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Most IT staff spend free time upskilling themselves

(Image credit: Image Credit: Bbernard / Shutterstock)

Businesses aren’t doing enough to train and upskill their IT staff, many of whom end up spending their own free time learning new skills.

This is according to a new report from online cybersecurity career development platform Cybrary. The firm polled more than 800 IT and security pros and uncovered that more than two thirds (68 percent) invest their own free time, outside working hours, in improving their cyber skills.

Almost three quarters of respondents agreed skill gaps within their teams were evident, while two thirds of managers also agreed that these skill gaps negatively affect their team’s effectiveness at work.

Some IT professionals also try to learn new skills while on the job. The report states that four in ten spend time working to learn new job skills every day, with another 38 percent reported doing so at least once a week.

One of the report’s conclusions is that businesses are showing “limited progress” when it comes to supporting employees, who are clearly committed to advancing their careers. Businesses expect employees to keep pace in their dynamic roles, but aren’t supporting their continued career development, it was said.

Key barriers standing in the way of upskilling efforts were costs and a perceived lack of time.

“With about half of organizations either decreasing their training budgets (22 percent) or keeping them the same (25 percent) this past year, it’s not surprising that industry professionals struggle to find opportunities to improve their skills for their work,” the report concludes.