Global Knowledge study reveals present and future skills issues facing IT departments worldwide

Bibhas Bhattacharya

Bibhas Bhattacharya

Intelligent Cloud Business Group Lead

Read Time, 2 min.

All around the world, IT departments are facing similar challenges. Worrying skills gaps, heavy workloads and new cybersecurity threats are ever-present. Understanding how the IT community is reacting to – and coping with – these demands is hugely valuable.

The IT Skills and Salary Report, a comprehensive study by Global Knowledge, provides that intelligence based on a survey of over 16,000 IT professionals.

By reporting on key areas such as compensation, certifications, professional development and job satisfaction, the study shows the skills in greatest demand, as well as the challenges facing IT professionals worldwide, and how their roles may change going forward.

Its findings corroborate of the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2018, which estimates that automation and AI could displace 75 million jobs by 2022 – while creating 133 million new roles.

Skills gaps are a global concern

More than two-thirds of IT decision-makers report a gap between their team’s skill levels and the knowledge required to achieve organizational objectives. They are universally concerned about whether their teams have the skills needed to meet their goals.

Blockchain is the most desired skillset, and the skill that’s most lacking. It’s closely followed by AI and cognitive computing.

A serious demand for cloud computing and cybersecurity

38% of those surveyed reported that they were having a difficult time finding qualified cybersecurity talent, while 29% identified cloud computing as a recruitment challenge. About 25% of respondents listed virtualization, networking, Internet of Things (IoT) and AI/cognitive computing as investment priorities for their organizations.

Certifications really matter

The study also shows increased respect for the value of certifications. In Global Knowledge’s , 70% of IT professionals believed that certifications lead to a more effective staff. Today that figure is over 90%. The most coveted certifications are in blockchain, cloud computing and DevOps.

Respondents across the board noted a correlation between certification and a rise in productivity – as well as a reduction in skills gaps. This is one reason why certified professionals working in EMEA earn about $3,000 more than those with no certifications.

With that in mind, Microsoft Level Up has been developed to take your cloud skills to another level – and provide the certifications to prove it.  Also, Azure Heroes on Microsoft Level Up rewards individuals with collectible ‘digital badgers’ allowing them to showcase their achievements, community contributions and expertise.

Business is good but workloads are heavy

Globally, 60% of IT decision-makers report that business is good. But with 65% also saying that hiring qualified talent is a problem, workloads have consequently become challenging for 75% of respondents. An alarming 37% went even further and said that work pressure is ‘very challenging’ or ‘the worst they’ve seen’.

Never has the need to fill our IT skills gaps been more pressing.

Now you can boost your career with free online courses and certifications.

Discover the Microsoft Level Up programme and start upping your cloud skills.

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