On a broader scale, reskilling the existing workforce is important to increase societal adaptation to technological change, create education systems for generations of workers to come, and fuel future economic growth.
For companies, reskilling is necessary to find the talent they need, as high-tech jobs are high-skill and underserved by traditional higher ed. In fact, in a recent study our parent company The Learning House carried out with Future Workplace, they found that 47% of employers feel colleges aren’t preparing students for the working world. They believe the most in-demand college majors are computer information systems (63%), and finance and economics (56%).
Additionally, McKinsey notes that over the past few decades, “investments and policies to support the workforce have eroded. Public spending on labor-force training and support has fallen in most member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).” Which is why businesses will be on the front lines as the workplace evolves, reevaluating talent strategies and reskilling and redeploying employees.
This holds especially true for businesses in need of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers.
That’s because there are currently 3 million more STEM jobs available than STEM workers, with 13 STEM jobs posted online for every one STEM worker.
Businesses are already feeling the squeeze, with 75% reporting that finding tech workers to fill important IT positions is a challenge. Predictions say it will only get worse, with an estimated 1 million more computing jobs than workers who can fill them by 2020.
According to the World Economic Forum:
“Disruptive technological and socio-economic forces threaten to swiftly outdate the shelf life of people’s skillsets and the relevance of what they thought they knew about the path to social mobility and rewarding employment...The individuals who will succeed in the economy of the future will be those who can complement the work done by mechanical or algorithmic technologies, and ‘work with the machines’.”
If companies offer tech training or certifications to their own workers, there’s an advantage to promoting from within or offering lateral career moves instead of hiring someone completely new—someone unfamiliar with the company and its culture, history, and goals.
And you might be surprised at how many of your current employees are interested in moving into the software development space, even if it’s a lateral move as opposed to a promotion. Harvard Business Review found that 66% of employees first look to see if there are open and interesting positions at their current company before looking elsewhere:
“What this suggests is that employees want to remain loyal to their current employers, but only if they have the opportunity to grow — by either finding something that makes them happier or being given the chance to tackle a new challenge.”
Why might employees be motivated to do this in the first place? To find greater personal satisfaction (57%), pursue an entirely new career path (41%), and/or take up a professional challenge (40%).
At The Software Guild, we recognize that your next stellar developer might not be a developer at all—at least not at the moment. Maybe s/he is working in a different department, and his/her role is about to become automated or obsolete, or maybe s/he is just ready for a change.
Maintaining domain knowledge and cultural fit of a known employee means holding on to that insight into the company and process that can be hard to grow in a new hire. Rather than lose that valuable industry and institutional knowledge, we can help you retrain your staff to give them the IT skills needed to make the switch to software development or data engineering.