Training budgets suffer from great expectations

If you didn't spend as much on training last year as you thought you would, you are not alone. Our survey results indicate that a lot of organizations dropped the ball when it came to IT training. Check out our results and see how training has fared.

It seems as though, when it comes to IT training, most IT pros are finding it difficult follow through on their lofty plans.

That is what we’ve surmised from our recent survey on training budgets and expectations. We ran this same survey a year ago, and although the same members are unlikely to have taken both, the trends in each survey are worth noting.

For example, when you compare what survey respondents in the earlier survey said they expected to spend on training to what respondents in this year’s survey said they actually spent, actual spending was much less (see Figure A).

Figure A
Compare 2000 training expectations with what happened in 2001.

In 2000, most IT pros expected to spend between $500 and $5,000 on training. However, the percentage of techs who reported spending less than $500 on training during the last year was much higher than one would have expected, given the 2000 survey results. If you compare 2001 spending with 2000 spending, it appears as though training expenses were dramatically reduced.

A closer comparison of next year's anticipated training costs with last year's anticipated training costs (in Figure A) shows that, apparently, hope springs eternal, with techs again setting aside big training budgets. Despite the fact that IT pros still anticipate spending this large amount of money during the next year, if the trend continues, they will again fall short of their goals. Although they have lowered their expectations slightly, so the gap between their expected spending and their actual spending should not be as large as last year.

Why the downturn?
This survey doesn't address the reasons for the drop in training expenditures. To get to the root cause, we’ll put together a survey that focuses on the decreased spending. We’ll find out if the budget money for training dried up or if everyone was so busy they couldn't find time for training. In the meantime, you can help us craft the survey by letting us know why your company has spent less than expected on training.

Who foots the bill?
In terms of who pays for IT training, expectations are much closer to reality. According to both graphs in Figure B, the overall impression is that fewer people than expected had to pay for their training, and so, based on that, many IT pros are predicting that next year they personally won't have to pay as much for their training.

Figure B
Survey respondents see a trend toward not having to pay for their own training.

That assumption is based on the fact that 49 percent from the 2000 survey expected to pay for their own training last year, while only 46 percent from this year’s survey actually had to pay their own way.

Only 44 percent from the 2001 survey expect to pay for their own training next year, while more than half from the same survey think their employer will pay.

What do you think?
Do you think it is better to pay for training yourself in order to direct what qualifications you will have in the future? Can you do that if your employer pays? Tell us what you think in the discussion below or send us a note.


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