I participated in a survey and two focus group sessions sponsored by the SHRC and CATA. My lasting impressions: there’s a “right” skills shortage now and insufficient numbers to meet our future demands around 2010. This is a serious situation since Canada lags in productivity and this is attributable to lower ICT penetration in businesses supported by qualified IS workers.
What do I mean by the “right” skills? There is no question, there are unemployed IT workers. The key here is that businesses are looking for IT professionals with multiple deep skills sets combined with relationship, communication, core process, industry acumen and solid business knowledge. The requirements have changed and this will become even more pronounced for the future. What are the colleges and universities doing about this? How about employers—are they providing the necessary skills development and training? What about internationally trained workers where assessing qualifications can be a challenge; cultural and language issues present added barriers?
It’s our responsibility to raise these issues and to seek solutions. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.