When There is a Skills Gap, Industry Needs to Fix It
A number of industries are going through a skills gap crisis - or are looking down the barrel of one. In manufacturing, an aging workforce means that in the next 10 years retirement will free up 3.5 million jobs - and because of the skills gap, 2 million of them will likely go unfilled.
This scenario is not limited to manufacturing and yet the root cause is the same. These industries have not managed their workforce pipeline with a long term plan.
The software industry would do well to learn from these other industries and start better talent pipeline management now. As an industry we are facing a skill shortage crisis because the demand for software is simply outstripping the ability of our universities to educate people. The solution to this shortage is not to simply pay more money to draw existing workers away from other employers. To avoid the challenge of cultivating new talent is to set ourselves up for failure. We - and other industries - need to do a much better job at on-ramping people into careers, consistently and into perpetuity. Apprenticeship and internships are not just "feel good" programs, there are the lifeblood to our continuing prosperity.
We cannot wait for government or the university system to do it for us. We must as a collective create a career ecosystem that provides entry points and stepping stones to the next career opportunity or face severe consequences, whether it be in the next 10, 15 or 50 years from now.