Nebraska’s unemployment rate in December was 2.9 percent — nearly half the national average of 5.6 percent, according to the state Department of Labor.
In the field of information technology, unemployment was even lower, hovering around 1 percent.
That’s great news, right? The answer is both yes and no, explained Brady Blankenship, account manager, and Katie Burbach, senior technical recruiter with TEKsystems in Omaha.
TEKsystems is a leading provider of IT staffing, IT talent management and IT services. Every year, TEKsystems deploys more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company’s insights into the IT labor market help clients achieve business goals while optimizing their own IT workforce strategies.
“Low unemployment in the IT industry is a double-edged sword,” Burbach explained. “Employers need your services, but it also can be a challenge to find the right candidates with the necessary experience. We tend to have more open positions than qualified candidates.”
That’s why TEKsystems was pleased to partner with IT-Ready when it offered a one-time, “pop up” training location in Omaha.
IT-Ready is an eight-week, hands-on educational and training program that prepares participants for CompTIA A+ certification and entry-level IT positions at area companies. IT-Ready takes bright, motivated individuals who lack opportunity and teaches them the hard technical and soft professional skills needed to successfully secure work in the field of IT.
Blankenship said it was IT-Ready’s focus on teaching both hard and soft skills that impressed him when he interviewed IT-Ready graduates.
For example, Blankenship said, one candidate — whom TEKsystems hired — arrived for his interview wearing a business suit and demonstrating knowledge about the company.
“He had clearly done his research about us, which we love to see,” Blankenship said. “He was very polished, had great communication skills and had previous customer service experience.”
Both Blakenship and Burbach said their peers working in TEKsystems locations throughout the United States would similarly welcome the chance to interview and recruit IT-Ready graduates.
“It’s a perfect partnership,” Blankenship said. “TEKsystems is always looking for qualified, entry-level candidates who have experience and represent themselves well. And IT-Ready offers technical knowledge and real-life work experience.”
IT-Ready Technical Support classes are offered through Creating IT Futures’ CompTIA Tech Career Academy. Online and in-person classes are offered in a number of locations. Learn more at comptiatech.org.