You could look on the bright side and say that IT departments are nearly half-way there in terms of developing the skill sets around IP networking they need. Or you could say we’ve got long way still to go.
NoJitter.com recently released the results of its second-annual salary and careers survey, and while the more than 600 respondents were not necessarily Canadian, they shared some surprisingly honest answers about how well-versed they are in next-generation communications technologies. To put it bluntly, the data suggests that many haven’t spent enough time transitioning to technologies that could save money improve performance or better fulfill business objectives. Here’s the summary from the ‘Your Expertise’ slide:
Interestingly, given the prevalence of IP telephony and Web-based communications, not quite half of communications respondents have any direct experience, training, or specialization in IP networking. Then again, only slightly more than half (53%) of respondents overall claimed the same of IP networking. For them, data center management/networking and IT security also hit at about the 50% mark, as second and third behind IP networking. Among our communications respondents, video conferencing (54%) and audio/visual systems (50%) fill those second and third spots, following telecom/communications.
Maybe specialization isn’t necessary here, particularly for those who aren’t in a defined enterprise communications role, but more hands-on work with IP networking would surely benefit anyone working in IT. In some respects, the findings are at odds with some of the other data presented in the survey. For example, 31% IT professionals told No Jitter that a love of technology was the best thing about their job. On the other hand, 72% had been with the same firm for more than six years, so there may be a comfort in the familiar, as opposed to migrating to newer technologies. That’s why it’s not just the bar for IP networking that needs to rise: areas like security are shockingly low.
Though the survey results are well worth looking at in their entirety, I’d suggest starting with this chart and doing your own self-assessment. If you love technology and you want to stay with the organization where you’re currently employed, do this bar graph reflect that? If not, your goals for professional growth couldn’t be more clear.