Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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March 10, 2016

Filling the Skills Gap

By Charles Eaton

Charles_blogLast year 3.6 million open IT jobs were posted online, waiting to be filled by curious and motivated people. That many open jobs is hard to imagine, and it’s a 62% increase over the prior year, according to Burning Glass, which keeps tabs on employment data and highlights industries in which more people are needed.

In my job, I hear the cry from employers saying, “We need more qualified people!” We call it a skills gap: There are jobs to do, but not enough people trained to take them on. On top of that, a whole generation of IT workers is about to retire, meaning there will be even more jobs available in the coming years.

Technology jobs will be among the fastest-growing and highest-paid positions over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A spark is all it takes to ignite a child’s interest in technology and, compared to becoming a doctor or lawyer, it takes a fraction of the time to learn the ropes. Exposing teenagers to the fundamental concepts of technology opens them up to a variety of new opportunities and job possibilities. Many may be inspired to tackle local and global challenges using technology as a powerful tool to make change.

In the business world, companies use technology to solve all sorts of problems. They hire people who are qualified technically and have the essential soft skills to become valuable members of a team. And companies pay tech workers what the market demands, which can be very high wages in many technical fields. The average annual salary in IT is $79,390 — a healthy wage that’s more than twice the average pay of the private sector. Some of these jobs are filled each year by people who don’t have a four-year college degree or the debt that too often accompanies such a diploma.

Once you find an interest, jobs in technology are plentiful. Careers in security, mobility and cloud technology are waiting for anyone who’s up for them, and they’re available at organizations large and small, from coast to coast. There’s a place in the tech industry for anyone who’s willing to keep learning.