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Companies More Likely To Outsource Than Train IT Employees

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the flatten-and-reinstall dept.

Businesses 235

snydeq writes "IT pros feeling the pressure to boost tech skills should expect little support from their current employers, according to a recent report on IT skills. '9 in 10 business managers see gaps in workers' skill sets, yet organizations are more likely to outsource a task or hire someone new than invest in training an existing staff. Perhaps worse, a significant amount of training received by IT doesn't translate to skills they actually use on the job.'"

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This just in! (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344777)

This just in: Companies in a recessionary economy are cheap.

Guys, seriously. Nobody wants to spend money on an employee they aren't likely to have around in a year or two anyway; and even if they did, it's easier just to phone HR and say "Hey, I need a dozen people with xyzzy skill." "derp derp derp" "Okay then! I'll see them on monday." The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

Re:This just in! (5, Informative)

aergern (127031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344953)

I've been at this long enough that I know it matters NOT what the economy is like whether they do this or not. It's about time we stop blaming the economy for things. This crap happens in the best of times and the worst. It's because sales, marketing and other non-tech people (who are usually in charge of the purse) see no real value in tech people unless shit is broken. They see IT/Eng folks as a dime a dozen that are easily replaced by some outsourced solution. WHICH the later regret in most cases.

So don't act like this is a new thing. It isn't.

Re:This just in! (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345107)

Yes even in the booming 90s companies kept demanding more Visas so they could hire outside help, rather use existing unemployed U.S. engineers.

I've been a contractor 10+ years now because they'd rather hire temps than permanents. Also there's an age bias towards younger workers (under 40) who have no family and don't mind working unpaid overtime.


Re:This just in! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345457)

In fairness, there's also an element of "Bob can't handle this, lets just get someone new" because its easier to imagine some super rockstar you can hire that hits the ground running, than imagine Bob getting a few weeks of training and growing into a new role.

Besides, Bob has a hygiene problem and won't shut up about his chihuahua

Lazy employees are lazy (-1, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345915)

If the employees do not want to make themselves better, they can blame anything and everything, including blaming the companies to be cheap

When I started working, as a low rank IT personnel, nobody gave me any help. I had to do everything on my own

In college, they did not teach me a lot more things that I had to learn / relearn when I am out in the working world

For example, in college I was trained in Cobol and Fortran, but in the real world they were using C

I bought/borrowed/stole books; I joined computer clubs; I post questions on echomail (on Fidonet) and also on programming-related newsgroups in Usenet; I took evening/weekend classes.... I did everything to learn the things that I knew I need to climb up the corporate ladder

Did I call my company cheap?


Why not?

Because the companies I worked for aren't responsible to train me - their only responsibility is to make as much money to their stake/share holders

It is the responsibility of the workers to train/retrain themselves

Those who call their companies cheap are the one who are too lazy, too incompetent, having no incentive to train/retrain themselves in order to become better

Re:Lazy employees are lazy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39346145)

Why the fuck is this "workers responsibility"? You were basically spending your own resources to increase companies profits without any compensation from company's side.

See, company wants more skills and more output. Employees want more skills and more money.

First part is the same and second part is in direct relation, so it's only reasonable for company to meet the worker half way there - a subsidy and days off work for studying looks reasonable.

Re:Lazy employees are lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39346245)

It is also a bit of hogwash too...

*MANY* of the companies I worked for had some sort of company matching with education. So long as you had a C or higher they were willing to pay a good % of it. I only knew of about 3 people who ever took advantage of it. That is out of the 500 or so different people I have worked with...

Re:This just in! (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345637)

I'd argue that "WHICH the later regret in most cases." They rarely regret it. If they want some big project, done in-house... their co-workers in IS will tell them... it's a dumb idea. They'll clearly make a better product more in-line with what they "need" than what they "want" But... then again, that's not what they want is it? An out-sourced company comes in and builds them exactly what they ask for... to the letter... and leaves. Then, when that sucks, the people that hired them can blame the nameless outsourced company and declare all the problems their having someone elses fault. If they had done it in-house... that blame game would come to a quick end when a knowledgeable IS staff is sitting there ready to defend themselves.

I maintain a DB and recently had our marketing department get sent to me to quote syncing this DB with some software they have. They had apparently gotten quotes from outside vendors and the VPs caught wind of the price tag and said "No way in hell" So I meet with these people with the novel question of: "What is this software? What does it do? Who is maintaining it? Because it sure as hell isn't IS." It ended up that the director of marketing was the "Technical lead" for the product. So I asked her what kind of backend DB it used... what API did it have... did we have a support contract with the vendor... She had no idea. In fact, they weren't sure where their contract was. I got the joy of asking her if we were pirating the software. "Whats that mean?" It was a rather hilarious meeting.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345775)

True, instead this seems to just be related to business perceptions of IT workers as monkeys. It is common, that every person is seen as disposable, and it becomes a race to see how quickly you can get rid of your employee to avoid the cumulative health care expenditure. However, at that point, you do get into economics, since our inflation is what causes health care to continue to be too expensive, with the price rises only due to increase as inflation continues (or gets worse), since medical care and education are two places where we are unable to take a substitution of goods (cheaper quality goods) for the same price after inflation (less value, same amount of money).

Re:This just in! (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345835)

I hate to burst your bubble, but it does not only happen in IT. It happens all over the company. Unfortunately IT is nothing special.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39344959)

This just in: Companies are cheap.

Fixed that for you.

Re:This just in! (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346063)

No. There was a time when the company loyalty thing went both ways.

These days, though, it seems not so much. You are expected to give your all, to open up your private life, to work more for less and never ever to expect pensions or well funded 401K plans, but they are not expected to have any loyalty at all back to you.

Re:This just in! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344963)

The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

Right. That's because the companies taking care of themselves drove the others out of the market or forced them to adapt. Now we're seeing more of the same.

And that maximizes profit and that's what the shareholders want, so I don't see that changing until... ever.

