortunately that truth only plays out over time, and most of the 4P'ers are present for the short term gains, and GONE by the time the piper demands his/her pay.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Take out offshore and foreign visa workers - and the whole drive to SaaS, Cloud Based, "app as a utility" models is based on being able to ship your application deliverables to the lowest bidder. I'm not bought in yet. The whole idea of lowering TCO by buying into a shared pool of scalable hardware resources and IT staff sounds very good - and for organizations of limited resources and size it may very well be. At some point though, I think it is widely acknowledged that we end up returning to a "private cloud" solution. That model doesn't remove the costs of traditional IT. It obfuscates the physical layer behind a virtual one. I can't scale on the fly to meet demand peaks or to scale back without having those resources in reserve. I still need to have engineers and support to design, deploy monitor and maintain those solutions. The private cloud adds an abstraction layer that *increases* costs. This isn't without benefits. The scalability and reliability are real. The lower costs of ongoing management are real too, if well implemented. But it is hard to quantify and qualify what the actual return is on such an investment. This post obviously touches on a lot of subjects that are on the mind of forward thinking IT workers. I wish I knew the solutions. I'd write a book about it.

Head_IT_Man
Head_IT_Man

The world wants CHEAP and reliable IT - in that order. In the UK (and US, and Australia and......) where the cost of learning / training IT is so much higher than Bangalore/Shanghai/Beijing and, therefore, uncompetitive (from the consumers' points of view mind you - because they are price, not quality, sensitive), strategically, why would you bother learning IT at uni, knowing full well that some time in the future, their job category can (will) be outsourced to a 3rd-world nation. You're better off in commerce or engineering.

dcolbert
dcolbert like.author.displayName 1 Like

becoming a plumber or an electrician. There is job security in a localized service oriented industry - although it amuses me that domestic Doctors are facing stiff salary competition from Indian physicians who are willing to take the worst shifts and the lowest pay. It is nice to see that India isn't just disrupting *our* little niche of professional service work. You can't outsource medical work so much, but you can certainly import a glut of H1B visas. Maybe if this continues to affect such a lucrative part of the domestic American economy, we'll see some bigger guns lobbying for reasonable reform. Of course, who knows if that would turn out for the better or worse. No one listened when domestic IT workers were calling foul on H1B visas. Maybe we'll get some attention as the practice spreads.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

That's only going to happen when they start brining in people to fill the jobs of Politicians on H1B visas. Till that happens the Pollies will do their usual [b]Bugger All[/b] and then wonder why they are out of work. Personally I can not wait for that day to happen bring it on I say and get rid of our local Pollies. We just might start to get better candidates come up when this starts. ;) Col

jk2001
jk2001

Executive summary of concerns: 1. Lack of career stability due to industry instability, offshoring. 2. Unreasonable work conditions, particularly regarding being on-call (and not compensated for it) and working long hours. 3. Low pay. Solutions are probably: 1. Put certification and job training more in the hands of experienced workers. Right now, gurus are behind company walls, and colleges aren't necessarily teaching the relevant skills. 2. Follow existing labor laws. Workers need to also stop working on time. 3. There may be no remedy to this, but reforming H1B would probably help a bit. Also, support solution #2 for people in India, Eastern Europe, and China.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Education and skills are very hard to obtain, and market works very slowly and painfully in this area. Yet, the offshoring situation is about 20 years old at the moment, which means, that many imbalances are already resolved. Abandoning free market principles now, after all these years of painful adjustment, would make no sense, and solve nothing. > Also, support solution #2 for people in India, Eastern Europe, and China. Thanks for your concern, but my part of Eastern Europe is doing reasonably well at the moment ***knocking on wood***. We were offshoring destination in the 1990s, and it was fun. We were getting all the good stuff from you guys, the most interesting and creative projects, where personnel cost saving is the biggest when they are offshored. But, these times are long gone. As soon as our living standard improved a little around 2000... whoosh!... all the interesting and (relatively) well paid IT jobs fleed to cheaper places. Oh, well... easy come, easy go.

