Report finds skills gap in cloud, security, storage IT intensified by pandemic

Pluralsight study also found that most remote employees' confidence to do their current jobs was down 13% from a year ago as office adjustments were made.

There's yet a new category within the business sector that has been disrupted by the worldwide pandemic: upskilling. The term refers to companies providing employees with advanced skills through additional education and training.

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According to research released Sept. 1 by IT workforce training provider Pluralsight, technology issues introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging trend of more remote work uncovered significant technology skills gaps at many organizations, which in turn are requiring new approaches to upskilling efforts. 

In its "State of Upskilling Report," Pluralsight found that since early 2020, remote employees reported that skills involving cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data storage were most lacking in their daily routines. The report also found that most remote employees' confidence to do their current jobs was down 13% from a year ago as office adjustments were made. 

The report said that one of the biggest changes in employees' routines in the past year was the emergence of hands-on learning as a primary means of skill development. A majority of respondents seek out the ability to learn while doing, with 77% of technology professionals stating that hands-on learning opportunities are an essential part of any upskilling program. 

"Closing the technology skills gap continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises," Gary Eimerman, General Manager of Pluralsight Skills, said in a media advisory. "As organizations around the world responded to the pandemic by accelerating digital transformation initiatives, accelerating the move of applications to cloud platforms, and supporting remote employees, the need for effective and scalable upskilling tools became even more important."

The report also found that there is a gap involving satisfaction in upskilling resources between tech workers and senior management. Only 56 percent percent of remote employees reported that they were satisfied with their organization's current upskilling initiatives. Additionally, technologists in small organizations showed lower levels of satisfaction with upskilling resources (65%) than their peers at extra-large (73%) and large (82%) companies. 

The report compiled survey results from more than 600 technology learners and leaders in the United States and Europe on the most current trends and attitudes around skill development.