I’m Calling BS On The IT Skills Shortage

I’m Calling BS On The IT Skills Shortage

Pretty much every week I receive a research report, often sponsored by a large IT vendor, telling me about the IT skills shortage. Most of them are focussed on infosec but today’s instalment of the “Great IT Skills Shortage” came from AWS.

At the AWS Summit being held in Auckland, analysis from job site Indeed shows job listings for AWS-related roles has increased by 153% over the last three years. It’s time for IT employers to do something about it. There’s no IT skills shortage. But I think there’s a massive shortfall in career investment by incumbent and prospective employers.

The transference of infrastructure and applications from on-prem to the cloud is well and truly underway. But numbers such as those quoted at the AWS Summit by AWS specialist recruiter Carmen Parnos, Founder and Director of the Cloud Talent Group point to a more problematic issue.

Employers aren’t investing as heavily in upgrading their people as they are in upgrading their systems.

I think there’s a simple piece of maths we can apply. The population is growing. Ergo, there are more people in the job market. Finding people isn’t the problem. Investing in their education and ongoing development is the problem.

I don’t think there’s an IT skills shortage. I think there’s an investment deficit. If your business doesn’t have a have a particular skillset available do you train or recruit from an increasingly competitive pool of limited resources?

A couple of years ago, the former CEO of RSA Amit Yoran, said of the skills shortage facing the infosec sector “Get over it”. He advocated for better staff development and investing in education programs.

It’s time for Australian companies to do the same.


  • well said. In New Zealand the situation is dire. A short term, near sighted business mentality has businesses lurching from one quarter to the next. Employees are a disposable asset and upskilling is minimal. This plus an out of control and unaccountable tertiary sector has created the laughably bad situation where NZ has 5% unemployment and a huge reliance on offshore talent for IT

  • Could not agree more. Hire a bunch of people on Technology X. A few years later, upgrade to Y. Bring in a bunch of consultants to do the upgrade. They then hand over to your people who have no experience or training (They could have been trained and given experience during the upgrade process, have the consultants train – but no. Get the work done is more important) Determine that your people are no good. Then make the old people redundant (Technology X is gone anyway) and bring in new people with technology Y experience, or outsource. Nothing wrong with the old people, they were just never given the opportunity to learn and especially with commercial software, its hard to get experience outside of the work place.

  • I smell propaganda to prop up lobbying for visas for foreign workers, who can then be hired cheaper than the locals.

  • All the skills shortage jobs on the list are put there to force payrates down in that industry. Electrician is on the list yet there is more than enough unemployed electricians to fill all the jobs. Companies just don’t want to pay the going rates so they donate to(bribe) the political parties in exchange for having the jobs they want on the liss. Which enables them to have access to cheap visa labour!

  • There is no shortage except a pretend one where companies want to employ an imported worker on 53K a year instead of paying a fully trained and available Australian.

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