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E-learning may ease skills shortage


The worsening global shortage of IT specialists is expected to leave the UK with an IT staff shortage of 300,000 by 2004, according to a report from research group IDC.

The problem has sparked strong growth in the IT certification market, and the high demand and relatively scarce supply of IT skills is forcing organisations to offer attractive packages to fill vacancies.

Other factors driving the demand for certification include emerging new technologies, increased need for re-certification, and older workers looking to move into IT.

At present, non-IT e-learning - defined as education about specific areas of non-technical business and professional skills such as project management, sales and marketing, administration, and purchasing - accounts for only 22 per cent of corporate training revenues. But this is expected to increase to more than half of the market's overall value in 3 years’ time.

E-learning provides opportunities for highly cost-effective training, and ensures standardised learning throughout a workforce. Moreover, learning can be fitted around each learner’s workload, making it a more practical and convenient option than traditional instructor- led classroom training.

In a survey of 40 vendors who provide training services to the corporate market, some 62 per cent said they had significantly changed their sales strategy due to the impact of e-learning and the Internet A quarter of those polled confirmed that they had specifically redesigned their sales strategy with e-learning in mind.


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