mdavis
mdavis

... IF there is truely a shortage... why the salaries don't reflect this shortage? Again, here in the states (my perspective) the salary bubble broke back around 2002-2003, recession set in and more and more people are laid off due to outsourcing to India (primarily) for development and call center. When I look in the papers and on the job boards I am truely baffled at how companies think that they are going to hire someone in that "system admin 1" job at $28-30K a year who has: 4 year degree, MCSE, CCNE, CISSP, 5+ year of extensive hands-on experience, is a master in every operating system known to man (past and future), is able to program fluently in JAVA, .net, Ruby, Pythin, Perl, HTML, graduated summa cum laude, has perfect teeth and thinks Justin Beiber makes good music. I mean seriously this person A. Doesnt exist or B. has been in the industry WAAY more than 5 years and most likely has a mortgage and 3 kids in college. So yeah there IS a percieved shortage of people when in reality it's more like a shortage of really desperate people. More likely is is the completely unrealistic expectaions of people wanting to hire an I.T. person that is the end-all-be-all person for I.T. For too many years now Accountants have been allowed to mandate policy imho. I DO think that I.T. needs to see things from the business unit perspective as well because we DO tend to be dismissive of non-I.T. people as just stupid and don't understand (which is partly I think why the accountant types never lost any sleep over us getting outsourced/offshored). Eventually I think the balance will return to the force when the major I.T. offshoring centers of the world begin to think that they deserve those 80K USD a year salaries and labor is no longer dirt cheap.

jkameleon
jkameleon like.author.displayName 1 Like

The maximum IT salary is roughly equal to the world's lowest salary plus travel expenses to that place (business class) plus other offshoring expenses. Nobody can afford to pay more than that. There is no tech skill shortage, of course, supply and demand are roughly balanced. Number of IT jobs keeps getting lower, and on the other side, limited salaries translate into lower number of people pursuing IT careers. There is, however, still a glut of academic folks lobbying and doing everything they can to get young people into their programs in order to save their jobs. As far as I can tell, they are the main perpetrators of skill shortage shouting. It's only normal that they are trying every trick in the book, as well as schemes undreamed of in order to save their precious academic careers. But... now that the foundation is gone, there is no way their proverbial ivory towers could possibly remain intact. I understand the academic people, yet, I have no sympathy for them. As a matter of fact, reinventing themselves as shelf stockers would be a proper punishment for them. Many of their former students were forced to do the same. There was similar phenomena in the second half of the 1980, and the victims were precision mechanics. The era of mechanical printers, teletypes, card punchers, etc was coming to an end, young people sensed it, and started to avoid the field. Precision mechanic trade schools and mechanical engineering universities spotted the trend and kicked up panic, exactly the way Paul Coby and ilk are doing. The result: A bunch of unemployed and unemployable young precision mechanics and machine engineers specialized in precision mechanics.

jibabel
jibabel

I've been working for the last 12 years, learning and practicing as many skills on the side line so I can stay sharp and updated. Yet each time I try to apply to a decent paying job I get told that I still don't have enough experience. I have been forced to accept technical support and deal with a routine mind-numbing position. I see close relatives who don't even have any diplomas, who drive trucks and fix plumbing, that speak 1 language, making WAY more than I do. Where is this gold promised during the rush in the beginning of the 2000???? I will discourage my kids in every possible way not to pursue IT. Instead sending them into management and finance so they can EXPLOIT people with great skills because that is the only lesson to learn here. Pay people peanuts and get monkeys!

jk2001
jk2001

You (and a lot of lower-level IT) need to find a structured career ladder. People who drive trucks and fix plumbing benefit from established, powerful labor unions that set standards for pay and training. All the non-union workers also benefit. IT help desk, net installers, low voltage electrical, and other grunts need to organize.

siteunseen
siteunseen

IT is as cool as it will ever be and has been. I think the problem is training and and amount of time required outside of work to keep up with technology is just too costly sometimes to justify choosing a career in IT, especially for newer workers. Programs like DreamSpark are good, but not enough.

