Health IT workforce will require higher skill set

SAN ANTONIO – As trends in technology change the employment landscape, training and certifying IT workers will require a higher skill set, said Terry Erdle, senior vice president, skills certification, of CompTIA in remarks he delivered at Breakaway 2010, the premier event for IT companies in North America. For healthcare IT workers, for instance, this may mean having a broader knowledge of areas such as security.

CompTIA’s Breakaway conference, which concludes today, was held in San Antonio and included sessions on healthcare IT and green IT, cloud computing and cybersecurity among others.

Current estimates place the number of IT job openings in the United States at between 300,000 and 500,000. Forecasts for IT job growth through 2018 approach 20 percent.

According to experts, top in-demand job categories are computer systems engineers, developers, project managers, network engineers, security specialists, technology sales specialists and support staff and help desk employees. And for areas such as security, cloud computing, healthcare IT and green IT, they expect to see even faster growth as organizations expand their reliance on technology solutions in these areas.

But Erdle said the types of jobs available today and in the future require a different skill set. Many positions will require a combination of high-level skills. For example, workers in healthcare IT are likely to need a strong knowledge base in security as well, he said.

“Trends in technology are changing the employment landscape,” said Erdle. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t need people. It’s just a different kind of job.”

CompTIA is planning several new certification programs in the next six to twelve months, Erdle said. They include certifications in advanced security skills, healthcare IT, storage and cloud computing

“We’re trying to push the industry up to a mastery level of skills,” he said.

CompTIA and Tempe, Ariz.-based Certification Partners, LLC announced this week that they’ve jointly developed a new credential that validates skills and standards-based knowledge in today’s convergence technologies. The new CTP+ certification available Aug. 30 is designed to address the rapidly changing landscape of new network convergence products and solutions, such as voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony, unified messaging and web conferencing.

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