Re:This just in! (4, Insightful)

aergern (127031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345683)

Then they shouldn't should whine when no one can afford what they product. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. Which is why the banks should have never been bailed out and the auto industry should never had bailouts or loans. If we are in a true capitalist society .. and these "corporations" make bad decisions .. fuck them .. let them die and new companies take their place. Why should society prop them up if as an entity they care about nothing but profits. *shrug*

Re:This just in! (1)

aergern (127031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345703)

produce .. not product.

Re:This just in! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345999)

One day, pehaps soon, we'll figure out some system of government that isn't controlled by corporations - but clearly "more regulation" isn't the answer to that (bringing government and corporations closer together is the opposite of what we need - damn bailouts!), and I'm not sure what is.

But technology makes products cheaper precisely because it takes fewer jobs to make them. And we know that's a net win, eventually. It's the transitions that are rough.

Re:This just in! (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345941)

So, serious question: why aren't you a shareholder then? Anyone with a professional salary can join the 1% with 20 or so years of savings, if that's a priority.

Ultimately the purpose of a producer is to produce a product that people want, at a price that people want to pay, not to give you a job. As technology marches on it takes fewer and fewr jobs to produce any given thing (that's basically the definition of technology). And yet standards of living are vastly higher than 150 years ago - because, of course, technology makes products cheaper.

The world won't be arranged for your convenience - you have to actually do work that people want done, after all - so either compete in a global market, or do service work that can't be outsourced. To repeat the GPP - deal with it.

Re:This just in! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346059)

It'll change, don't worry. Not exactly sure when or what the end result will look like, but it will change. What we're seeing is the Achilles' Heel of capitalism, and the method of its destruction. What we might end up with is a new democratic socialist government (or governments, if the US breaks apart) where companies aren't beholden to shareholders and maximizing profit. What we'll probably end up with is an unelected, dictatorial government much like China's, or perhaps a world that looks like that depicted in the "Syndicate" video games.

Re:This just in! (4, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344983)

Actually the idea that a company should be loyal to its employees started to die about 20 years ago, thanks to useful idiots like yourself that argue in favor of lowering the value of labor, and giving companies a pass on not being responsible citizens.

Re:This just in! (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345211)

It doesn't matter what you do. There is no profit incentive to "loyalty" in many jobs. Your labor is worth what someone will pay you for it.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345231)

If you work on a production line, maybe. Certainly not if you're a knowledge base. Which is why most IT depts have key staff. When they walk out, the 2 or 3 people that come in to replace them have a lot of work to do to get up to speed with the business knowledge that walked out of the door.

Re:This just in! (4, Informative)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345891)

After I had been at my first tech job for a couple of years, I pointed out an interesting fact to a senior tech. An old phone listing I had received when I first got there had numerous people that had come and gone in the last two years, and the company liked to tell us that it had invested about $20,000 in training each of us before we had become profitable for them. It was to motivate us to work hard, I guess. Taking their talking point, I figured $20,000 for each person on the list that had left the company, and another $20,000 for the people that had replaced them.

This company had an effective policy of screwing their employees, and replacing them with new kids. When the senior tech decided it was his turn to go, his exit interview was with senior management, and he took the employee phone list. He informed them that over the last two years that they had thrown away $1.8 million by letting their techs walk out the door. Their jaws hit the floor. Apparently none of them had ever considered that money invested in "people" had real value.

The story ended happily though... the idiot senior management were all let go by the bank when the company went into receivership, and the new management has actually started building employee morale. I think that they're from Canada. Go Canucks!

Re:This just in! (1)

Kylon99 (2430624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346545)

It's a good thing that the new management is doing that. I've been in companies similar to yours and if the idiot management stayed, what they would have done would be to cancel all employee training, thus saving themselves that 1.8 million and who cares to revolving door employees. Then they'd give themselves 3.0 million in bonuses for being so smart at coming up with the savings.

Basically a management style similar to: "The beatings shall continue until morale improves."

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345979)

It doesn't matter what you do. There is no profit incentive to "loyalty" in many jobs. Your labor is worth what someone will pay you for it.

Hmmm. You brought up an interesting point and probably didn't even realize it.

Yes. your labor is worth what someone will pay for it, but these days, companies think "labor" is what you do today, and so is "pay".

In the early-to-mid 20th century, labor was an ongoing thing, and pay included the expectations of job security that for many went all the way up to retirement, the stereotypical gold watch, and a pension.

We've become a lot narrower since then. It has made a lot of executives very wealthy, very fast, but they often just grab the cash today, cut, and run, leaving the shareholders, the employees, the company and even the customers poorer in various ways for it. Just remember, though, your call is very important to us. All of our representatives are are busy helping other customers...

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345443)

Who argued in favor of lowering the value of labor, and how?

I see laborers negotiating for far greater salaries than most IT people I know. We're talking trades like electricians, where less than a year of training is enough to get you on the job.

On the other hand, IT also experienced extraordinarily low unemployment numbers all through the last few years of recession, while electricians were all benched. So I guess sometimes it works out properly.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345931)

No doubt. The sick thing is that it just isn't a long term investment in workers, but also a vision for a long lifecycle for a company. New companies seem so disposable these days. They are parasites on older companies and the infrastructures that were established in the 40's. Take the power company for example. They have hostage customers, a power grid that they inherited and are not improving for their projected growth. America just seems like a rotting corpse these days.

Re:This just in! (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345037)

The summary also makes the point that staff are receiving training that isn't relevant to their job. This seems like the biggest issue - waste money on fluffy business/management crap (that the managers should be doing rather than delegating down to their tech staff) rather than spending money on useful training that the staff would actually use to be more productive.

Of course, the department that came up with the idea of making the rest of the staff do the fluffy business/management crap as well as their own jobs (HR, bid centres, whatever) is doing great - they've increased their productivity, decreased their costs, and probably reduced their staff numbers. In terms of the bigger system (the entire company) this has just increased the costs for the business however. But that's fine - the targets look great!

