NVTC Releases Reports on Employers’ Demand for Tech Talent

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Cybersecurity and Software Development Certifications, Skills and Competencies Outlined

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), with funding from the Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) program, today released two reports highlighting Greater Washington employers’ certification, skill and competency expectations for the software development and cybersecurity workforce.

Using analysis of employer-submitted résumés that represent the employers’ ideal employee for their software development and cybersecurity openings, the 2018 Greater Washington Technology Workforce Needs Assessment highlights the most common skills, competencies and industry certifications that local employers deemed high-demand and/or in low supply in the regional talent pool. The report also provides analysis of levels of work experience, educational attainment and soft skills employers say are most in demand or difficult to find in the current workforce.

A companion report, Understanding Employer Demand for Cybersecurity and Software Development Skills in the Greater Washington Region, elaborates on key findings from the original data analysis and suggests ways education and training partners can continue to align their programs and training to meet specific employer skill and competency needs.

Key findings from both reports include:

  • Six of the top ten most-cited competencies on software developer résumés were for coding languages. However, coding language competency is generally not required of the cybersecurity workforce.
  • CompTIA’s Security+ certificate was the most common industry credential in both the cybersecurity and software development talent pools.
  • Employers’ biggest pain point is finding qualified mid-level talent with 2-5 years of professional experience using the skill or competency.
  • Employers are willing to hire candidates without a traditional four-year degree as long as a degree is not required by their customer.
  • Employers struggle to find candidates that have soft skill competencies, like communication and problem solving, they want in their workforce.

“Greater Washington’s technology employers need more talent with the right skills and competencies in order to sustain their growth and continue to innovate,” said NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. “We encourage education and training providers, as well as the job seekers they serve, to use this research to target the high demand certifications, competencies and foundational skills that will make them most marketable in the local IT job market.”

The research and data analysis presented in these reports were conducted through the NVTC Tech Talent Employer Collaborative, which is part of GO Virginia-funded Region 7 “Northern Virginia Tech Talent Pipeline” project. GO Virginia is an economic development program that offers state-incentives for local and regional collaboration to address region-specific economic challenges and create higher wage jobs.

Both reports will be used by NVTC to inform next steps in its Tech Talent Initiative, including mapping needed skill sets to the workforce pipeline; collaborating with academic and training organizations, non-profits, and state and local government; and marketing the region and its technology career opportunities to future talent.

View the full 2018 Greater Washington Technology Workforce Needs Assessment Report here and the Understanding Employer Demand for Cybersecurity and Software Development Skills in the Greater Washington Region report here.

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The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) is the membership and trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia. As the largest technology council in the nation, NVTC serves about 1,000 companies from all sectors of the technology industry, as well as service providers, universities, foreign embassies, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. Through its member companies, NVTC represents about 300,000 employees in the region. NVTC is recognized as the nation's leader in providing its technology community with networking and educational events; specialized services and benefits; public policy advocacy; branding of its region as a major global technology center; initiatives in targeted business sectors and in the international, entrepreneurship, workforce and education arenas; and the NVTC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that supports the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative and other priorities within Virginia's technology community. Visit NVTC at http://www.nvtc.org.

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Allison Gilmore
Northern Virginia Technology Council
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