IT graduates not 'well trained, ready to go'

A recent survey found that only 8 percent of respondents say their recent hires have the skills and preparation they need

There is a disconnect between students getting high-tech degrees and what employers are looking for in those graduates.

Employers agree that colleges and universities need to provide their students with the essential skills required to run IT departments, yet only 8 percent of hiring managers would rate IT graduates hired as "well trained, ready to go," according to a survey of 376 organizations (PDF) that are members of the IBM user group Share and Database Trends and Applications subscribers.

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The study found nearly four out of 10 respondents report that their IT hires are not sufficiently prepared to perform jobs within their companies, and another 44 percent say, at a minimum, that there are noticeable gaps in their skills.

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The report indicates that organizations are ready to hire, with employers reporting they are seeking the following skills from higher-education institutions:

  • 77 percent want schools to provide programming skills
  • 82 percent seek database skills
  • 76 percent would like schools to provide analysis and architectural skills
  • 80 percent seek problem solving and technical skills

This skills gap apparently doesn't doesn't stop organizations from hiring professionals with little, if any previous experience. The survey found that nearly half of companies responding to the survey hire new IT employees straight out of school. Two-thirds of organizations do require at least some college internship experience among their hires, according to the study.

The study went on to note that 59 percent of respondents indicate that they are either currently hiring or planning to hire programmers and developers in the coming months; 43 percent are hiring systems programmers and systems analysts; 50 percent are hiring database professionals; 36 percent are hiring analysts and architects, and 27 percent seek supplication management talent.

A Network World story last year cited a survey that said Java development supplanted IT security as the most difficult skill set for hiring managers to locate. Virtualization jobs, meanwhile, have become easier to fill, but hiring managers are increasingly having trouble finding talented software developers and C# programmers, according to the survey.

The top 10 list of most difficult positions to fill is as follows:

  1. Java/J2EE
  2. Security
  3. Software Developer
  4. SAP
  5. Database Administrator
  6. .Net
  7. Oracle
  8. SharePoint
  9. C#
  10. Active Federal Government Security Clearance

The last item on the list refers to tech professionals with the necessary federal security clearance to work for government agencies and government contractors, such as Lockheed Martin.

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This story, "IT graduates not 'well trained, ready to go'" was originally published by Network World.


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