AlphaW
AlphaW

I am in the USA, so I don't have the full European perspective but really why would anyone want an IT job these days, does anyone enjoy arbitrary deadlines set by non-IT people who have no idea how long things take to develop, late nights while the rest of the office leaves at 4:45? I think these kids are just smart, most IT jobs leave little room for creativity and leave you with no time for a life outside of work.

puckster970
puckster970

I agree with the vast majority here. IT isn't cool because one, training for the future is lacking; two, salaries and work hours are not realistic; and three outsourcing is seen as too common a practice. When I stated in IT I was told all the fluff from management about how we have the latest and greatest widgets in the area. Reality check after gettting hired that the widgets across the street were better created a rift right away. Finding the training to work on my old widgets that while I had heard of them was not where my starting instruction took place was costly. The company didn't want to invest in my development. Instead the moved me to a different widget line that no one had used yet and said learn that. The training involved in that was my ability to find info on the internet and calling a tech support line that was designed to troubleshoot not train. The salary scale put me lower than the average and with a family to think about the ability to train on my own became limited. couple that with long hours of "on call" meaning no overtime and you start to see the problem- no time to work outside on new skills and no pay to afford those skills creates a vacuum that leaves you a little disgruntled. Outsourcing will always be there. The need for someone to do various tasks that maybe are not in the skill set of your current workforce leads to management looking for cheap ways to get the things they want now. Hello outsourcing. Cut my costs for training and get my widgets faster is a win for management who need to report to boards and investors. eventually as the technology gets more intuitive you start to question why keeping a staff at all is a consideration, after all I can pick up a phone, wait on hold playing solitaire or answering email, and pay a one time fee just like my employee. hope that made sense. I know I am looking for the next widget across the street but the reality is that widget is still a widget and only my view will change until culture changes.

yodi.collins
yodi.collins

When did IT stop being cool?

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

for at least twenty years how cool IT (or at least its skill-set) is. It's hard to think of a spy/agent/action hero (cool) who does NOT have mad 'nerd skills'; they seem able to hack any password--while shooting people--then to upload to the internet (or burn to disk/USB drive) incriminating data...while throwing someone else out the window.This bit of subtext can't be lost on our media-saturated youth; even the fiendish-yet-charismatic uber-villains build and employ hi-tech gizmos that threaten civilization (and so on). The venerable Bond ("James Bond") became a geek in movies during my lifetime---he sure wasn't one in the books. Gradually, one by one, the plots were overhauled. The villains seemed to have caught on to IT skills (and 'science-induced' mayhem) first, but by the time Roger Moore came on Bond could stand at a terminal and undo mayhem (while shooting minions) as fast as the villian could initiate it.... Hollywood (and Pinewood, for that matter) deluge youth with examples of the 'value' of an IT skill-set. Somewhere along the line, kids (or their disillusioned parents) learn the realities of the field: unless you wish to grow up and either save or destroy the world, you'll have more of a career preparing geeks' lattes than being one yourself (as a previous commenter noted). Now I'm going to go watch 'Swordfish' again :-O

lightfju
lightfju

I don't think the issue here is that IT is not cool; the issue is where can I learn and put to use the new technologies. I used to work for a huge insurance company and was what I call a "button guy". I came in and did the same thing and could not stray from that "one button." I quit and went to a small non-profit and I can do *almost* anything. The VP of IT encourages me to have my team learn new things and bring new technology to the agency. I think the biggest reason is that there is not a group of "higher ups" clueless and making decisions. Just my thoughts...

