Why not just train experienced people?

April 16, 2008

IT professionals with a strong battery of SAP skills have seen their salaries soar in the last two years.

However, strong salaries have done little to offset an industry-wide IT skills shortage that has left CIOs flummoxed over how to fill specific IT roles.

It takes actual work experience for people to get the skills, so

Like several large technology companies before it, SAP has created a university alliance program, which it hopes will ensure that its customers will have the SAP-skilled experts they need in the coming years.

Through the program, which encompasses 150 campuses in the United States and Canada and nearly 800 worldwide, SAP provides its business software suite at no charge for use in business, IT, CS and engineering classes, reaching 150,000 students each year.  

SAP also works with universities on developing and innovating their coursework to incorporate SAP.

So we perpetuate the “come-as-you-are” model of IT related staffing. Students in degree programs get trained in the language/vendor product de jour, go forth for their signing bonuses and then in five years time or so become obsoleted by the next things de jour.

It’s a whole lot cheaper for SAP to give some licenses to a university desperate for anything free and provide some “community outreach” opportunities for some of its employees, than to hire experienced IT people and train those folks themselves.

This is sort of like the NBA. The NBA doesn’t have to have (to pay for) a farm team system like baseball or hockey to develop talent. The league gets most of its experienced (enough) players from the collegiate NCAA ranks.

If you follow the link, see that a professor of management is being interviewed. “It used to be that the IT discipline was distinct from the rest of business. Now, it is much more integrated, so it’s not thought of as a separate discipline.” Of course, everybody in the real world knows this. Just to emphasize that employers aren’t necessarily looking for the disappearing CS major.

Note: more discussion on getting more women into IT:  http://www.eweek.com/showblog/47539/Where-Did-All-the-Girl-Geeks-Go/

 

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