At 03:22 PM 2/7/01 -0500, you wrote:
>I am looking for information about how university IT organizations address
>the increasingly common situation of providing IT training and professional
>development opportunities for technical staff, at great expense, only to
>have these employees depart for greener pastures/better salaries, taking
>with them the benefits of this training.
Well, speaking as both an employee who receives such training, and as an
administrator... I think we have to acknowledge a couple things. First,
NOT providing staff training and professional development for IT staff will
absolutely kill our recruiting efforts. One might argue that the employee
should bear some cost & responsibility for training, but the fact is there
are too many employers (in and out of academia) that will pay for training,
for us to short ourselves by not offering it.
Second, if we need a skill in our group, we need it. Unless we happen to
have an open position that we can fill with someone with that appropriate
skill, our only option is to train someone. What else are you going to do
if you need something done that nobody has the skills to do? You either
don't do it, or you hire a consultant.
I also think that just-in-time training is appropriate... apply when &
where needed. As an example, I left my last job about 8 months after
taking a 2-day course in perl CGI programming at employer expense. Some
people might be inclined to complain, but the fact is I took the course to
meet a need we had for some CGI work and between what I wrote and installed
and the consulting work I picked apart and suggested improvements for in
those 8 months, there's no question my employer got their money's worth
from it. If you train somebody in a skill that they are not likely to use
in their job, then you probably have a problem.
And, like it or not, a major skills upgrade has to come with a pay
increase. If you need somebody to be a database developer, and you have a
promising help desk worker, don't expect that you can send them out & get
them trained as an SQL programmer, and that they will then be happy doing
that kind of work on their helpdesk salary.
>Do you require them to agree to repay the costs of this training if they
>leave within a certain time period? . . . .
We are in a similar situation with the one Mike Yohe described. In an
"at-will" working relationship, it's not really possible to put
requirements like this on employees.
Kyle Barger Information Systems Manager
[log in to unmask] The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia