Tech Skills Gap: Fact or Faked?

The headlines shout  “skills gap in tech” will bankrupt business in the coming years! New programs are being developed, bootcamps are opening, new schools are popping up across the US and the world to meet ever-increasing demand. But is the tech skills gap fact or fiction? If you follow the news, the problem is increasing exponentially, but a new study, published by  Forrester, Debunking the US Tech Talent Shortage: Creative CIOs Will Find Or Develop The Tech Talent They Need, says the gap is largely geographic and highly exaggerated.

What have the authors of this study found that others have not?  Pulling data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they found some information of interest:

  • In the US, businesses are adding tech jobs at a pace higher than the national average. For application developers and security specialists, the rate is growing above 7% for the last five years. Analysts and managers of tech systems have a compound average growth rate above 3%. The national average is less than 2%.
  • But with all that growth, wages have not risen significantly. For the bulk of high tech jobs, wage growth has been less than 3%. On average, nationally, wages grew 2% during the same period. This seems to indicate that for all the competition for top talent, employers are not having to spend a lot in order to hire. In a tight market, you would expect to see wages skyrocket to meet demand, but that’s not been the case.
  • While the demand for tech grads is growing, the US Department of Education reports the number or new grads with tech or tech-related degrees has been growing at a higher rate than the number of new US tech or tech-related jobs. The operative words here may be “new jobs,” but explosive growth doesn’t seem to be the norm.

The tech labor market is being flooded with talent. In addition to 4 year degrees in computer science, bootcamp style schools are propping up the labor force, and self-taught talent is on the rise.

In some areas, like cyber-security, where the skills gap seems to be widening, a majority of tech workers are expressing an interest in the field. Their foray into security will open jobs behind them, in time for new grads to fill.

Geography plays a role in the talent competition. Outside Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots, employers struggle to hire. Many are turning to rebranding to attract candidates: others are looking at offering flexible work conditions and and remote workers make themselves more attractive in the marketplace.

For hiring managers and tech vendors, the need to find top talent will always be priority number one, but the competition, at least today, may not be as stiff as reported. Creative hiring managers who look to upskill current employees or offer better benefits and work-life balance seem to be competing well, even with the reported skills gap working against them.

Find out how Rankdone can help you beat the skills gap and hire the best talent available for your opening. Contact us today.






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