Survey: RFID Skills Shortage Receding But Still Impacting Technology Deployment


Even though a shortage of technology workers skilled in radio frequency identification (RFID) is beginning to ease, the dearth of talent continues to impact deployment of the technology, according to a new survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

More than two-thirds of the organizations surveyed by CompTIA (68.8 percent) believe there is an insufficient pool of RFID talent to hire from. That figure is down slightly from the previous two years (75 percent in 2006 and 80 percent in 2005).

Among companies that believe there is a shortage of RFID talent, 68 percent say the lack of workers skilled in RFID will impact the adoption of the technology. That’s down from 2006, when 80 percent of responding organizations reported the skill shortage was impacting RFID adoption. In 2005, the figure was 53 percent.

“The skills shortage is not the most significant factor in the relatively slow adoption of RFID, but it is a contributing factor,” says David Sommer, vice president, e-business and software solutions, CompTIA. “Had RFID adoption taken hold at a higher level, the skills shortage would be even more pronounced.”

Sommer notes that while RFID adoption may not have occurred at the rate many sources predicted, usage is growing at a modest, steady pace.

“The number of RFID pilot programs, tests and closed-loop deployments designed to address specific business problems continues to grow,” he says.

CompTIA and its members are addressing the skills shortage through the use of an industry developed and accepted credential that validates a technician’s knowledge and skills in the areas of installation, maintenance, repair, and upkeep of hardware and software functionality of RFID products.

CompTIA RFID+™ is a professional vendor-neutral certification designed to validate a technician’s competencies and skills in RFID solutions. The curriculum built to support this certification has become an industry standard of foundation-level skills for the RFID technologist.

Respondents to the CompTIA survey included technology resellers, value-added resellers, solution providers, systems integrators, and others directly involved in the delivery of IT products and services. The Web-based survey conducted earlier this year closed with 64 responses.

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