Amplify Oshkosh holds conference addressing IT skills gap in Wisconsin

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – About 100 private sector businesses attended the Amplify Oshkosh Innovate-IT conference Tuesday.

“There is a gap, there’s thousands of IT jobs available in northeast Wisconsin, Fox River valley,” said Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce’s Rob Kleman.

Amplify Oshkosh says the number of open IT jobs in Wisconsin is expected to grow from 5,000 to 11,000 between 2012 and 2021.

“It’s really not an IT company anymore. Everybody is an IT company because of the needs of technology perspective to run your business to compete in the marketplace,” said Kleman.

Stellar Blue Technologies, a marketing company based in Neenah, is using IT to compete.

“We do everything in house, we don’t out source so our design our developing our programming is all done by our team members,” Stellar Blue Technologies Marketing Director Amanda Betts. we see about a 20-24 percent growth every year so our industry is not slowing down.”

Leaders at the conference said it takes a varying level of education background to become a part of the IT industry.

“There are needs up and down the board, there’s two year degrees, there are certifications programs where you can get certified in a 10 week course and have IT skills,” said Kleman.

“The reality is if you can pass some fundamental tests when it comes to the development of programming we can work with that,” said Betts.

Amplify Oshkosh says a key to bridging the skills gap is getting young people interested in IT jobs.

The organization spends times in schools hoping to motivate students to get into the field.

“Trying to build that excitement for an IT job and really what’s going to be available not just today but five years from now 10 years from now.”