IT leaders are still hungry to recruit .Net programmers, desktop support technicians, and VoIP project leaders, according to an online survey conducted in June by the Society for Information Management. But when asked by SIM to cite the top workplace skills that they are seeking among both entry-level and midlevel IT workers, the 231 respondents overwhelmingly cited ethics and morals as the traits they most desire.
SIM didn't disclose the number of respondents who chose ethics and morals. But that choice easily beat out such alternatives as communications skills and business acumen, said the group, which released the results of its annual membership survey at its SIMposium 2008 conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., this week.
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Many IT executives are concerned about stories they've heard of staffers doing "unethical things," such as circumventing security systems, said Jerry Luftman, a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and SIM's vice president of academic affairs. Luftman, who also is executive director of the information systems graduate programs at Stevens, added that cheating scandals have roiled some U.S. colleges.
"It's hot on everyone's minds," Luftman said. "This whole issue of ethics and morals is becoming paramount to IT executives."
"To me, this is the price of entry into my [IT] department," agreed Paul Major, CIO at The Aspen Skiing Co. in Aspen, Colo. In a phone interview prior to the SIM conference, Major noted that he recently had to fire two people from his 20-person IT organization because they didn't "exhibit the type of principles that we try to emulate with our team and in our company."