The sooner businesses stop trying to "specialise" and "outsource" (whether that means out of the company or within it) as a means to manage costs (why else do you outsource?) the better. They should be concentrating on value, wherever that may be gained. Managing costs seems to always result in costs going upwards...

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345143)

This just in: Companies in a recessionary economy are cheap.

Guys, seriously. Nobody wants to spend money on an employee they aren't likely to have around in a year or two anyway; and even if they did, it's easier just to phone HR and say "Hey, I need a dozen people with xyzzy skill." "derp derp derp" "Okay then! I'll see them on monday." The idea of the company taking care of you died in about, er... the 1950s. Deal with it.

The situation with respect to training has been deteriorating for many years and there's one underlying reason. Employees have a habit of taking the training, then moving elsewhere to a better paid job, because they can.

Ultimately,companies don't get any benefit from investing in training. Competitors can achieve the same level of trained, in-house employees by poaching them from other companies, without making any investment. So where's the incentive for any company to invest in training?

Sooner or later, no-one invests in their staff because it's cheaper and just as good to poach them elsewhere instead. That's until no-one is training their staff anymore... then the outsourcing starts, because there aren't enough local, trained people.

There needs to be a new social contract which ties employment to training and rewards mutual loyalty so that both employees and businesses benefit.That's the only way to break the cycle.

Re:This just in! (3, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345233)

Of course a company who offered me training that improved my skillset could keep me as an employee pretty easily - just offer me more money since I am now worth more money. Smart companies would give me some incentive to stay.
Most companies seem to rely on finding people who are stupid/desperate enough to take the more qualified position at a pay rate that is lower than it deserves.
There used to be a solution to this: unions. But those are dying out under continuous pressure from Big Business/Right Wing politicians (same thing). Unions of course did themselves no favors by demanding ridiculous requests at the height of their power.
The Right is winning and employees are mostly disposable and easily replaced these days. This is good for the rich and bad for the rest of the nation.
I would like to see a complete end to visas for importing foreigners to do local jobs - then companies might be forced to hire people and train them to do their jobs the way things used to be done.

Re:This just in! (2)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345331)

The situation with respect to training has been deteriorating for many years and there's one underlying reason. Employees have a habit of taking the training, then moving elsewhere to a better paid job, because they can.

And because the employees understand quite well that their employer has no loyalty to them. This is especially true in the IT world, where once a project is nearing completion (as if that ever actually happens ;-), managers don't see any more need for those geeky IT types, and lay them off. This is a great way to make sure that your employees have no loyalty to the company, and just go with whoever pays them well for an interesting next project.

And, of course, it's usually the most talented/smartest employees who jump ship first, both because they can and because they know that the managers of the current company don't particularly like them. The ones left behind are the ones who couldn't find a new job.

It's an old, old story. You'd think that management experts would have solutions to it after all these centuries. And actually, they do, but short-term profit trumps the long-term benefits of having a team that know each other and can work together effectively.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345559)

Where I work we are required to pay back any training fees they pay if we don't stay for a full year after the training. If we don't stay at least two years we have to pay back half. Seems like a fairly simple solution. If your trained employee goes running off for better pay at least you recoup the training costs.

On the other side of the coin though if you were paying your employees a competitive wage it would be harder for them to leave for a better paying job.

Re:This just in! (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346797)

That sounds pretty darned illegal. They benefited during the training period as well - but that's not my point ... only the military can get away with that sort of "join us and we'll pay for your career training in return for $X number of years service."

Re:This just in! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346127)

No, the reason employees take training and jump ship is because companies never give out raises above cost-of-living adjustments any more. It's in an employee's best interest to change jobs every 2-3 years or else he'll be stuck with a terribly low salary. Maybe if companies actually gave raises for a change, they wouldn't have this problem.

Tying employment to anything is a bad idea; you're trying to bring back indentured servitude. We'd have companies forcing employees into completely BS training, either some kind of fluffy management crap, or worse some training for some kind of highly specialized (but P.O.S.) tool that only that company uses, just to force employees to not leave for a better job. Trust me, the last thing you want to be an expert in is some piece-of-shit tool that only your company or very few companies use, and will probably be obsolete in a few years. All it does is keep you stuck in a dead-end job and unable to move to a better, higher-paying job later. I had one company try to do that to me.

Wrong! The reason is something different.. (1)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345175)

It's not any more that economies in recession are cheap, most of South America are not in recession and even have a similar living costs to the US, yet are heavy outsourcers with a flawless track record (look at Globant). The actual reason why outsourced companies are cheaper is that in US the skill-cost curve is exponential, while in most of the rest of the world is linear. Add to that that high level education in many countries (such Argentina) is completely free and as a result you have very cheap skilled teams.

Re:Wrong! The reason is something different.. (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346065)

Add to that that high level education in many countries (such Argentina) is completely free and as a result you have very cheap skilled teams.

By "free" you mean paid for by taxes, right? Taxes on those same college graduates over the course of their working lives? Nothing's free.

Re:This just in! (1)

undeadbill (2490070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345327)

Companies are cheap in general, economy doesn't really make much difference in that regard.

Right now, a lot of companies are coming up short on finding IT staff. Since the dot com bomb, companies stopped training up their own staff to save on costs as well, which means that between the lack of new staff, and the attrition rate of more than 80% from the bomb, there aren't enough knowledgable people to go around. That has resulted in a huge knowledge gap, as IT is either self-taught through trial and error (less than 10% of IT workers are really capable of this), or a guided apprenticeship (no, school just gives you a starting point). As veteran staff cycled out, so did all of that knowledge. Only now are business owners and their management seeing the tip of an iceberg sized problem.

The unemployment rate for IT in my region is 3%, which is fueling a new round of people job-hopping to gain pay, because their current employers are going through the cycle of 1) undervaluing IT staff contributions, 2) not paying them what they are worth, 3) refusing to believe the IT people were each doing 3 peoples' jobs when their staff walked out, 4) finally coming to terms with the fact that they are going to have to pay more people to do more things once again.

