Anyone who works within enterprise technology learns very quickly that if they want to stay relevant to the workforce, they’ll need to continuously learn new skills. But it’s certainly hard keeping up with new skill training while also keeping pace with day-to-day work demands.
This is probably why a survey earlier this year from IT management software provider SolarWinds found that 70% of all technology professionals surveyed do not feel completely confident that they have all the necessary skills they’ll need to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years.
A certain amount of fear that one’s current skillsets may become antiqued by technological change is worthwhile, but that apprehension is only useful if technology professionals turn that energy into action. According to a more recent SolarWinds survey, 60% of technology professionals haven’t actively pursued learning a new skill or completed a certification in the last six months.
The survey, Building Confidence for Tech Pros of Tomorrow, is based on an international survey of 177 technology professionals within both the public and private sectors. It was fielded in August 2019.
The survey found roughly 50% of the technology professionals who did start a certification process did not finish. The primary reason was lack of time.
Enterprises, aware that there exist challenges when it comes to finding the staff with the skills they need, are making efforts to mitigate their staffing challenges. These efforts predominately involve internal trainings, with 35% of respondents citing such training. Additionally, 54% of respondents said full-day in-person workshops provide the most value for the time spent.
The survey also found soft skills are becoming increasingly important, with 46% of respondents stating interpersonal communications skills are the most critical for career growth. Other top skills were project management (56%) and public speaking/presentations (52%).
Interesting, the majority of technology professionals surveyed said, while they are confident speaking with business leaders, they don’t believe they are adequately equipped with the support and tools they need to be effective at their work. According to the survey, the top two requirements for technology professionals to become confident managing current and future environments include increased budget/additional resources (64%) and more support from IT or business leadership (48%).
Finally, and which could be a sign of the increased reliance of enterprises on software, the survey found application performance management (APM) skills are increasingly necessary for technology professionals. Survey respondents cited application support, troubleshooting and monitoring as tasks they are increasingly responsible. And 53% said user experience monitoring of applications is an additional skill of theirs that they are required to develop.