Techies Lack Their Bosses Support, Study Shows

A new study finds that IT employers aren't doing enough to keep their employees' skills current.

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

Eighty-two percent of IT professionals responded that being able to keep their skills up-to-date was their biggest concern.

Yet, one-third of respondents said their employers encouragement of their skills development was "only fair" or sub par; 26 percent of techies rated their employers performance in this area as "excellent," though 40 percent rated it as "good."

What skills development bosses are providing is mostly in-house, according to the study. 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.

Furthermore, only 18 percent of workplaces offer monetary rewards or promotions to employees based on their new or updated skills.

These factors appeared to have an effect on IT job satisfaction. The past six months showed a 21 percent drop (to 12 percent) in tech pros citing "opportunities for advancement" as the primary reason they liked their current jobs.

Satisfaction due to good take-home pay has also slipped in the last half-year, down six points to 28 percent.

"Customers often ask us what they can do to foster loyalty and reduce turnover among their technology teams," said Scot Melland, CEO and president of Dice, in a statement.

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"Employer-sponsored training and professional development programs are excellent ways to build the overall technical capability of an organization while addressing a key career issue among tech professionals. If the team members are able to stay current and grow within an organization, they have less reason to look elsewhere. You rarely find such an ideal win-win situation."

In an unusual shift, non-techies reported a greater concern than techies about their jobs being outsourced to a foreign country, at 43 percent versus 37 percent, respectively.

Dices overall semi-annual Tech Appeal Index, which aims to serve as a measurement of the IT industrys appeal from within and without the industry, remained fairly strong.

Ninety-five percent of technology professionals responded that they were either somewhat or very satisfied in their current jobs, and 93 percent said they intended to continue working in IT for at least the next six months.

Eighty-three percent of technology professionals said that, over other industries, they were likely to recommend IT as a career, contrasted with 62 percent of non-tech working adults who answered the same.

Among tech pros, IT was their most highly recommended career path; among non-techies, health care came in more highly supported.

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