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Survey: Upskilling, reskilling central to competing for tech talent

Written on Apr 14, 2023

More than half of companies have launched reskilling or upskilling initiatives for new and existing workers, according to a survey from NTT DATA. The company surveyed 1,000 business and IT executives across 16 industries.

While the majority, 57%, of executives rely on internal staff to execute innovation plans, the remaining 43% of respondents turn to outside experts.

Leading organizations, those identified by the company as hyper-focused on transformation, were more likely to execute upskilling and reskilling initiatives to fill their talent needs.

Training an existing workforce has long been the safe bet for filling tech positions. This strategy lets companies retain valuable workers and avoid paying more in hot labor markets for in-demand skills.

The lifecycle of technology further validates this approach — as tools evolve, they require a new set of skills for broad adoption.

Embracing upskilling and reskilling creates a more resilient workforce, especially as intelligent technologies begin to take on new tasks, however, the recent wave of layoffs — in big technology companies especially — has disrupted the usual cycle of upskilling initiatives, according to a Pluralsight report.

For two-thirds of tech managers, staff cuts in key technology areas meant their teams were pushed to take on additional workloads, Pluralsight found. In turn, this has reduced the ability to block off time for training.

The monthly employment data report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is starting to reflect the large cuts in technology positions. In February, the tech workforce contracted, and unemployment rose, according to a CompTIA analysis of official data.

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