Digital learning mega-platform Skillsoft has launched a new tool specifically designed to build market competencies - Career Journeys, a follow-up to its earlier skills-oriented Aspire Journeys tool on the Percipio platform. Where Aspire Journeys targets specific skill sets or individual skills, Career Journeys is meant to drive specific growth competencies associated with entire roles. For example, the cybersecurity career journey - targeting a field where the demand for talent massively outstrips supply - maps training to the actual IT certifications required for a practicing cybersecurity role.
“The skills needed for organisations to remain competitive are being redefined at an accelerated rate. Leaders widely view the current talent shortage as the number one threat to business, and they cannot simply “hire their way” into closing skills gaps – competencies must be developed from the inside out,” said Mark Onisk, Chief Content Officer of Skillsoft.
Speaking with People Matters on the skills shortage, Onisk highlighted that the skills gap in tech and IT is by far the largest among the industries Skillsoft serves. "When it comes to IT skills specifically, the skills shortage problem is no longer just a moving target; it’s a runaway train," he said.
Data from Skillsoft's Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report shows that 38% of businesses were unable to fill three or more IT positions last year, and 76% of IT decision-makers worldwide are facing critical skills gaps in their departments. Unsurprisingly, statistics from the Percipio platform also showed 36% growth in the consumption of technology and development skills, as well as 30% growth in the consumption of security-related content.
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Onisk flagged out three major challenge areas that companies now face:
Cybersecurity: "For the sixth straight year, IT professionals in this field are the most sought after and cause the biggest headache for IT decision-makers who need to fill these positions. This challenge remains constant on a global scale," he told People Matters.
Cloud computing: the pandemic saw a rush to cloud services, and adoption rates are outpacing training as a result. "IT decision-makers struggle to find the right individuals to keep up with evolving technology needs. This is troubling because organisations have invested heavily in cloud programs and services and need cloud architects, administrators, and other experts to ensure those investments pay off," Onisk said.
Analytics and big data: Skillsoft's report shows that 23% of IT decision-makers have experienced difficulties filling positions related to analytics and big data, as well as AI and machine learning, systems and solutions architects, and DevOps.
In addition, the demand for leadership and business power skills, as well as compliance skills, has gone up.
Training up enough talent to fill the open roles, across the spectrum of capabilities needed, will require more intensive learning tools, Onisk believes. What that means is, digital learning platforms have to incorporate a wider range of approaches such as instructor-led training, digital coaching, and hands-on practice labs.
"Today’s employees want highly engaging, outcome-oriented learning experiences to help them build the in-depth capabilities needed to do their jobs. As a result, there is an immense need for a more flexible and immersive learning experience with multiple learning modalities that align with specific growth competencies," he noted.