Just how important are wireless skills to IT departments? A survey of more than 3,500 IT managers released today by CompTIA, a trade association, identified wireless skills as those that will be the most important for businesses to have in-house in the next five years.
"Between telecommuting, workers on the road, working remotely and all of the flavors of wireless out there, they feel it is needed in their IT departments as well," said Steve Ostrowski, CompTIA's corporate public relations manager.
The need for these skills was especially strong in health care and education, cited by 63 percent of respondents in each.
"There isn't a title out there now for a wireless technician. The role gets folded into other jobs, but this might need to change. Everyone is going to need to have wireless skills in the next three to five years, and it is conceivable that departments will need a strictly wireless person as well," said Ostrowski.
Where these wireless-skilled IT professionals will come from is another matter. While some might come from the telecom arena, low computer science degree enrollments are likely to make finding these techies more difficult. Furthermore, four-year schools aren't always as quick as they need to be to adjust their curricula to current job market needs.
"Sometimes school systems are slow, and it's the way they're set up. The commercial training providers and community colleges may be quicker to step up their wireless offering. We'd certainly advise any school with an engineering or technology program for students to add wireless components, because we're going to need it," said Ostrowski.