I've seen this cycle repeatedly. One could call it a macro-economic Dunning-Kruger effect. The best way to avoid it is to confront management head on with their own lack of understanding- ask them what business was like before they added servers and network infrastructure. Then remind them that they stopped being a company that does X when they replaced all of those people with a few machines- they are now an IT company that does X, and it is not your job to make up for their own failure to adapt to the consequences of their own decisions. Politely, of course.

I've outsourced this comment to 2002 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39344779)

Slashdot Cruiser covered in Grits.

Re:I've outsourced this comment to 2002 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345025)

NASDAQ just hit 3000! It's almost like old times... you ready for the Facebook IPO, bro?

Re:I've outsourced this comment to 2002 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345063)

Thank you, very much.




BTW, I *have* seen Natalie Portman both naked and petrified.

Nothing new (1)

M3.14 (1616191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344821)

Money talks... Shotsighted decisions for quick profit and cost cuts are "in" these days. But in the end all cuts on wrong places will come back and bite whoever will be in charge. The sad thing is it is already someone else because the one that decided for outsourcing is most probably safe up the ladder for the money he "saved".

Re:Nothing new (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345035)

It may also be that people don't seem to get a lot of value for their training dollars, so don't want to invest in it. If you pay to train someone you may be paying them to leave (sad reality), and if you send someone to a course on networking they may come back without any more idea how to do whatever planning/redundancy/programming networking related problem you have to actually solve.

Most practical IT is a matter of learning to do background research. Find how this problem is solved, and do that. In my experience most IT training focus either on general principles which are so general as to be useless, or so specific as to only solve the immediate problem, and they don't prepare people for anything in the future. That isn't to say you can't train someone in IT properly, and maybe my experience has just been bad, but if that happens enough you get burned paying for it.

Besides, why invest in making people when you can just hire new people for less money, who already know what to do, and then fire them, and hire new people in a couple of years.

Re:Nothing new (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345383)

It may also be that people don't seem to get a lot of value for their training dollars

Russ Roberts/Econtalk recently did an interview with adam davidson [] . He looked at a manufacturing company (car parts). This company tried training their workers previously, and about half of the workers did not make it through the training (for various reasons).

Now these are unskilled workers, so maybe you think it wouldn't apply to IT workers. But IT is a very broad topic. If you're great at kernel programming, that doesn't tell me you would be great at game programming, for example. Or even that you would be able to learn it well enough to do a good job.

If you pay to train someone you may be paying them to leave

Davidson made this point as well. If the worker completes the training, they have more opportunities. They are more competitive, and more companies will be willing to hire them. At the very least, they expect to be paid more for their increased skills.

So a company pays to train the worker. Then they have to pay that worker more and/or the worker may leave the company for another company.

And that company the employee left for... they get to pay the same increased wage for that worker (as the company that did the training), and yet they did not pay a dime for that training.

So of course companies no longer pay for training.

Re:Nothing new (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345571)

You miss out the key fact that they need people with the skills that the training would provide. This means they either need to recruit them, outsource, or do a bodge job. The latter two options seem to be the preference.

Outsourcing is an attempt at managing costs which nearly always increases overall cost to the business - have a look at the John Seddon "Rethinking IT" talk for a reasoned rant about this.

Bodging is the only other option. The IT industry (in this I include IT, software development, networking) really likes bodges. It helps them manage their costs. Their managers are happy. Then it all goes wrong and costs more than it would have done to do it properly in the first place. Managing costs. Sigh.

Re:Nothing new (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345673)

But of course they have to be paid more now that they work more efficiently and provide more skills to the company.

The proper solution would be a kind of subsidized loan on the training - send them to study, raise the pay and then recover the training costs from the wages.

Want to jump ship? Return the loan. Gonna stay with us after the loan ends? Great, enjoy your raised pay.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345573)

On that note, I used to work for an IT training company, and probably 50% of the students who attended didn't get anything from the material, but used the sessions to get free consulting advice about their specific setups. Ultimately the Q&A discussions about various scenarios were way more valuable than the "training".

I tend to agree that IT training is useless beyond perhaps a simple conceptual introduction course. Someone with the proper disposition already has the book on their desk, they're not learning anything through a class.

A sign of buisness culture failure (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39344831)

A manager is insulated from the real costs of hiring a new employee, whereas costs for training for an existing employee show up nice and neatly on his budget.
Why? HR. HR ensures it's own existence by hiding the costs of new hires. Managers are happy to take advantage of this.

Re:A sign of buisness culture failure (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345393)

Take this a step further, and you reach the situation I'm currently in. It is virtually impossible to find entry level jobs right now. Every place I have looked is only looking for experienced workers for jobs that are little more than entry level. They don't want to make the effort to train a new hire, they want someone who is already trained. These days companies do not want to invest in their employees at all. They look only to the short term and not the long term. They don't want employees at all. They want mercenaries that they can hire to do a job and drop and hire new ones whenever they want.

Re:A sign of business culture failure (3, Insightful)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346079)

Try the opposite side of things. I am in what I thought is a good position. I am highly skilled both technically and in the soft skills. Yet all I see is hesitant businesses testing the waters. They pull the pin then pull back. Extremely frustrating. I would like to have a good full time job right now but the proper opportunity has not presented itself. It seems like barriers have been thrown up by business/HR to prevent normal discourse.

True, companies are not mentoring like they used to. This meant a lot to the continuity of the professions. It was a method of giving back and to everyone else. Businesses which don't mentor or give back are just consuming resources. You have to be the judge of that opportunity. I pray I don't have to make that decision to work for a questionable company.

I think businesses are way over thinking their various aspects. Too much analysis means over think. Over think gets you nowhere and wastes money.

Good luck in your search. At some point, if you have the proper work ethic and attitude, your worth will be accepted with open arms.

