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The Evolution of the IT Decision-Maker

Nov. 16, 2017
Ryan Day


For 10 years, Global Knowledge has surveyed IT professionals and published the findings in our annual IT Skills and Salary Report. With topics ranging from top-paying certifications to most in-demand skills, our reports have consistently provided a deep examination of the attitudes and opinions held by IT professionals around the globe. With a decade of reporting at our fingertips, we decided it was an appropriate time to dissect the views of those making the decisions in the tech industry. What are their biggest challenges? How have their training opinions changed over time? How do their actions affect staff?


Training is an Investment, Not an Expense

IT budgets have gradually dwindled over the last decade, thus making it more difficult for decision-makers to allocate the proper funds for training.

Despite this challenge, the value of training remains high according to the 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report. More than 80 percent of managers say training is effective in developing needed skills for their staff. This belief in the success of training has remained stable over the last 10 years and has consistently hovered between 70 and 86 percent.

The confidence in certification value, however, has skyrocketed. In 2011, only 35 percent of decision-makers stated that certifications directly lead to a more effective staff. That number rose to highs of 85 percent in 2016 and 94 percent this year.

Managers were fairly skeptical about the importance of certification during the early years of our report. In 2011, 21 percent of decision-makers reported “no change” in the effectiveness of staff after certification. Even hiring managers were de-emphasizing the importance of certifications in 2011 with less than 10 percent viewing them as “very important.”

This could be due to a number of reasons. Technology didn’t change as quickly as it does now, so employees could adapt more quickly to tech upgrades in the workplace.

Professional development options are also now more plentiful. Classroom training used to be the only way to educate your staff, forcing managers to adapt to employees constantly being out of the office. Today, classroom options are still wildly popular and successful, but there are a number of virtual and on-demand choices that allow professionals to further their IT education where and when they choose. It’s easier for managers to see value in training when their department’s productivity isn’t taking a hit due to staff being off-site.

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