The Admiral
The Admiral

I for one keep hearing all of this stuff from CEO's and IT Executives that in order to make up for the lack of folks going into the IT realm, they need to put a shiny new glean on it. When in fact, the problem of the lack of IT skills comes down to three things. First is believing that a standard process of support can fix all problems. It don't, it commonly won't, and the fact is that CEO's and IT Execs expect it to the fix all. It's not. Additionally, they will come up with a best practices document that is good for a finite amount of time before it is outdated, and that is normally five minutes after the final draft has been approved. Second, LEAN processes have made it so that there is a severe lack of being able to focus on the problem at hand. While I love the idea of multi-tasking - there is a problem with it. It takes four times longer, and costs six times more than someone who is dedicated. Sure, you can peddle in front of your superiors that you have saved the company money - but they are still looking to toss the work over the ocean. The problem with that is 98% of all IT work that goes across the ocean has to come back for rework. No matter if it is database or simply cutting a ticket to the helpdesk. It is simply not efficient, and we have to point that out and say "Stop it." Third, "SMART" business practices puts the IT folks hands in handcuffs, ties them to a chair, and kicks them down the stairs in what is commonly referred to as streamlining. A helpdesk agent can not spend more than 8 minutes on a call with a person who has a legitimate problem. In fact, the helpdesk agent is being paid per ticket closed than per resolved ticket. As an example - I still have a corporate laptop here that needs a new hard drive - and it has been a month, and fourteen calls to the helpdesk. Each time they tell me the ticket was closed for some "Strange" reason. The other problems with IT are due to poor executive management decisions to outsource, outsource, outsource, and when presented a problem with the oursourcing, thow a layer of buracracy on top of it to cover up the incompetence. I still to this day say that one good system administratior in the United States is worth 14 in other countries. And cheaper. I have yet to be proven wrong.

BobManGM
BobManGM

IT is not cool. We all know how this works...soccer star...cool...rock guitar god...cool...DBA...not cool. Even with "The Big Bang Theory", it isn't cool to be a "nerd" (I've seen way to many guys laughing at the antics of the "geek" and not really getting the show). Show people it is profitable to be in IT and then you have something people want.

Paulfwb
Paulfwb like.author.displayName 1 Like

Let's face it, in spite of a few stellar salaries the hands-on IT professional is often treated like a cheap tradable commodity. Look the big companies that offer the miracle of off-shoring. Most of their core staff are accountants not IT people and not concerned about the long term market conditions. Sure enough, moving work from Munich to Hydrabad will be an exciting opportunity to make huge savings, but as any fool knows, and any decent person hopes, people in Hydrabad will expect their living standards to rise, and their fees will flow. So where does that leave us? IT is a stressful, demanding profession that has little job stability. The real businesses like insurance, banking, manufacturing, technology, etc. having enjoyed the "holiday" of cheap IT people suffer the kick-back of there not being enough good IT professional in their local markets, and those companies that shouted about the wonders of off-shoring walk away with the cash, and the accountants. Do you seriously expect me to encourage my son to follow my foot steps into IT?

jkameleon
jkameleon like.author.displayName 1 Like

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_memory Some manufacturers employed Scandinavian seamstresses who had been laid off due to mechanization of the textile industry, for example to replace the memory of the Swedish computer BESK with core memory in 1956. By the late 1950s industrial plants had been set up in the Far East to build core. Inside, hundreds of workers strung cores for low pay. This lowered the cost of core to the point where it became largely universal as main memory by the early 1960s, replacing both inexpensive low-performance drum memory and costly high-performance systems using vacuum tubes, and later transistors, as memory. The cost of core memory declined sharply over the lifetime of the technology: costs began at roughly US$1.00 per bit and dropped to roughly US$0.01 per bit. Core was replaced by integrated semiconductor RAM chips in the 1970s.

erh7771
erh7771 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Calling a bunch of people who have access to data stupid. The US has the 3rd largest population on Earth and one of the highest colleges per capita on Earth AMONGST this 3rd largest population and we CAN'T train engineers?! YES, not only can we train them and put them to work we can do it fast and fairly US companies TRAIN not to hire US workers video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

CharlesRobinson
CharlesRobinson like.author.displayName 1 Like

Look at most of the career postings not only in Great Britain, but inside the United States. You have to have a certificate list as long as your arm and 3 to 5 years experience in every platform known to mankind. People are intimidated with the requirements and the certifications are expensive. If you do not have enough skilled workers then start an in house training system for entry level positions so they don't have do get all of those certifications all at once and don't have to have all of those years of experience. It is like we say in the Army, we don't get new Soldiers, we grow new Soldiers.

