Most IT professionals feel they are not achieving their full potential

More than 66% of IT professionals believe that they are not living up to their potential at work, and most want control over their own professional development, according to a survey released this week.

More than 66% of IT professionals believe that they are not living up to their potential at work, and most want control over their own professional development, according to a survey released this week.

The survey of 3,000 public and private sector workers by e-learning software provider SkillSoft found that IT staff are more likely to feel their potential is not being realised than other employees.

Only 34.5% of public sector workers and 37.2% of private sector workers felt they were in a job that reflected their true potential. But the figure for the 258 IT staff surveyed was even lower at just 31.4%.

The survey also found that more IT staff felt their employer encouraged them to develop their skills at work than in other sectors, with 72.5% of IT staff agreeing this was the case, compared with 66.1% of those working in all parts of the public sector, and only 56.1% of those in the private sector.

More than 95% of IT staff wanted to control their professional development, compared to just under 90% in other industries.
The desire for training is being met by only a minority of employers. The survey found that 56.9% of IT staff and 64% of all those surveyed were given no time for professional development during working hours.

Kevin Young, SkillSoft managing director, said, “Just consider the productivity gains that could be achieved if UK businesses stepped up their commitment to developing their employees’ skills.”

Nearly 55% of IT staff wanted to improve their IT skills, with 45% wanting better business skills in areas such as communications or customer relations.

When asked about training methods, 21.6% of IT staff said they liked to learn informally from colleagues and online learning materials, with 19.6% preferring instructor-led courses. Nearly 59% said they preferred a mixture of both methods.

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