• United States

Who decides and pays for your continuing education?

Mar 22, 20063 mins
Data Center

* Survey looks at how employees view their employer's training and development policies

Does your employer help you identify the technical training that you need for your career and pay for your courses and certifications? If your answers are yes, you may be in the minority.

According to a survey published earlier this year by CompTIA, 85% of the 462 IT pros polled said they decide what IT training and education they need based on their own career plans. Just 8% said their employers had requirements or made recommendations for IT training.

As for who pays for education, 88% of the respondents said they paid in full or in part for their training, while 20.5% of tech workers said their bosses provide paid time away from work for training and education.

The workers surveyed said they spent on average $2,200 on training and education in 2005, and expect to increase that amount to $2,300 this year.

The survey also found that 60% of the respondents are looking for new jobs. Although the survey does not indicate whether the job seekers are looking for new positions because of the lack of training support from their employers, Neill Hopkins, vice president of skills development at CompTIA reports that from anecdotal evidence, employees working at companies that actively participate in their IT workers’ career development are more likely to stay put.

Hopkins said that the results of the survey show that more education of employers is required in helping them understand the different IT training options that are open to their employees and the training that’s required for the different roles. He pointed to CompTIA’s Tech Career Compass, a tool on CompTIA’s Web site that helps employers and IT pros map work functions to jobs, develop job descriptions, and identify training needs.

Hopkins said that while he was a little surprised by the results of the survey, he was shocked at the high percentage – 85% – of respondents who said they receive little career training and education guidance from their employers. He believes that while many companies provide financial assistance to employers who embark on degree courses, they don’t usually provide the same level of assistance to IT workers for IT certification, citing lack of understanding about the importance of IT training by employers as the problem.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on these issues. While I’m disappointed that some companies may discriminate on the types of training they help fund, I’m not sure that IT pros should expect their employers to pay for what is essentially continuing professional education. Should professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, accountants and IT executives – expect their employers to fund continuing education or should they be responsible for their own training? After all, no one job is for life and you are master of your own career choices. Let me know what you think and let me know if I can publish your comments in a follow-up newsletter. Thanks.

* Looking for an IT job? Try out our national job search engine, which aggregates searches from a variety of sources. Powered by Indeed.