Career Central - 11

A brief compendium of the IT workplace.

IT Workers Want More Support From Boss

Tech workers are lacking in career support from their superiors, according to a study released Nov. 14 by Dice.com, a New York-based online career site for technology professionals.

Eighty-two percent of IT professionals said that being able to keep their skills up-to-date was their biggest concern. Yet, one-third of respondents said their employers encouragement in this area was "only fair" or subpar; 26 percent rated their employers performance in this area as "excellent," and 40 percent rated it as "good" (see accompanying chart).

What skills development bosses are providing is mostly in-house, the study found. Thirty-seven percent provide in-house training, 32 percent provide tuition reimbursement and 28 percent allow for reimbursement of professional courses. Yet overall, employees have extra hurdles to jump over to take these reimbursed classes, as only 26 percent of employers offer time off to attend classes.

IT Industry Sees Slight Job Decline

With a loss of 1,800 workers, IT employment pulled back in October, according to a report released Nov. 10 by the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses.

The .05 percent decline in October came one month after the NACCB, an Alexandria, Va., trade association that represents IT staffing and solutions firms, announced that IT hiring had been flat in September, the first month without growth in more than a year.

Still, the report asserts that the slight decline is just a small spot in a bright picture for IT employment prospects. The IT services industry is described as "buoyant," as employment has grown 140,000 jobs, or 4 percent, since October 2005.

There were almost 3.7 million people employed in IT in October, which after September was the highest level in the last 12 months. IT employment was on a steady rise from January through September. The report attributes the downturn to dips in employment in some manufacturing subsectors.

Training Program Aims for Diversification

The CompTIA Educational Foundation has a new IT job training initiative under which it will create a fund to help returning veterans, people with disabilities and disadvantaged minorities break into the IT industry.

Announced at the organizations SMB Summit in Tucson, Ariz., from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, the Creating Futures program will be funded initially with $3 million drawn from the vendor membership of the organization, said Wayne Mize, chair of the CompTIA board of directors. Mize also is vice president at the Netsourcing Business Center in the Document Solutions & Services Division of Ricoh U.S., in West Caldwell, N.J.

According to Mize, CompTIA plans to solicit additional funds from its membership to add additional tax-deductible funds to the program.

"The idea is to introduce people to technology as part of an effort to expand the base of technology jobs in the U.S.," he said. Rather than administer the training directly, Mize said he expects CompTIA to reach out to any number of organizations that work directly with the constituencies that the program is intended to help.

—Compiled by Deborah Rothberg

Techies feeling unsupported at work

A new study finds that techies are lacking their bosses support and that its having an effect on their job satisfaction

82% of IT pros say keeping their skills up-to-date is their biggest workplace concern

33% consider their employers encouragement of their skills development "only fair" or subpar

37% percent of IT bosses provide in-house training, 32% provide tuition reimbursement and 28% reimburse for professional courses

26% of employers give techies paid time off to attend classes, and 18% offer monetary rewards or promotions to employees based on their new or updated skills

21% drop in the past six months in tech pros citing "opportunities for advancement" as the primary reason they liked their current jobs

6% drop in IT workers citing good take-home pay as a big factor in their job satisfaction

Source: Dice.com Tech Appeal Poll