And then they're more likely to hire me to fix it. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344871)

Most of what I do, is come in after the outsourced contract workers are done and make things work. Granted, that's for custom software development, but the principal is the same.

Re:And then they're more likely to hire me to fix (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345153)

Most of what I do, is come in after the outsourced contract workers are done and make things work.

Most of what I do (as a contractor) is come in and do the work existing employees are afraid to touch or can't do in the first place.
Then, despite succeeding in the task, I seldom hear from them again. And it takes damned near forever for clients to bite the bullet and call someone in to handle the raging fire.

Employees think they have it so difficult with low pay, lousy hours, HR, yada, yada. Try contracting.

A desire for training as litmus (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344885)

Most computing related jobs are learned by reading large manuals, training courses can only impart a very low volume of information in comparison. If people are repetitively asking for training, it just might be the case that the wrong people have been hired. It takes an expert in any given field to hire and supervise any given type of expert, I wonder if it is time to look at the skill set of the people hiring and controlling jobs.

No training?! (5, Funny)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344915)

But I've received online security training by IT, ethics training by legal, harassment training by HR, business development training by BD, health training by our new insurance provider, all delivered by automated Flash apps voiced by a kindly sounding lady, after which *I had to get 80% on a 5-question multiple-choice test* to get my printable Certificate of Compliance! I have a hard time remembering which side of this keybored thingy to bang on sometimes, but by God I know company policies!

Re:No training?! (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344951)

so you can harass people in a cost-effective, secure, and ergonomic fashion? :)

Re:No training?! (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345193)


We just did those too a few weeks ago. Stuff like workplace safety, conflict management, etc.

Not just training - College Hire Problem Too (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344923)

A lot of public companies decimated their college hire programs over the last decade. Usually the focus has become MIS grads groomed for middle management of offshore resources. Basically it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. "We use off shore because we can't find people." Yeah and you can't find people because you refuse to put money into college hires.

College hires are more likely to get involved with start ups and small consulting companies. Both are fine, but neither prepare one for corporate work.

Re:Not just training - College Hire Problem Too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345333)

American companies are well on their way to becoming nothing but buildings full of middle management and HR departments. A self sustaining muck of endless meetings and TPS cover sheets that lives on companies that it gobbles up and acquires. This, of course, to the manager is an ideal.

To anyone with a soul this is a nightmare dystopia. The end-game is when the outsource and subcontracting ecosystem runs out of entropy, the last actual manufacture closes its doors, and the economy crashes in a tangle of endless loop conditions.

Re:Not just training - College Hire Problem Too (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345491)

Absolutely. It's almost impossible to get anything but a helpdesk or (if you're very lucky) an entry level programming job at a small organization anymore.

And no, you can't "work your way up" to an administrator or "developer", unless it's truly a very small shop. There are no gradients, because everything between "able to speak english and put things under desks" or "someone who can speak english and debug things who won't progress" because everything between those and "senior admin" or "lead developer" have been outsourced.

I exaggerate a bit, but good luck finding anything below a "5+ years of experience" position with a larger organization anymore.

"More likely" not what the article says (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39344931)


As it stands, 57 percent of respondents said training or retraining staff would be their strategy to closing the skills gap. 38 percents said they would go with outsourcing or contractors; 28 percent said they would hire new employees.

Yea, that adds up to over 100%. Whatever.

Message here is that if you consider yourself a skilled employee, you (not your employer) are responsible for keeping your skills up to date. Companies don't train Luddites.

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345091)

Doesn't have to add up to 100%. There's overlap. 57% want to train, 28% would hire new employees. Assuming that NONE of the 38% who would outsource would also train or hire, THEN we know 5% of those who would hire new employees would only do so and that the remainder would do both that AND train.

A skilled employee has WHAT time to keep their skills up-to-date? The unhealthy obsession with "work ethic" (yes, unhealthy, it causes the majority of heart attacks in the US, more than the food) results in bugger all time to stay current. And because the direction of the industry moves fast and shifts direction, you can't just stay current in one thing, you have to stay current in EVERYTHING.

I can manage it. Just, but then I have no life and can afford to spend the extra time on skill building. I sincerely doubt more than 5% of the IT professionals out there come close to being in a position to stay current, and I'm being generous. To achieve that, we'd have to either adopt the French system (30 hour weeks) or the older University system of paid sabbaticals (one year of no work in every seven, for retraining and networking).

You do understand, of course, that anyone who proposes mandating companies class a 30-hour week as "full time" and anything beyond as overtime, or who obliges corporations to provide a paid year's vacation, would be lynched within 5 minutes of the news reaching the Fox studios. It would slash healthcare costs for the nation, boost (yes, boost) productivity and profits, and raise skill levels, but it violates American "work ethic" and would be shot down, to hell with the consequences for employee and employer.

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345303)

Of source I understand that it doesn't have to add up to 100%, duh. But if you don't have 3 to 5 hours a month to keep your skills up to date you need to find a new job.

And regarding the 30 hour work week? I'd love to have that, and a sabbatical every few years. But your claim that it would be cost effective is nonsense. You think a college education is so cheap in the US because professors have those benefits?

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345689)

And regarding the 30 hour work week? I'd love to have that, and a sabbatical every few years. But your claim that it would be cost effective is nonsense. You think a college education is so cheap in the US because professors have those benefits?

So your argument is that college is expensive in the US because college professors don't work 40+ hours a week, 50 weeks a year, and do all of their ongoing training on their own time, outside of that?

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345753)

College education is so expensive in the US because they can get away with it. Britain's universities get maybe a third as much but have comparable (sometimes superior) rankings on every metric.

3-5 hours a month? You've seen the turnover of software on Freshmeat/Freecode, right? Do you know how many new features are added to critical software in a single WEEK?! You also need to remember that a rusty skill cannot be used in the future. ALL your skills have to be kept active and fresh, not just the ones that are of immediate value.

