- In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies and households are dependent upon technology more than ever. CompTIA is offering free e-learning through CompTIA IT Fundamentals for displaced workers looking for new opportunities, students wanting to explore information technology (IT) careers or anyone interested in the field. The global provider of vendor-neutral skills certifications and training for IT professionals, along with its industry partner BenchPrep, announced March 23 free 30-day access to the CertMaster Learn eLearning course for CompTIA ITF+.
- CompTIA ITF+ is a pre-career certification that allows users to determine whether a career in tech is right for them. CertMaster Learn provides interactive learning with flashcards, performance-based questions, videos to demonstrate key concepts and processes and self-assessments and analytics to track one’s progress through the course.
- "It's a time of high anxiety and uncertainty about the future," Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA said in a statement. “Millions of individuals will be spending extended hours at home over the next several weeks waiting for events on the ground to change for the better. Why not spend some of the time exploring a new career?"
As telework increases due to the spread of COVID-19, companies are heavily relying on the expertise of IT professionals for everything from keeping information secure to instruction on collaboration apps, experts said.
Unify Square, a management software and services provider for Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack collaboration platforms, released a study March 24 that found 43% of employees surveyed said employers are partially responsible for preventing distraction caused by collaboration apps. Alan Shen, vice president of consulting services at Unify Square, said IT departments need to check in with workers regarding usage. "Employees' ever-changing preferences coupled with the introduction of new collaboration technology rolling out regularly, creates a constant need for IT to be in check with employees' usage of collaboration tools," Shen said in a statement. More than 60% of workers surveyed said they believe the responsibility of securing collaboration apps should lie solely on their organization's IT department.
Amid the switch to telework, companies should have a business continuity plan that includes IT asset management and confirming employees have IT assets that are accounted for and working properly, according to The International Association of IT Asset Managers. "Companies and agencies without business continuity plans with a strong IT Asset Management component are going to be sitting ducks for breaches, hacking and data that is out there in the wild beyond the control of the company," Barbara Rembiesa, president and CEO of IAITAM, said in a statement March 18.
But to help IT professionals do their jobs, employees will need to upskill to meet the requirement of technological business disruptions. Experts say that personalization in learning is key. "Teaching people based on their individual needs will certainly be a trend in L&D in the upcoming year, as it's a win-win for both business and employee development," Paul Mumma, CEO of Cerego, told HR Dive in January.
Research by Peppercomm and Echo Research released March 6 analyzed the perceptions of how well companies are preparing workforces. HR leaders must ensure all employees partake in the upskilling process, according to Ann Barlow, Peppercomm senior partner and employee experience lead. "We’re also seeing that HR executives may have concluded that a group of employees will retire ahead of when a new skillset is essential, and for others that the gap between current and future required skills is just too wide," Peppercomm said in a statement. "Along with their communications counterparts, HR leaders must ensure that employees aren’t being left behind for other reasons."
More than two thirds of 1,000 employees surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. by Peppercomm and Echo Research agreed their companies provide training and instruction for upskilling. However, in the U.S., 39% of employees in nonmanagerial roles said they aren’t getting the training needed to meet technological advancements.