Professor8
Professor8

"You have to have a certificate list as long as your arm and 3 to 5 years experience" but no more. I.e. we're only interested in people 18-35... with experience in every wildly divergent "skill" under the sun. Those expensive certs also keep out the riff-raff who have been unemployed for a while, keep you futilely chasing butterflies (the next great "opportunity" as reported in the media) in every direction, and, most importantly, cut the execs' investment in education and training so they can pocket more for themselves.

Chuck L
Chuck L like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

... but as long as you can get more money making java at Starbucks than coding in Java at some of the Web design sweat houses out there, people will opt to work at the Starbucks. At least there's food there ...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

with a skills list longer than most people's resume, feel free to get in touch... Regards Tony

SPGuest
SPGuest

I was informed by a much younger hiring manager that he did not want someone with a lot of skills he wanted people with ONLY this particular skill. Althought I had the skill because of all the other skills I was no use to him! Since I have found others making the same decision and I am at a loss to know why - expect it could be a legal way to rule out the older IT professionals.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Accounts tell HR that they only want this as if they get more they are scared that they might have to pay for what they are getting or worse the person will get the job become restless with the lack of different work and accept a job elsewhere where they have more to do. It all boils down to money and what the people in HR think you are worth. This is a perfect example where they refuse to accept a Million Pound Bank Note for the asking price of 10 Shillings. ;) Col

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is one of the bonus balls in the hiring process. That and explaining there's no such thing as Windows SLQ Server.

technomom_z
technomom_z like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 16 Like

What on earth did CIOs expect? If you take the money and creativity out of being an IT worker in the States or the UK, of COURSE people will gravitate toward other fields. You reap what you sow. I'm getting out of IT because I've had it. Somewhere along the line, instead of getting to do the cutting edge, exciting IT work, I got given the job to babysit a bunch of offshore workers who once read "Java in 6 Weeks". The company calls them "skilled". Why should I encourage my kids or anyone to get into a field where you'll eventually be doing that?

Professor8
Professor8

No evidence of a shortage of US citizen STEM workers has ever been presented, and there is no evidence of an impending shortage, either. However, a few dozen academic examinations of STEM job markets concluded that there are no such shortages, and a few of them concluded that we've been producing about 3 times as many capable STEM workers as we've been employing in STEM fields.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer like.author.displayName 1 Like

The blog is 'European Technology', and the specifics cited were for England, not the US.

Professor8
Professor8

No evidence has been presented of a skills or talent shortage in the UK, in the USA, in Germany or France or Italy or Japan. A lot of evidence has been presented that there are no such shortages. Compensation is not soaring and in some cases is not keeping up with inflation to allow maintenance of quality of living. Employers are not actually behaving as though they are eager to hire the best talent. Instead, domestic and cross-border bodyshopping have been increasing. All we've seen is a few individuals with a personal interest -- with money and power to get for themselves -- claiming a shortage, without actually backing up such claims with any evidence. It's "because I say so". But "IT" was never, ever cool. Inventing and developing killer apps (especially for science and engineering) was cool, but very little of that is allowed to take place as we are inundated under privacy violation schemes... and bodyshopping.

jkameleon
jkameleon like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

IT World is thoroughly globalized.There are only two kind of places in it: 1) Places without decent living standard 2) Places without IT jobs For the time being, England is still in the 2st category. And, if there are no jobs, there is no need for universities and management either.