What do I mean by that? Well, here is a list of computer languages I am proficient in, in no particular order:

C, C++, C#, UPC, 80x86 Assembly, x64 Assembly, MIPS Assembly, Perl, Python, LISP, Cobol, Occam, Tcl/Tk, Ruby, Erlang, BCPL, Publicus, Visual Basic, PHP

I can flat-out guarantee that all of these WILL be needed, but I cannot tell you where, when or how. But I keep the skills fresh, so they're always to hand. I know about 20 different OS', use all of them regularly, and keep fresh in a few thousand applications and software libraries, where "fresh" means within 2 weeks of any given update being released.

And this is supposed to be doable in a couple of hours a month?????! I know more than people who have been in the industry twice as long because I spend FAR more than twice the time on this stuff. As in total. 40 hours a week of "regular" work, and about 50 hours a week of training, honing and accumulating new skills. 200+ hours a month on skill improvement. Not 3, not 5, 200. THAT is what it takes to keep current.

We know it's cost effective because nations with under 40 hour work weeks make more money and have better health (which reduces expenses). Lower expenses and greater profits (even after allowing for the increase in the number of people hired) is proof that it is actually very cost-effective indeed.

Oh, and US college professors are usually moronic imbeciles. Almost any of my family (80% of the past 3 generations, including laterally, have doctorates) could run circles round them. Further, it's well-known that they routinely abuse their sabbaticals and do not use it to develop or enhance skills, but use it to get drunk and waste themselves. I have zero sympathy for losers.

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345151)

So police, fire, military personnel are suppling their own training and at their own expense?

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345223)

So police, fire, military personnel are suppling their own training and at their own expense?

What part of "IT professionals" is confusing you?

By the way, my job title is Senior Java Developer; before that it was Senior Database Developer, so I've been there done that. I still prefer the database end of it and generally work in that arena though. Most Java developers can't write even the simplest SQL query.

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (3, Insightful)

leenks (906881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345625)

Those generalisations work both ways: I wouldn't want most SQL developers to go near real programming languages. To be fair, I probably wouldn't want them to go near the SQL queries either, though.

Re:"More likely" not what the article says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345647)

Message here is that if you consider yourself a skilled employee, you (not your employer) are responsible for keeping your skills up to date.

Do you provide your own equipment? Perform janitorial duties around the office? Why not, when you could be making yourself that much more of a valuable employee.

I hope you don't expect that you will always be able to get ahead by working three times as hard for twice the pay.

The summary touches on the problem (2)

Sepultura (150245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345011)

In my experience, the summary touches on the chief cause of this problem: If an organization can't train in-house then they have to look to 3rd parties to provide the training, and all too often those 3rd parties lack the skills and/or knowledge to effectively educate the employees in anything practical. And in most cases they're never held to account for their lack.

So at that point it simply becomes cheaper to outsource the job to someone who has to get the job done in order to be paid, rather than pay employees to learn worthless skills.

Cost of IT (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345043)

This has been this way since I can remember. 17 years in this business and I think I have received maybe two formal training sessions, both two days. Not to mention the real value of what is being delivered for that $2495.00 session is sh*t. The costs of IT to the business and individual is incredible. If an individual were to go out and get a current MCSE, what is the expected life span of that certification? What are the real costs in terms of fees, tests, software, and hardware to achieve such accredidation. If you are working for a company, you really can't deduct those expenses. If you are on your own, you won't see that return until the next year. And when the economy tanks, what you used to be worth is double digits less that what you were before. I am self tought by in large because I love to help people, I love to solve issues, and I love to build things, but what I am experiencing in terms of my lack of paper pedigree is hurting my future prospects and at this point I can't really afford to spend thousands on what I already know or if I don't, I know where to find it. To business on the otherhand, this is all a write off. Pay well, educate, support and respect your IT staff and you won't have a lot to worry about.

Alternatively, Replace Current Employees +3, Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345057)

with LOWER wage keyboard monkeys.

See EDS [] . EDS has been doing this for 10 years, not just recently.

Yours In Minsk,
K. Trout, C.I.O.

Easy (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345071)

Make execs hold 20 year stock, instead of the year or 2 bs.

...and it's not going to change anytime soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345113)

If you're getting into IT now, probably better have a backup plan - because when you're in your 40s and 50s, nooooooooooooobody's gonna want you.

Harsh, but true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345601)

This is why I'm going to school after my wife finishes her MA. I'm in my mid 30's,have been in IT since I was 21, and honestly see no future in my current job.

Increasingly, my employer outsources tasks that we have the in house skill but not the time to perform. Our current staffing is at 1999 levels, the year I started here, and there is no relief in sight. All we have time to do now is fight fires and maintain existing systems.

Two rounds of layoffs ago, we did interesting things and got to implement new technologies we adopted, but no more. We now spend more than the equivalent of an additional staff member on maintenance contracts, and contractors fees.

not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345121)

They train the off-shore people so that they'll be competent in our jobs.
I wish I was kidding...

Re:not true (1)

silky1 (1609493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346795)

And from my experience it never works....its that "What's the definition of insanity" question each time they try and try again.

Learn it yourself (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345149)

Here's your opportunity. Learn it yourself and be more valuable to your company.

Or don't, and whine, and be the next guy laid off.

Grinding on the assertions... (1)

Colven (515018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345159)

FTA1: "... organizations are more likely to outsource a task or hire someone new than invest in training an existing staff." FTA2: "As it stands, 57 percent of respondents said training or retraining staff would be their strategy to closing the skills gap. 38 percents said they would go with outsourcing or contractors; 28 percent said they would hire new employees." Something.... something's not right here. How the hell anyone could draw the conclusion that companies are less likely to train when the percentage that would train is 57%? oic 57+38+28=123% 38+28=66% 66% > 57% therefore... more

What's new? (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345285)

I noticed this years ago, so I started contracting. With the extra money, I paid for my own training. If a company is not going to help you, why should you show any loyalty? They have not earned it.

