How to make IT professionals more effective and happy in their jobs

The majority of UK-based IT professionals are happy at work as concerns over job security recede, research from Comptia reveals.

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Job satisfaction is a mysterious thing. Whether someone is satisfied or dissatisfied in their work rarely comes down to one single factor but rather the culmination of many elements, which makes the metric difficult for employers to address.

The good news, though, is that a majority of UK-based IT professionals are happy at work. CompTIA’s second annual IT Career Insights study finds that a majority of IT pros in the UK still report being very or mostly satisfied (61 percent) with their job. Only five percent rate their current position as mostly or very dissatisfactory, with the remaining segment falling in the middle of the continuum. 

However, satisfaction among UK IT pros has slightly decreased since last year (65 percent) and remains lower in comparison to their counterparts in the U.S. (76 percent).Two key pieces in addressing employee satisfaction are identifying what concerns workers have, and what resources or support would help them to perform their job more efficiently or effectively. Most IT workers in the UK (89 percent) are still concerned with at least one area of their jobs, though the areas and degrees of concern have somewhat shifted.

Employees less worried about lay-offs

It appears that improvements have been made on some job-specific and professional development fronts, while the concern about becoming bored or unhappy with the job rose to the top this year (36 percent). Last year’s top worry of layoffs due to employer financial problems dropped from 36 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2013.

The concerns IT professionals express certainly align with their wish list for work. When asked to consider ways that would help them perform their job more effectively or efficiently, more resources for training and professional development and more time to work on new technology emerge as the leading responses in the UK, similar to the other countries surveyed.

IT professionals studying to enhance their IT skills

These findings imply that IT professionals want to take an active role in managing their careers, building their skill-sets and staying ahead of new technologies. Study results also suggest that while many companies still underinvest in training and professional development, it seems they have made headway over the past year.

Furthermore, most IT professionals recognise how critical it is to train for their current or desired job functions. Among those who have begun their IT career path, the great majority (91 percent) plan to further pursue study in at least one area to enhance their IT skills. More than half expect to pursue networks and infrastructure over the next two years, and a third or more want to focus on servers, security and cybersecurity, virtualisation, tech support and/or cloud computing.

For any job in today’s economy, one must stay ahead of the curve in their field or run the risk of their skills becoming obsolete. Businesses benefit as employees develop new hard and soft skills. Employees benefit from increased knowledge and career advancement. Subsequently, while professional development may help an IT employee climb the career ladder, it also aids in job security.

Amy Carrado is director of market research at CompTIA.

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