Technological Advances And The Workplace Skills Shortage

Published: 12th March 2009
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For employers, a skills shortage among employees where technology is concerned can be devastating. A great deal of the newest technology available allows businesses to function more efficiently and quickly. Not having employees who are capable of adapting to the latest changes in the IT world can cripple a company, leaving them uncompetitive and stuck in the past.

Some of the most significant advances in technology have occurred where maintaining an Internet presence is concerned. In the past, an Internet presence basically meant maintaining a website and little more. Today, the endeavor is multi-faceted and requires the integration of several different technologies to keep one's presence fresh and current. Many other aspects of doing business in the technological sense of the term have gone through similar mini-revolutions and not all employees have kept up.

Coping with a skills shortage among employees leaves an employer with two obvious courses of action: they may let go the unqualified employees and replace them with more qualified new personnel or they may train their existing staff to meet the challenges with which the modern world presents the business. The latter is usually preferable. Not only does it foster employee loyalty, it is most often much cheaper than hiring new staff.

As technology has advanced, the options available to employers to offer training to their employees have become vastly more practical, cost-effective and convenient. In fact, many skills can be learned via online classes. These classes can either be attended as a group at the workplace or by employees on their own time. There are several online universities that offer continuing education in technology as well as sites that specialize in offering students several types of certifications. Some examples include certifications in the various Microsoft technologies, such as the MCSE certification offered by various Microsoft partners and courses in subjects such as online marketing and web design. Coders, such as site programmers, in particular require continuing education as the applications they use to perform their work are developed and advanced and as the languages themselves add new features and capabilities.

Employees who are kept well-versed in the latest and greatest technology has to offer generally feel a valuable part of the company for which they work and are likely to stay with that company, knowing that the opportunities for them to advance over time are presented by their employers commitment to their staying current. The job skills they obtain can be thought of as permanent assets. Even though the software on which they work, and the technologies they use may change over time, having a constantly-updated repertoire of knowledge provides a foundation for future advancement and, as any educator will attest, constant learning tends to foster creativity and confidence in any individual.

When a company is faced with a skills shortage among its employees, thanks to technology, the situation is easily remedied. Employees themselves are good sources of information as to what skills the company may be lacking.
James Copper is a writer for

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