I can't stand "training" (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345315)

The last time I received any kind of IT training was when my company was in the process of switching from Quark to InDesign for publication layout. My role would involve checking articles in and out of the collaboration system and making a few minor text edits while they were in the system; nothing more. The "training" we were scheduled for involved something like four consecutive days of three-hour group training sessions. Needless to say, I said, "Thanks, I think I've got it..." and walked out during the first coffee break of the first session.

I suspect most corporate training is similarly asinine, so I'll ask: Where do these employees expect their companies to go to find training that isn't a total waste of time and money?

Re:I can't stand "training" (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345669)

Where do these employees expect their companies to go to find training that isn't a total waste of time and money?

I don't know, but in your case, it sounds as if your management didn't know InDesign from a hole in the wall, and just bought the off-the-shelf "new client" package. As they didn't know the product, they also didn't know what your job entailed, so they failed to match skills requirements to the training.

Re:I can't stand "training" (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345869)

My last employer, a UK civil service dept, sent me (and various colleagues) to Exeter University and Oxford University for data-mining / statistics / pattern recognition courses. They sent me on Oracle University courses. They sent me to conferences. They sent me on high quality developer courses hosted on the premises by skilled professionals, with other similarly minded candidates - I learnt a lot.

While Quark->InDesign training might have been offered to publishers internally, it certainly wouldn't have been offered to "technical" staff. Training was proportionate to their role.

I left because for numerous reasons - but partly because they offered 30-50% less than local market rates, and much less than working as a contractor for them. I've learnt far more since I've been in the real world too (a large part of this is because I no longer have to use the productivity sap known as "ClearCase").

In response to your last question: there are plenty of trainers offering high quality training. They just tend to offer it in highly specialised subjects at high cost.

I've never had any company training (2)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345397)

Part of the job is learning it on your own, volunteering for new things, and sometimes exaggerating your experience to get into new technologies. No company has ever spent a dime on my training, yet I've managed to build a killer resume just by never ever saying "No" to anything.

I'm working in a Java shop and the PHB sent out a group email looking for volunteers with .NET experience. My coworkers are exceptionally good at Java and I know they'd figure out C# over a weekend, but nobody volunteered! Except me. I got a 12 week gig (with paid overtime!) and all the latest Microsoft buzzwords to add to my resume.

Re:I've never had any company training (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345515)

you are the exception to the rule.


Re:I've never had any company training (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345889)

I got a 12 week gig (with paid overtime!) and all the latest Microsoft buzzwords to add to my resume.

Ouch. How's that going? Has your doctor been able to cure you yet? ;-)

Experience is valued. Training is not. (2)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345451)

If they train an existing employee that only get someone who "knows" the material. If they outsource or hire someone new that can get someone who actually done it before. As anyone who has tried to get hired on the strength of a newly learned skill can tell you, companies only value skills that have already been applied at other companies.

Re:Experience is valued. Training is not. (2)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345965)

I have hired people like this, and found many of them less than desirable. I have hired people with anywhere from 3-10 years of experience in exactly what I am looking for. When they start working, I find their skill level much to be desired. They try to apply a method they used before, which is completely inappropriate for the situation at hand. I find them taking short cuts they think I won't notice. They argue with the standards we have in place, not because they point out why they are bad, but because they are too much work. Now, I have also hired great people this way. What I am really looking for is someone who works to understand the problem and can learn, research and develop a solution. Sometimes the guy right out of school is the best one for this. Other times it is someone we already have on hand who has no experience with what we are doing, but is very flexible and can learn quickly.

Outsource to Local IT Firms (2)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345477)

If you run a small/medium business, it makes perfect sense to outsource your IT as long as you do it locally. Also, if you're an IT technician, then you need to start your own IT firm or work for an existing firm. Most small businesses don't need to hire an IT guy for $50,000+ a year just so he spends 8 hours trying to remove the malware from some unimportant employee's laptop. You can pay half the cost for a local IT company to proactively manage your network, provide remote and on-site support, and in-shop repair services. Not to mention, your IT firm can hire dozens of local IT techs and give job opportunities to many people. You make more money, and companies save money, and IT techs actually have the opportunity to grow and learn more about bettering the services they offer their clients. It just has do be done locally.

Re:Outsource to Local IT Firms (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345935)

That's fine if the SME just uses IT systems to run Microsoft Office, and maybe a few Windows shares. My brother runs an IT services company doing exactly as you describe, and both he and his clients (local SMEs) are very happy with the relationship, and long may they all prosper.

But the moment the SME starts wanting to have something a little more demanding — perhaps their own web server, or some vertical-market applications software — the local IT services company may not to be able to handle it: they simply might not have the domain experience. The application vendor might install it, and be on call to fix it, but then you've already strayed off the path of safety.

As an SME you don't have IT staff; your local IT services are out of their depth; and the vendor really isn't interested in a long drive or flight to come and fix something he considers you ought to be able to fix yourself, and which is probably running on unpatched Windows 95. At that point you have choices: a young gun who claims he can fix it all with a copy of Whizzo, but he'll be in Australia from May onwards; a 50yr old industrial consultant who seriously knows her shit and will do the right job, but charges accordingly; or one of the accounting-companies-turned-IT-consultancies who will charge 10x as much and might not even have heard of the software.

Basically, SMEs are in transition, from the Old Guard who never really grokked IT anyway, to the New Guard (not yet of working age) who will take it all in their stride, and treat with contempt and dismissal any software which doesn't live up to their (high) expectations. It sounds as if we ought to have been through all this before, over and over, but I stopped making forecasts a long time ago, especially about the future.

Re:Outsource to Local IT Firms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39346071)

Nope, the Local IT shop acts as the hands on site for the vertical App vendor, and they work together to get it done right. If that's not the way it works for you than you either have the wrong vertical app vendor or local IT shop, or both. That's how it works for the big companies in small towns too.

