The role of the service-desk professional is expanding and their skill-set must be broader, as they are now the first line of defence against cybersecurity threats and organisations are using more and more cloud-based services. This shift means that for organisations to remain competitive it is essential for their IT teams to have up-to-date skills.
Many organisations are participating in apprenticeship schemes to address this issue. Apprenticeships are work-based programmes designed around the needs of the employer. By working with an apprenticeship provider you are employing a young person who is eager and excited to learn, is studying to keep skills up to date, and has the potential to fill future jobs.
In autumn 2013, the government announced new apprenticeship standards focused on specific job roles and an apprenticeship levy — a tax on all employers with a pay bill of £3 million or more. The new standards include infrastructure technician, network engineer, unified communications trouble-shooter and cyber intrusion analyst.
The learning objectives for these standards were set by groups of IT employers who assessed the roles and responsibilities of their current staff and what they need to ensure a pipeline of new IT talent. The employers participating in these groups also noted that apprentices’ need skills that are transferrable and internationally recognised. In light of this a minimum of one professional certification was to be included and allow the apprentices to begin a pathway of continuous professional development.
IDC research has shown that individuals that have gained certifications are more knowledgeable, reach job proficiency more quickly and perform at a higher level compared to their non-certified colleagues; this according to the IDC White Paper, sponsored by CompTIA, IT Support and Security Performance: The Impact of CompTIA Certification on Organizational Performance, published in December 2014.
To find an apprentice who is studying towards CompTIA certifications take a look at the CompTIA Authorised Apprenticeship Provider Directory.
Zeshan Sattar is senior manager, certifications, skills certification, sales EMEA, for CompTIA.