We must seize the day amid skills lull



John Riley

john.riley@rbi.co.uk

Groundswell

In IT, excellent synergy and flexibility all too often results in...



John Riley

john.riley@rbi.co.uk

Groundswell

In IT, excellent synergy and flexibility all too often results in redundancy. The reason is not too hard to find. The current education system is not geared up for the creative professions, such as IT or design, and rarely helps inventors or entrepreneurs. The system was great for the industrial revolution, and produces good lawyers and accountants, but has never worked effectively for the information revolution.

That is fundamentally why the numerous government think-tanks and reports on IT skills get nowhere. Even the recent robust and practical Stevens Report was, we gather, depressingly rejected by government officials who fail to recognise the scale of the problem.

Although success in IT bears little correlation to academic success, many worthy organisations soldier on, so that we now have around 800 separate IT qualifications in the UK; an impossible situation.

Paradoxically the post-Y2K IT industry recession, set to last until 2003, is a blessing in disguise. Demand for client server and legacy skills is dropping and the e-skills cycle is in its infancy. This skills lull provides a rare opportunity for a truly independent and high-level group to bang heads together to match future education more effectively to IT skills. Computer Weekly is involved, so watch this space. Mission impossible? With your help we think not.

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