The Bureau Labor Statistics reports that employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow 17 percent over the 2008-18 decade (faster than the average for all occupations).
However, due to a decline in the number of students enrolling in math, computer and science courses, employers may not find the qualified graduates they need to fill available positions. Attraction to IT fields is dwindling – just when we need increasing numbers.
Though the problem is simple, the solution may not be. Turning the future talent shortage around will take a proactive, collaborative effort among all the elements of our IT ecosystem: service providers, enterprise IT, and academic institutions at every level.
Here are a few steps you and your organization can take to do your part, and begin closing the looming talent gap:
- Collaborate with universities. Universities are looking for guidance in developing relevant curricula that will help their students get the best possible jobs. Help department heads determine which courses to drop, keep or add so students will graduate prepared.
- Launch your own PR campaign. Get the message out to middle and high school students that IT careers are on the rise. Have your PR or marketing experts develop communications (kid-friendly brochures, press releases, or articles to go in school newspapers) to drum-up interest in science, technology and math courses.
- Create IT ambassadors. Have employees volunteer for career days at schools in your area. Bring classes in for interactive field trips (think hands-on, visual, and activity-oriented), or invite individual students to shadow tech professionals for a day.
- Send your new IT hires back. Ask a successful recent IT graduate to speak about his accomplishments to freshmen at local universities. By sharing his enthusiasm and experience, he can dispel common myths that technical professionals are just back-office geek programmers, and that all the good IT jobs are being sent to India. His real-life success story will act as a valuable recruiting tool for the university’s IT program.
- Offer internships or co-op positions. Providing work opportunities (paid or unpaid) for college students is a great way to support university programs. Your efforts will in turn ensure a steady flow of premium candidates into your organization.
With offices throughout Middle Tennessee, Wood Personnel is always available to help you find the talented IT programmers, analysts, developers, and management professionals your organization needs. Contact us today with your staffing requirements.