Techies Self Direct Training Effort

January 26, 2006 ( - Information technology (IT) managers are not giving their employees a whole lot of direction on selecting the training they should take advantage of, a new survey found.

A news release from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) said most poll respondents (85%) decide on their own what IT training and education they need based on their own career plans. Just 8% make these choices based on their employer’s requirements or recommendations.

The survey of 462 IT professionals also found that six in 10 workers are currently looking for new jobs. Of those, 81% described their job search as active. Another troubling note for employers was that, among those workers currently looking for new jobs, eight in 10 said they hope to land positions with a new employer. Only two in 10 said they are looking for new jobs with their current employers.

“Employers may be doing themselves a great disservice by not taking a more aggressive role in setting priorities when it comes to the continuing education and re-skilling of their IT workers,” said Neill Hopkins, vice president, skills development, CompTIA, in the news release. “The cost of recruiting, hiring and training new tech workers due to high staff turnover is significantly higher than an investment in ongoing training for employees already on the payroll. Clearly the IT professionals we surveyed have the desire and willingness to advance their skill levels so that they can more effectively contribute to the employer’s success.”

Only 20.5% of tech workers surveyed said their employer provides paid time away from work for training and education. In addition, more than 88% of IT workers surveyed said they pay in full or in part for their career training and education.

Workers surveyed by CompTIA said they spent on average about $2,200 on training and education in the past year; and expect to increase that amount to about $2,300 in the next 12 months. The survey also found that IT professionals are spending about 11 hours a week to learn new skills, educate themselves on new technologies or to study IT-related topics.

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