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Splunk vs the skills shortage – trying to help organisations gain the right skills

Splunk’s CEO Douglas Merritt explains how the organisation has been working to help people both in and outside its organisation to gain the skills needed to use its big data technology

Data analysis firm Splunk has offered attendees of its .conf2016 conference the chance to ensure Splunk skills can be spread throughout their organisations.

Splunk offered $5,000 worth of Splunk education training credit to each attendee to use within their firms in an attempt to fill a skills gap.

Douglas Merritt, CEO of Splunk claimed: “This represents a $20m investment from Splunk to you.”

Educating the masses

In the UK, computing graduates have the highest rate of unemployment six months after finishing their degrees, and many say this is because they lack the skills needed to go straight into a career.

With the amount of data growing in firms, the importance of analysis is growing, and there is a shortage of people with data scientist skills, as well as an increase in the number of firms using technologies such as Splunk to manage large amounts of information.

Merritt pointed out that with any growing technology, the need for skills in using that technology also grows.

Merritt said: “Every technology before us that has become so successful, VMware, Salesforce, Oracle, there’s a constant push.”

Continued education

But, according to Merritt, the offer of upskilling for .conf attendees is a “nice edition” in the quest to tackle the Splunk skills shortage, and that firms can “never have enough” skilled employees.  

“I do have proof that if you are more educated and trained then you do a better job ensuring success.”

According to Merritt, 1,200 people attended Splunk’s conference “university” and it issued 600 certifications in the lead-up to the event.

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Merritt also announced more than 5 million university students worldwide have been given access to advanced Splunk certifications, and that the firm would offer more free online courses.  

“Rolling education out is critical, and last year with our partners we actually created an education platform where top partners get education for free and strategic partners get education if they request it,” Merritt said.

“The real leverage is going to come through channel, through university programmes, through the continued advance of free online training and free e-learning training, which we’re releasing courses in that area every month.”

A lack of specific industry skills is a common complaint for firms looking to hire new employees, and many believe this kind of collaboration between firms, education establishments and tech companies is what is needed to fill roles.

Read more on IT education and training