2) Complexity of Digital Tools and Technologies
As data and processes in organizations become increasingly digital, organizations demand more workers that can design, build and maintain systems that generate insights, automate processes or increase productivity. But the tech labor market is still extremely polarized, you are either technical or not, an engineer or not. However, just because a job centers around building and maintaining digital systems, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a degree in computer science to deliver the solution. The barrier here is a lack of appropriate tools that enables the labor market to provide a greater spectrum of tech workers with varying degrees of technical abilities. A greater spectrum of technical workers allows employers to focus traditional software engineers on harder problems while meeting other needs with workers from different educational backgrounds.
The combination of these two trends is resulting in a Tech Labor Bottleneck (pictured above), that is preventing a large group of capable workers from migrating out of lower skilled jobs into high-demand tech professions.
This bottleneck is the source of an increasing imbalance between high vs. low skilled labor. The key to address this imbalance is to focus on the larger social issues of limited education paths for tech and the complexity of digital tools and technologies. Over the next couple of blog posts in this series, I will be exploring the societal responses that are emerging to tackle these two issues in the form of:
Providing Alternative Paths for Education
The traditional 4 year college route as the single path to employment is no longer meeting the needs of our labor market. We need to address labor needs via a diversified set of training channels that match the skills needed without putting huge financial burden on future workers.
Making Digital Tools Accessible to a Larger Spectrum of Technical Expertise
Creating systems and tools that make it easier for workers from different educational backgrounds to participate in the tech workforce.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts that dive deeper into these two topics.
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