The training and education of employees is critical in growing the knowledge base of companies. And globally, IDC expects the IT training and education market to increase at a modest compound annual rate of about 5% between 2002 and 2007. Corporate training is expected to increase at twice this rate in the United States--10.5% over the same period.
But do IT staff members and managers plan to take advantage of training or educational opportunities subsidized by their employers as they head into 2004? InformationWeek Research asked this question in its sixth annual National IT Salary Survey. Despite longer hours and heavier workloads, IT pros are self-motivated to improve. Nearly half of the study's 7,748 IT staff members and 6,820 IT managers expect to further their education or receive training provided by their employers. A third intend to recoup training or educational costs by applying for company tuition reimbursement, while a fifth plan to complete and be compensated for certificate training.
This zeal for skills development is nothing new among business-technology professionals. Compared with a year or two years ago, training or education plans this year among IT staff and management remain mostly unchanged. Yet few IT pros report receiving bonuses for training or furthering their education. Only 4% of IT workers and 2% of IT managers receive cash incentives tied to skills development.
Considering the classes being offered, perhaps the lack of bonuses isn't really an issue. Courses in network and system infrastructure, project management, network administration or engineering, application development, and server administration are among the most frequent offered to IT staff members.
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Skills development isn't totally IT-centric. Companies also offer IT staff the opportunity to develop their business skill sets with training in areas needed to help drive executive projects. Nearly half the IT staff workers who expect company training say that project-management courses are available through their companies.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.