It’s no secret that the labor shortage is impacting business growth capabilities, but did you know that the technical skills gap is also preventing the digital transformation necessary for expansion? Employers need tech teams to implement remote work tools, improve their cybersecurity stance, and maintain their servers. However, applicants simply don’t have the skills necessary, so many organizations are stuck.

Colleges and institutions aren’t helping, either. Many higher education programs simply don’t keep up with the constant changes in technology. Their computer science graduates do not have the experience or qualifications for a real-world job.

What can you as an employer do to help bridge the gap between where candidates are today and the practical skills and knowledge you need on your team? Today, we have some tips for doing just that.

  1. Get Specific about Your Technical Skills Gap

    Closing the gap starts with identifying the exact skills your team is missing. Colleges can only prepare their students based on what they know, and any insight will be helpful for a future career.

    Specify which platforms you use most – AWS, Google, Microsoft, CISCO – and the associated certifications you look for in an applicant. Survey your employees to discover the skills they wish they had learned in college. Consider the ways non-majors can transition to a career in computer science: what traits cross over? What do they need to succeed? Do you truly need a college degree in this field to land the job?

  2. Partner with Local Colleges

    Working with local colleges on the ideal classwork for your department can be a great way to ensure future employees have the skills they need to fit right in and stop the technical skills gap at the source. When you coordinate curriculum with a local college, you’re demonstrating a commitment to your community and hiring within your locale.

    Maybe the institution could add an AWS or Google certification to their curriculum, so students not only graduate with the skills you’re looking for, but also have a competitive edge in their field.

    Of course, offering internships to local students gives you a head start on the hiring process while also making them more attractive to future employers. Through these internships, you can teach these students parts of the trade they would not see in the classroom and give them the context they need to piece together everything they are learning. They will have a better understanding of the skills they need to hone between the internship and graduation, helping to close the technical skills gap.

  3. Connect with a Local Resource Center

    We have already established that existing college computer science programs are not entirely sufficient for entry-level employees, so consider educating your local community on the possible certifications and their associated salaries through local vocational groups or community centers.

    Host an educational session on today’s technology and explain to those looking for a change that they don’t need to go back to school to have a career in computer programing. Explain the clear needs in the field (and of your company in particular) and the earning potential when they pursue the requirements.

  4. Encourage Upskilling

    If your team truly does not have the skills they need to protect the organization from cyberattacks while meeting your infrastructure demands, then it’s time to upskill from the inside.

    Set aside time for employees to work towards a new certification, offering to cover the cost of any courses. Teams should also be required to read industry news and stay aware of cyber threats to their relevant platforms.

    With a labor shortage, incentives for these improvements may be the primary way to close your technical skills gap quickly without having to hire from the outside.

  5. Don’t Forget the Value of Soft Skills

    As a corporation influencing college programing, encourage a setting that mimics life in the office. Many computer science students work alone on a few hundred lines from a codebase. This does not fully prepare them for their careers where they will often be working as a group in large codebases. Schools don’t have access to those systems without a corporate partnership, and more social students might be happy to learn that the field is more than just working alone in your basement.

  6. Work with a Tech Talent Agency

    If you need to close your technical skills gap now, a tech talent agency could be the best fit for you. Our agency knows where to look for employees with the skills you need and can find someone ready to work quickly. If you need someone for a single project or fill in while you’re looking for a full-time replacement, a consultant or temporary employee could fill that space, and we can help with that too.

    Contact us today to meet the tech talent who can close the gap in your organization.