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RFID Labor Pool Still Insufficient, But Less So

CompTIA has released an update to its annual report on the state of RFID labor supply and demand. The key finding is that more than two-thirds of those surveyed characterize the RFID talent pool as insufficient. While this figure is large, it is actually down from last year's 75 percent, which in turn was down from 2005's 80 percent.
May 30, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 30, 2007—The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has released an update to its annual report on the state of RFID labor supply and demand. The report is based on a survey of 64 technology resellers, value-added resellers, solution providers, systems integrators, and others directly involved in the delivery of IT products and services.

The key finding is that most of those surveyed believe there is not enough qualified RFID labor to meet future demand. At 68.8 percent, more than two-thirds characterize the RFID talent pool as insufficient. While this figure is large, it is actually down from last year's 75 percent, which in turn was down from 2005's 80 percent.

This lessening of concern over inadequate RFID labor supply is probably the result of two market trends: softer than anticipated demand for RFID technology overall, and a steady increase in available talent over the last few years. Demand for all things RFID -- be it tags, readers, software, or labor -- has not met the aggressive projections so common in 2003 and 2004, when the Wal-Mart and US Department of Defense mandates precipitated a frenzy of vendor activity and investment. Meanwhile, the available workforce has grown as college-level RFID courses and commercial RFID training firms attracted new talent to the industry. Also significant was development of the CompTIA-managed RFID+ certification, one of the major cross-vendor efforts of the last three years. RFID+ standardized the RFID skill set, offering employers and end users a way to quantify a worker's knowledge of the technology.

CompTIA's survey also found that about 68% of those that consider the pool of available RFID talent insufficient also believe that this will have an impact on adoption of the technology. Last year that figure was higher, at 80 percent, suggesting that while many still believe labor supply and demand are lopsided, they don't consider this imbalance to be as significant to adoption as they used to.

Read the announcement from CompTIA
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