Matthew Lee, Regional Manager for SUSE Africa, discusses why he believes open source skills are the next big thing.
South Africa is a skills-hungry country. In fact, according to Adzuna, the rarest skills are in the digital and technology sectors, where demand is far outstripping supply – and that is exactly what the industry is seeing when it comes to open source skills.
This shortage hampers business competitiveness as puts businesses under additional pressure to attract talent from what is already considered a small pool. What’s more, as businesses are moving towards mission critical enterprise open source operational models their requirement for skills has increased substantially, specifically for open source skills in the cloud, application development and DevOps in South Africa.
In fact, accordingly to the Linux Open Source Jobs Report 2017, 89% of hiring managers say it is difficult to find open source talent.
When you look back on the job market of the past, it was enough to have an IT qualification and apply for a job and be considered by a potential employer. However, today things have changed. The digital and technology industry is faced with new challenges – challenges that require new skills, critical thinking and problem solving. As such, qualifications alone cannot solve real life business problems. Therefore, it is essential that organisations look towards skills development – focusing at grass root level. Creating opportunities where they invest in training qualified candidates to meet the demands organisations are faced with currently.
Such programmes need to be a platform to upskill the future generation with ‘real-world knowledge’ and an opportunity to increase their worth and productivity in the eyes of an employer. In fact, these programmes need to go beyond just providing graduates with the necessary skills, but it should pair companies with the right talent for their needs – be it cloud technologies, web technologies, open source, networking technologies, security etc to harness much-needed skill in the interest of the industry as a whole.
Looking at the programme that SUSE implemented with Axiz and CTU Training Solutions, we have seen a strong commitment in the graduates who are eager to enter the industry and learn real-world skills. Such commitment and passion has resulted in a 75% pass rate with three graduates branching off and becoming SUSE license specialist – and with a focus on increasing the number of participants in the programme across Cape Town and Johannesburg there is a strong drive in skills training and career development to ensure that future business models can be supported at adequate levels.
With digital transformation on the rise, open source is the future and increasing its footprint in the market is pivotal. Organisations need to place focus on upskilling graduates and employees to ensure they are fully equipped for the challenges of the current and future workplace.