The Skills IT Pros Need Help With The Most (And How to Learn Them)

April 20, 2017

IT pros themselves say they are weak in security, the cloud and VoIP.

Where’s the skill gap in IT? In other words, what are the critical skills IT pros are weakest at?

To find out, we at LinkedIn partnered with Spiceworks to survey 198 IT professionals. In the survey, we asked those IT pros the skills they were both strongest and weakest at, which were critical to their job.

We’ll start with the good news, the skills IT pros were particularly strong at. When surveyed,

  • 80 percent said they were at an advanced or expert level on hardware, with only 1 percent rating themselves at a beginning level.
  • 51 percent said they were at an advanced or expert level on email, with only 3 percent rating themselves at a beginning level.
  • 51 percent said they were at an advanced or expert level on networks/infrastructure, with only 4 percent rating themselves at a beginning level.

But how about the other side? What are the skills IT pros said they need the most help in?

When surveyed, we found that:

So, quick wrap up: IT pros believe they are strong at hardware, email and infrastructure. Conversely, they believe they are weak on security, VoIP, database management and the cloud.

What this means to IT leaders

Chances are your team is strong and weak in the same areas listed. So what’s the solution?

Well, it’s not easy to hire your way out of the problem. Since those traits are scarce, people who have them are in demand. That means hiring people with those skills requires a great employer brand, several months of recruiting and often a hefty salary to boot.

Sometimes, you’ll have to do that, if the need is particularly great. But otherwise a cheaper and more effective solution is to train your existing people to learn those skills.

First off, training people is more efficient than bringing in outside talent. But it also makes your people happier and will increase retention, as you are investing in them – something IT pros care a lot about.

To best train your people, it's worth knowing how IT pros like to learn new skills. In the same survey, we asked IT pros and they said the best learn new skills from:

  • Their peers.
  • In-person, instructor led training.
  • Video-based subscription-based learning.

By utilizing all three methods, your people will learn the quickest. Additionally, it’ll help you build a culture of learning, so your team will be able to quickly tackle the next big thing in IT.

Want to discover the IT skills that’ll most help your career? Check out our new, data-rich guide that gives you IT career advice, no matter what step you're at.

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