The secret desires of IT workers revealed

by Stephanie Zillman01 May 2013

They’re the notoriously quiet worker bees in the corner. Or perhaps on another level all together. What do IT workers really want? The answer may surprise you.

IT workers have little interest in advancing their careers to leadership roles – what they’re really after is opportunities to hone their technical skills that will help them land their next job.

That’s according to research from specialist recruiter, Ambition, who recently canvassed the opinions of more than 400 Australian IT workers.

Key findings from the survey included:

  • Just a quarter of IT workers are interested in undertaking management studies
  • 45% indicated that they would choose to obtain vendor or industry certificates if they were to study.

According to Ambition managing director Andrew Cross, many IT employees take a fairly ‘transactional approach’ to progressing in the field – in their view, the more skills and certificates they have, the better their career trajectory. “To retain top IT talent amid the skills shortage, employers need to provide ongoing training and development programs and map career pathways for permanent employees,” Cross said.

HR may in fact be misfiring in their strategic approach to retain the top IT talent, as the report found less than a fifth of the IT workforce had access to professional career progression plans in their organisation. According to Cross, not communicating a clear outlook of career opportunities to key employees is likely to lead IT workers into the arms of another employer. “IT staff who don’t have a clear vision of the career opportunities within a company may lack a sense of allegiance to one employer,” Cross said. “Core skills are essential, but employers also need senior IT staff with a solid understanding of business goals and processes, and team management skills.”


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