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Changing IT Environment Demands New Strategies for Training

(August 13, 2010) Forecasts of double-digit growth in information technology (IT) jobs over the next several years will demand that the industry take new, aggressive steps for fill the pipeline with new workers, a senior executive with CompTIA, the industry's leading non-profit trade association, said at CompTIA Breakaway 2010.

"It's just a different kind of job."

"Trends in technology are changing the employment landscape," Terry Erdle, senior vice president, skills certification, CompTIA, said in remarks delivered at Breakaway 2010, the premier event for IT companies in North America.

"It doesn't mean that we don't need people," he added. "It's just a different kind of job."

Estimates place the current number of IT job openings in the United States at between 300,000 and 500,000. Forecasts for IT job growth through 2018 approach 20 percent.

Top in-demand job categories include computer systems engineers, developers, project managers, network engineers, security specialists, technology sales specialists and support staff and help desk employees. Areas such as security, cloud computing, healthcare IT and green IT will see even faster growth as organizations expand their reliance on technology solutions in these areas.

But Erdle said that the types of jobs available today and in the future require a different, higher skill set. Many positions will require a combination of high-level skills. For example, workers in healthcare IT are likely to need a strong skill set in security as well.

Erdle outlined an "entry to expert career IT path," starting with technology fundamentals and foundation-level skills and continuing through mastery certifications, industry credentials and career specializations.

CompTIA, the leading provider of vendor-neutral certifications for the IT workforce, is planning several new certification programs in the next six to twelve months, Erdle said. They include certifications in advanced security skills, healthcare IT, storage and cloud computing

"We're trying to push the industry up to a mastery level of skills," he said.

CompTIA and Certification Partners, LLC announced this week that they've jointly developed a new credential that validates skills and standards-based knowledge in today's convergence technologies. The new CTP+ certification available Aug. 30 is designed to address the rapidly changing landscape of new network convergence products and solutions, such as voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony, unified messaging and web conferencing.

Companies participating in the Certification Partner Pavilion at CompTIA included Axzo Press, Cengage Learning, ElementK, Global Knowledge, John Wiley & Sons, LearnForce Partners, MeasureUp (Certiport, Inc.), New Horizons Computer Learning Centers and Pearson Education.

For more information, visit

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit or follow CompTIA on Twitter at

Info from the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index:
35% of IT firms plan to increase tech spending over the next 6 months
53% of IT firms report being understaffed by between 5% and 20%
61% of IT firms expect Q3 & Q4 revenues to exceed 2010 first half revenues

Colleen Gildea

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