Tech Professionals Feel New Hires ‘Unprepared’ for Jobs

A new study from INAP shows nearly half of IT professionals feel those who are new to their roles are “unprepared,” while admitting they don’t refresh their own skillsets often enough.

Around 49 percent don’t think “new talent entering the IT workforce is adequately prepared for the roles and responsibilities of today’s IT environment.” It’s an interesting stance, especially as respondents also say “innovativeness” is the most valuable characteristic an IT pro can have. IT pros are big on remaining innovative, but don’t think those who are fresh out of school or training are prepared for the rigors of the workplace.

Seventy-one percent of those queried for this study say they personally need more training on infrastructure. Specifically, they don’t think they understand modern cloud technology, and “could use more training on all of the different types of server and cloud infrastructure that we use and plan to use in the near future.”

Jeff Atkinson, CIO of INAP, said:

“IT’s traditional function of equipping their organizations with the technology systems and tools they need to thrive has been augmented with a strategic role in driving digital transformation. Given the fast, ever evolving pace of technology and its uses within the enterprise, it’s an enormous job for IT teams to just keep up with best practices for operating, maintaining and securing their software and systems, let alone drive innovation as a true partner to business units.”

This underscores another point made in the study: How many roles does a single IT pro undertake throughout their career? Five percent say their careers have had a singular focus, but most – 53 percent – feel as though they’ve had 2-5 different roles. Some 27 percent report having somewhere between five and ten unique job titles.

INAP points out that, in the fourth quarter of 2017, AWS launched 497 new features for IT pros. Regardless of what AWS launched before or since, that’s a massive dump of tech for any IT pro to absorb, and hints at the issues that many in the industry face on a regular basis. Most are trying their best; 11 percent of respondents say they participate in weekly training sessions, and 37 percent say they refresh their skillset or learn new things monthly.

An additional 27 percent say they participate in annual skills development, and 24 percent say they do it “only when needed.” One percent “never” participate in training or skill development events.

There’s a unique correlation between respondents’ continuing education and their confidence in new IT professionals. Those new to the profession may have the fundamentals down, but the education system is notoriously slow to adapt to the latest tech.

Moving forward, Atkinson said, “soft skills like emotional intelligence, innovativeness, business acumen and flexibility have become just as important as technical know-how.” That means more skill development for some IT professionals who want to stay secure in their jobs.

7 Responses to “Tech Professionals Feel New Hires ‘Unprepared’ for Jobs”

  1. Jesse B

    How are workers supposed to refresh their IT skill sets with technology they don’t own and would have to pay for expensive cert programs out of pocket? If employers need trained workers on the very latest tech, then TRAIN THEM.

    I’m sick of having to train myself while unemployed and on my dime when employers should be responsible for worker success.

    • Daniel Makarewicz

      Companies have to come to grips that the only way they are going to recruit the workforce they want is by developing it internally themselves this is starting to hit home in large enterprise environments

  2. Amazon offers free-tier service so one can at least get a basic understanding of the cloud platform. Fresh graduates should always take this advantage to learn. This will show an employer that the person is serious about learning new things. This is helpful to getting employed.

    Once on the job, learn! If Amazon puts up 400+ new features in AWS in one year, don’t expect the company to train you on all 400+ features. Learn while on the job. There are plenty of articles and documents and videos describing how each service work.

    Only when a service is too difficult to self-learn should an employer pay for training. Once the employee is at this stage, however, there shouldn’t be any concerns about getting/staying employed. There are plenty of IT companies looking for this type of talent.

    • Ghost Bond

      “Fresh graduates should always take this advantage to learn.”

      What if…and I know this is a crazy idea but…what if that college education you went into tens of thousands of dollars of debt for…actually taught you the skills you paid to learn?

  3. I have been a Developer, Engineer, Architect, Software Tester, DBA, data modeller, Tech Lead/Mentor, and now they want us to do now….I have learned 5+ frameworks for UI including React on my own dime as if these mega Billion dollar companies are “Mom and Pop shops”. Jesse B, I am right there with you and to put it on the stack I am sick of the use and abuse relationship of contract work. Companies bring us in then toss us after we get the work done just to have some new face come in after they complain about not having employee A around anymore who had the skills before. It is abusive. I have it stated on my resume, no contracts yet these “recruiters” still bombard my email with contracts. Between companies having zero respect for employee, not wishing to help train or provide solid accessible training (I am pointing at TCS), and wishing to shove all responiblies off on I.T to get trainning to have a better stock portfolio….The cuss who came up with “Greed is Good” I got a black candle waiting for your name to be written on it…

  4. MicroGuy

    Truth is that if they want someone who has a very specific skillset, maybe they should pay enough to get that skillset.. It’s amazing to me that the expectations on a cloud migration expert is for a job that barely pays more than working as a manager at McDonnalds.. Why would anyone want that job, outside of the young kids that want the experience, which these companies won’t hire..

  5. Techkid

    Agree with most of this article and the comments from others here. Companies want the talent with expertise. Problem people with those skill levels hard to come by. This is further worsened by the fact companies don’t want to hire new and inexperienced. This is so stupid, take them in and train them and mold them for your organization. Overall training is another convo that i can go on about in the negative.