The Government Has Something IT Pros Want: Training

Professional development opportunities could help agencies retain IT talent.

New training pportunities could help federal agencies recruit and retain information technology workers.

A new survey by Robert Half Technology suggests that companies that invest in their employees’ professional development have an edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining IT professionals.

More specifically, 68 percent of the more than 7,500 IT workers surveyed said the ability to acquire new skills is very important when evaluating a new job opportunity. At the same time, 64 percent of respondents said they are very concerned about keeping their skills current in the next three to five years.

In addition, a separate survey of chief information officers by Robert Half found that nearly half (44 percent) said their companies do not have training and development programs in place for IT professionals.

The latest survey offers some best practices for investing in training and career development for IT workers, including reimbursing staff for relevant conferences and online courses and allowing employees to complete training during work hours. Organizations that are strapped for training dollars may also benefit from tapping internal subject matter experts through mentoring and brown-bag training sessions, Robert Half recommended.

“IT workers know that the industry moves quickly and favor employers that will help them keep their technical skills relevant,” said Job Reed, senior executive director at Robert Half Technology. “Training and development programs are equally beneficial to businesses because they allow them to build internal teams with hard-to-find technical skills.”

How important are training and career development opportunities to your recruitment and retention? Could your agency be doing more to keep your skills sharp?