Monday, 21 January 2008

Climbing a career ladder with the bottom rungs missing

e-skills UK has concluded that IT professionals are being forced "to climb a career ladder with the bottom rungs missing" . I completely agree and, indeed, have made the point countless times that you can't give birth to fully formed Project Managers earning £80K pa. The UK has a considerable shortage of those high level skills - a point made in my Are the ITSAs still good barometers? piece a couple of weeks back.

My submission to the skills shortage debate in 2006 concentrated on the fact that UK SITS companies had largely abandoned graduate recruitment - a state of affairs that has existed since at least since 1999. Indeed I remember tackling Alastair Cox - then CEO of Xansa - on this issue. He told me that I was wrong - Xansa had a considerable graduate recruitment India NOT in the UK!

As you will read in the FT article, e-skills has got companies like BT, EDS and Cisco to sponsor "a masters degree that teaches entry-level skills that have been offshored to India and China". I guess that's a sort of fast track course in all the foundation IT experience that people like me learned "on-the-job". I suppose that is better than doing nothing but surely that isn't any real substitute for the real thing?

That's why my real fear is that the only people who will fill those high paid UK IT Project Manager jobs in a few years time will be those very people learning the job 'the hard way' today in India, China - and a range of other countries which does not include the UK.

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