IT development 'outpacing training' for firms

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Many firms are falling behind on training for essential IT staff (image credit: iStock/NicoElNino)

The speed of development within the IT sector is posing something of a headache for many firms, as businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of change.

This is the conclusion of new research from global freelancing site Upwork, which showed that more than one-third (36 per cent) of IT professionals claim to have not received any specific technical training from their employer within the last three years.

However, this is despite the fact that 97 per cent of respondents to the poll stated their belief that ongoing professional development is key to successful progression within the industry.

Overall, the research highlighted a number of challenges facing businesses when it comes to the appropriate training of IT staff, with the main hindrances including:

  • Budget restrictions (49 per cent)
  • Time limitations (44 per cent)
  • Prioritising other business responsibilities (33 per cent)

Furthermore, a lack of resourcing for this essential practise was shown to have an impact on career progression and job satisfaction for staff, with 89 per cent of respondents to the study stating they would consider leaving their current role to pursue improved training opportunities elsewhere.

Rich Pearson, senior vice president of marketing at Upwork, said: "IT managers recognise the value in having a well-trained workforce but other business priorities and tight budgets mean training is often neglected.

"As a result, workers often feel stifled in their jobs, which can have negative effects on performance, morale and loyalty.

"To alleviate these pressures [that] in-house teams face, businesses shouldn't be afraid to look beyond their four walls and capitalise on independent professionals with proven expertise in the specific technical skills they need."

Indeed, businesses must therefore aim to ensure they are providing the necessary opportunities for skills development in order to limit the costs involved with bringing in outside support - albeit with this being a viable course of action in extreme circumstances.

Overall, the Upwork report showed that the areas that are most in need of ongoing skills development include JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS and Node.js, as well as NoSQL database structuring and analytics related to the rise of big data.

Many IT professionals feel they are being left behind by the rapid development in each of these areas at present and businesses should therefore prioritise essential training if they wish to not only hold on to skilled staff, but also see their own operations excel in the future.