It’s all about the training.
Leveling up your digital transformation skills leads to better jobs and higher paychecks, while no training means more of the same.
At least this is the key finding in a channel salary report from Informa, which publishes MSP Mentor.
This summer, Informa surveyed 154 channel professionals about their careers – the average salary of respondents is $85,000 with a median of $116,623 – and found little movement for base salaries except for those who pursued training.
Only 13 percent saw their salaries increase significantly.
Tough economic conditions contributed to lower salaries, with 16 percent reporting a decrease.
Stagnant salaries lead to high turnover rates.
Inadequate compensation is a top reason why employees leave, along with desire for more challenging work and lack of upward mobility.
Informa found nearly one out of three respondents was likely or highly likely to jump to a new job next year.
But channel professionals see a way out of this malaise through training in emerging digital transformation technologies.
By gaining these skills, they can essentially take charge of their careers and improve their salaries.
According to the Informa study, 22 percent of channel professionals said their gross annual salaries increased due to new skills development or new certifications.
“In this age of digital transformation and burgeoning new technology models like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and containers, it’s no wonder that training and career development also played a big role in salary increases in 2017,” Informa says.
Training in cloud computing led the way, with 37 percent of channel professionals saying they had participated in training related to the cloud in the past 12 months.
Other hot skills include business intelligence, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics, security, and automation.
Many channel professionals also sought training in non-technical skills, such as leadership development and management.
Informa says this points to the increasing overlap between, and interaction among, IT and business pros.
Training, however, isn’t the same as earning a certification.
In fact, 65 percent of channel professionals said they had not completed nor renewed any certifications within the past 12 months.
The top five deterrents: lack of training budget; work demands that did not allow for time out of the office; position does not require additional training; management does not see a tangible benefit to training; and no training is available related to job role.
A few of these deterrents suggests that channel companies aren’t really interested in training and certifying employees.
Given the hot job market for people with digital transformation skills, companies may feel they’d be helping employees acquire elite skills only to see them go to a competitor for a hefty pay raise.
Of course, this isn’t stopping channel professionals from getting training – they’re just doing it the MacGyver way.
That is, many are consuming free or cheap online courses, webinars and how-to videos. One out of three channel professionals paid for training out of pocket, Informa says.
For more on channel pro careers, download the report today.