Who will fill the skills gap?

As baby boomers retire, 10 million new skilled workers will be needed by 2020. Skilled is the key word.

About Joanne


  1. Skilled is the keyword. I’ve been trying to hire a good, solid Jave J2EE programmer since April. Gotten close a few times, but no one is hired yet. Extremely frustraiting.

    More importantly, about 65% of the candidates have been foreign born. The US just isn’t turning out the programmers we need. Certainly, I’ll hire anyone who can do the work, but it’s sad that we don’t produce our own talent any more.

  2. Rob,

    Having worked in IT for more than 30 years and have done just about everything in IT (tutor, instructor, consultant, field engineer/QA, logistics, programming, DBA, system/network/security admin, intrusion analyst/incident handler, and dabbled in reverse engineering of malware, the comment you posted shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Having had to train many persons in my career, IMO, if they’re bright enough to get an interview, but know perhaps 80% (or better) of what you’re looking for, it’s probably worth hiring them, assuming you can place them with someone in your firm that can guide them along while getting used to how things run (which takes an average of 3 weeks to perhaps 2 months) assuming the person a self-starter and wants to learn new things.

    People learn at various rates of speed, and some new hires get it faster than others (at the moment, I’m working on patching code in the network library known as ‘libpcap’), and I have to slog my way through at times (due to the fact that much of the code isn’t documented, which makes the job of a person trying to patch code much harder).

    In terms of the skilled worker, that’s going to be the real trick. Just because a person has a college degree doesn’t actually mean they have the skillset required, unless they’re going to be given some OJT as well (assuming they make it through the interview process).