Re:Outsource to Local IT Firms (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346411)

As an IT firm, you cannot be afraid to make bold steps. When you start small, the work is overwhelming. But if you push through and manage to get a staff of 10+ technicians all well versed in various fields, then it makes for a pretty winning team. You cannot be afraid to expand and grow for it is the only way you'll be able to handle all the work. And not to mention you can continue to offer different services to open up new streams of revenue. With the right management tools, ticketing system, and CRM, you can easily manage hundreds of clients with just a few men.

big surprise - give prog X to replace Y = big cry (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345493)

how many times did we hear how difficult it was to put another office suite on desktops? Does anyone think this is just the Windows user base and not the Windows IT crowd too? So it's not surprising new IT projects get outsourced instead of using inhouse employees. If this was different, we'd probably see more open source used in IT but that's not the case with Windows shops. They only want to do what they know.

As a software developer, I have seen contractors brought in to get the team up and running on new tech and that worked great. But the team did have lots of UNIX background and learning new tools was nothing new to most of the team. I mentioned dropping in an open source CMS system to a friends team of Windows developers at lunch one time and they were all against it. Open source is too hard to figure out is what I got back and there's nobody to call for support. waaaaaaaaa


My company does this (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345523)

I thought all companies were like this?

If my company needs a specific technical skill, like if they need someone to use .Net to program our Sharepoint site, or they need someone to develop an iPhone app, if they don't already have someone with that experienc ein-house, their choices are to pay someone to learn the skill and "learn on the job" as they become proficient at the skill...Or they can send the task outside and let someone (or some company) who's already experienced in that skill do the work.

However, if they need help with a specific app, like their accounting system, payroll system, etc, then they will pay for training because there aren't that many people out there that already have experience with that specific system and it's almost always cheaper to train internal employees to run the system than to pay the vendor every time they want to write a new report.

Also, when they pay an employee to learn a marketable skill, that employee will likely use his new-found skill to seek a better paying job. But when they teach an employee how to run XYZ accounting system, there's much less chance of the employee finding a job with that skill, so the company's investment is safer. (not impossible though, our company lost our payroll specialist after he led us through a payrolll implementation and he went to work for a different company that uses that same payroll system).

The biggest joke is that they still make us come up with professional development goals for the year with the illusion that the company will give us the training to help us meet those goals, but of course it never happens. The guy that wants to learn .Net so he can help put financial data on the Intranet Sharepoint site ends up getting sent to an XYZ Accounting report writing class instead.

more Dilbert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39345929)

I see more value in a paper clip at least it holds things together and is cheap.

Most companies are not in the IT business (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345983)

This is likely to be an unpopular opinion on slashdot, but the fact is most companies are not in the IT business. That means their primary service/product is not IT. If a company is selling shoes for example, they're not exactly going to be innovators in the IT world. In fact they'd much rather hire an external IT agency to handle their IT requirements because let's face it, there isn't much tie in with IT for their shoe selling business.

You can replace shoes with nearly anything. Now if your company's business relies heavily on IT infrastructure like certain engineering and technology segments, then perhaps it makes sense to bring in your own in-house IT department.

This applies not just to IT. For example the same shoe selling company isn't going to have a spectacular accounting department. They're either going to hire an accounting firm or just enough accountants to make the wheels spin for accounting.

The quicker you realize this the quicker you should be able to find a position that is stable for your own profession. If you want true stability and you want to stay in IT, then it is time to start your own IT business and bid on IT contracts.

Existing employees are too busy for training (2)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346201)

If not, they would have been laid off!

Depends on IT Needs (1)

bwohlgemuth (182897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346203)

The ones who don't care about building their own core competency usually outsource to a myriad of companies. While they get their work done at a reasonable price, it also means they get a lot of hold music when something breaks. If you have a server/network link that could break and it would require an explanation to the're probably better off having someone in house who can fix it quickly (and find other problems before the big ones go BOOM).

That usually doesn't happen in sub Fortune-1000 companies.

Outsourcing is about accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39346415)

Outsourcing is all about accountability. If the project is not working out, it is much, much easier to term a contract with a consultant than to fire an employee. Managers are also less likely to take the blame if the high priced consulting firm was at fault (even if they weren't). Finally, what manager wants to claim that they don't have enough work to do to keep the current staff busy (otherwise, how would they have the time to develop the new project).

Outsourcing usually isn't in the best interest of the company, but it is for the decision makers.

All the training in the world can't beat Google (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346541)

Need to know how to do X thing in five minutes? Google, my friend! Today it was figuring out how to unlock a locked virtual server via RDP... whoever decided to make it CTRL ALT END was a genius, a sheer genius. I could have spent $500 for a seminar on virtualization and never been told that, but Google told me in ten seconds, for free.

Re:All the training in the world can't beat Google (1)

bwohlgemuth (182897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39346761)

Googling is good for "how to" do something, but not so great when it comes to troubleshooting.

Ain't no new thing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39346689)


The Financial Times by Rebecca Christie

Reprinted in the Kansas City Star

Business wary of high-tech training

WASHINGTON - Companies often are uninterested in training workers for high-technology jobs, preferring instead to compete for a limited pool of existing talent, according to a Commerce Department report.

Short development cycles and product lives contribute to some companies' reluctance to train workers, said the report prepared by the departments' Office of Technology Policy. This is compounded by fears that a worker might take a new job before employers are able to reap the benefits of training investment.

The report quoted one technology executive from Arizona who said: "I am afraid, as an employer, of getting people who would require an awful lot of training. We have eight hours to learn a new system. We don't have three months or six months."

Labor Department statistics show that between 1983 and 1998, demand for employment in core technology occupations grew six times faster than the overall job growth rate. Central recommendations from the new report included tax breaks and government-funded training initiatives designed to expand the labor pool.

The report also said the U.S. education system needed more emphasis on science and technology, particularly for middle school children. Some schoolchildren rule out a career in science as early as middle school and stop taking the classes they would need to study mathematics or engineering in college, the report said.

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