The tech unemployment rate is notably low at the moment, hitting 1.7 percent in January. The scramble to find technologists and other highly specialized workers is hitting enterprises especially hard, according to a new report.
Udacity and Ipsos polled 2,000 managers and 4,000 employees between August and September 2021, and found that 59 percent of enterprises were impacted by the inability to source skilled employees. Those impacts included project delays, a loss in innovation, and the need to outsource tasks because of a lack of internal talent. (The report, which is available on Udacity’s site, requires you to submit your information to unlock.)
The report suggests that educating and upskilling employees can solve at least part of the problem. From an employee perspective, there’s a generalized perception that more education can boost morale, with 56 percent of respondents agreeing “that having the opportunity to improve their skills will boost happiness at the workplace.”
Upskilling is also vital to retention, with 47 percent of respondents stating that “having opportunities to improve their skills encourages them to stay with their current companies.” More younger workers expect their companies to provide effective training and development programs as a matter of course.
However, there’s a disconnect about the impact of current programs. While 80 percent of enterprises classified their development programs as successful, only 45 percent of employees said they were satisfied with those programs—a major gap that could lead to problems in morale and retention. “Enterprises are becoming increasingly out of touch with what their employees need,” the report added. “They are letting resources go to waste instead of getting to the root of the talent crisis”
For technologists, organizations’ need to retain skilled workers is something you can bend to your advantage. You have the leverage to ask your manager for more responsibility—and the compensation and perks that go with that. Stay aware of your organization’s broader tech strategy and figure out how your skills can play a role in it. And if you feel the need for more training and education, chances are good that your company will be only too happy to foot the bill—just make sure to emphasize how whatever you learn will make you more effective at your job.