Let’s a paint a picture of what you’ve possibly experienced in the world of IT: Once upon a time, you were hired by your particular company or organization because you were the most qualified IT specialist for the job. You had the necessary experience, certifications, and your references spoke very highly of you. Because your skills were impeccable, you even researched the proper way to sit for a job interview and how to deliver a solid handshake. You started in the job feeling immediately comfortable because you knew precisely what you were doing. Man, those were the days. If you fast-forward to now, things may have changed a bit.
Suddenly, you’re not the department’s star quarterback anymore and your knees are showing their age. New systems have been released, new coding languages have been developed and you haven’t had the chance to learn them. Yes, you could try to learn them in your free time, but there's also usually nothing free about after-hours classes (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker with a post-graduate degree in an IT-related field still only makes about $11,000 more a year than someone with just a bachelors and you know the classes cost more than that) and there are only so many hours in the day. Wouldn’t you like to spend time with your family as opposed to just trying to keep your job while you’re off the clock? Wouldn’t it be nice if your company would provide the training that would ultimately be in their own best interest?
Making The Case For Additional IT Training
Because the Information Technology industry seems to refresh as fast as the browser on the IT job board, it may seem like you’re just looking at your calendar, waiting for the day you'll be replaced. Though it can seem dismal, that’s not actually the case as far as the company’s accountant is concerned. Asking for training can be tricky, but if gone about in the correct way, asking can prove you to be an even greater asset than just as an IT specialist. It’s all about presenting the right case. The following are some talking points to consider bringing up with your boss over lunch or a brief meeting.
1. Replacing You With A More Advanced Candidate Doesn’t Make Sense/Cents
It would actually cost your company far less money to provide you with professional IT training to get your skills up to date than it would be to replace you with someone who possessed up to date skills. According to 11 case studies conducted by the Center for American Progress, the average cost to replace an employee is roughly one-fifth of that employee’s salary. That means that if you’re making $60,000 a year, the prediction is that it would cost about $12,000 just to find someone else to fill your same role. The higher the pay, the higher the cost of finding your replacement. That’s not even taking into consideration of time lost to get a new employee caught up in the company’s culture.
2. They’re Wet Behind The Ears, But You’ve Drawing From Your Years
Just to be up front and blatantly honest, this is an article from an IT training company, but what do we use to sell our training? The human capital we gain from our instructors' experience. Just like our capital is our IT instructors, there’s a good chance that your department’s main export is human capital as well. This makes you sound like a piece of meat, but Economics professor Gary S. Becker of the University of Chicago says that human capital is as significant (if not more significant) than tangible capital because, “…people cannot be separated from their knowledge, skills, health, or values in the way they can be separated from their financial assets." Even though some of your past knowledge may seem obsolete, it is still worth to your organization to invest in you because of your past experience. As a trained employee with experience, you are even more valuable than a trained employee with less experience.
3. A Trained Worker Is A Happy Worker
It’s fairly common sense that a worker who feels valued by their employer is much more likely to feel motivated to allot that much more focus to their daily tasks and projects as well as remain in their position. While raises, company outings and promoting from within certainly help raise team morale, so too does employee training. Yes, training is an investment in one’s own organization, but because this individual is human capital which Gary said above “cannot be separated” from the knowledge and experienced gained, this is truly a win-win-win. Your employer has enhanced their human capital, you have increased your skills and your sense of value that you will take with you beyond this particular position.