IT security training demand, custom content, blended learning top Colloquium predictions

IT security training demand, custom content, blended learning top Colloquium predictions

EXCLUSIVE: The huge demand for training related to IT security, helping network professionals to be armed for things like computer viruses, intrusion detection, cyber terrorism and denial-of-service attacks, was the No. 1 IT training trend this year, according to attendees of Colloquium 2004, hosted by the nonprofit Computing Technology Industry Association (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.).

Of the 81 attendees who submitted predictions before the event, held Jan. 21-23 in Naples, Fla., 14.8% cited an increase in IT security training and certification as a major trend in 2004.

“Incorporated security and XML training and certification will prosper,” said Bill McCulloch, program manager for training and certification at Adobe Systems (Seattle). “These fields will grow increasingly significant, largely due to the growing interest in extending business processes beyond the firewall to connect customers and constituents with enterprise applications.”

“Spending by IT software vendors on security training provided for their customers will increase by over 200% in 2004,” predicted Robert Doi, lead marketing manager for the business marketing organization at Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.).

Also coming up high on attendees’ radar screens were demand for custom content and growth in blended learning solutions, each with nine mentions representing 11.1% of responses, as well as the continued offshore shift of IT work and the increasing focus of training vendors in the academic sector, cited in 8.6% of responses.

“There will be double-digit growth in demand during 2004 for client-site, custom training with clear ROI indicators being required by customers,” said Daniel Veitkus, general manager of software firm Novell (Waltham, Mass.).

“The spending on traditional IT programs will decrease, while the demand and spend for programs around internal business processes, requirements gathering and the ability to document technical needs will increase in 2004,” said Beth Daniel, senior vice president of Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.).

Even though security ranked high on the list of predictions, demand for IT certification in general was viewed by many at the event as being in a general state of decline and devaluation, due to a glut of programs, the downturn in IT spending and the large number of unemployed certificate holders. Eight attendees or 9.8% of those submitting predictions cited this factor.

“The value of IT certifications will continue to be questioned by both IT professionals and their employers,” said Bee Ng, general manager with Sun Microsystems (Santa Clara, Calif.).

“Chief information officers will continue to devalue certifications until they can guarantee hands-on experience,” said Jess Hartman, senior vice president and CIO for IT trainer New Horizons Worldwide (Anaheim, Calif.).

What will succeed, according to predictions from four attendees, will be specialized certifications tied to specific IT job roles or competencies, as opposed to those focused on specific vendor products.

“Certifications that allow the candidate to demonstrate competency in an area of specialization … will grow in popularity at a faster rate than other certifications in 2004,” according to Kimberly Giles, vice president of marketing for IT test preparation firm Transcender (Nashville, Tenn.).

“By the end of 2005, custom certifications, role-based or project-based, will be held by a significant portion of existing IT professionals, and will attract non-certified IT professionals into the certification pipeline,” predicted Laura Steele Polly, certification marketing manager for Microsoft.

Of the five attendees who said IT trainers face increased competition from community colleges, two suggested vendors focus on finding ways to cooperate rather than go head-to-head with the schools.

“The academic community will become even more of a competitor to commercial IT training companies, with degree programs that provide both required certifications, business and management skills and academic credentials which open new doors to IT professionals,” said Bob Whelan, vice president and general manager of IT testing provider Pearson VUE (Bloomington, Minn.). “[Trainers] must learn to co-exist and complement this emerging trend, vs. trying to snuff it out.”

Major IT Training Trends Identified

By Industry Leaders

(poll of Colloquium 2004, out of 81 submissions)

Trend % Responses

Growth In Security Training/Cert. 14.8%

Growth In Custom Training 11.1%

Growth In Blended Learning 11.1%

Certifications Less Valuable 9.8%

Increase In Offshore Contracting 8.6%

Increase In Academic Opportunities 8.6%

Source: CompTIA, Simba Information

COPYRIGHT 2004 RR Bowker

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group