The tech space is in the midst of a reshuffling. Large-scale layoffs that began in 2022 have resulted in hundreds of thousands of tech workers losing their jobs in recent months. However, reports also show that tech firms are hiring record numbers of new employees. In March 2023, there were more than 300,000 postings for tech positions.
As tech firms seek to identify the best applicants for these open positions, they often focus on those who have the most experience with relevant technology. However, Michael Gibbs warns that focusing on experience can lead hiring managers to make misguided decisions.
“When it comes to hiring a tech employee, the experience they have is almost irrelevant,” says Gibbs. “What really matters is how good they are at their job.”
Gibbs is the CEO of Go Cloud Careers, a leading provider of training in the cloud computing industry. Gibbs launched Go Cloud Careers when he saw a gap in the training space. He discovered that most programs focus solely on technical expertise without providing an understanding of how tech solutions impact business performance.
In response, he developed an innovative training approach that combines in-depth knowledge of technology with a solid understanding of the business world. By educating his students in business acumen, leadership, emotional intelligence, soft skills, and more, Gibbs gives them the competitive advantage they need to secure elite tech positions. In fact, virtually 100 percent of the students who complete all of the training elements offered in Go Cloud Career’s programs secure six-figure jobs in the tech space.
Finding the best person for the job
Over the course of his career, Gibbs has had the opportunity to interview more than 6,000 candidates in the tech space. What he has learned is that there is almost no correlation between years of experience and actual competency. Experience, he explains, shows only how long someone has been doing a job. Competency shows how well they can do the job.
“If I needed to choose between a security architect who has a doctoral degree in cybersecurity, 10 certifications, and 25 years of experience designing high-security situations, and a 13-year-old hacker who can hack into the system that the security architect has designed, the choice would be easy. While the hacker doesn’t have nearly the experience of the architect, he is the one I need because he is better at his job. He may lack experience, but he has competency.”
Gibbs acknowledges that many organizations with elite job opportunities desire candidates who have a decade or more of experience in the tech field. However, he has found that those companies will hire Go Cloud Careers graduates who have yet to gain on-the-job experience because of the competency they bring to the position.
“When organizations are looking for business solutions, they are not interested in what the architect has been doing for the past 20 years,” Gibbs says. “They want to know if he or she has the skills to design the right solution. Can they do it correctly? Do they have the deep knowledge that is required? Do they understand how the systems work and interact? If they have those competencies, their experience is irrelevant.”
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Training in all relevant skills
Students who train at Go Cloud Careers receive between 500 and 700 hours of instruction on the exact skills that they need to excel as cloud architects. The training addresses each of the components that are critical to the architect’s job, including designing, presenting, and selling technology.
“One of the main reasons it is so hard to find truly competent applicants in the tech world is because they are not focused on the right skills,” Gibbs explains. “Most people in technology try to learn everything rather than just the skills they need. They study networking, security, cloud, software development, dev ops, and operations, which just leaves them scattered. They know a little bit about everyone else’s job, but they fail to develop competency on their own. We train our students specifically to do the elite tech careers that they go on to secure. And we train them to do those jobs very, very well.”
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