IT departments want skills, not qualifications

Written by Wil Harris

December 7, 2006 | 15:32

Tags: #employment #it

A new study shows that those heading up IT departments prefer to hire new employees with proven experience rather than education or training.

We know that there are an awful lot of IT students reading the pages of bit-tech, so we thought we'd share the research with you, courtesy of top recruiters FDM. Here are the bullets:
  • "Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of HR managers surveyed for FDM preferred to see proven IT work experience on a candidate's CV rather than a technology degree or similar A level. Time in spent in IT employment was also more important than key programming and technical skills, such Java and .net, which have long been seen as core basic requirements for the IT industry."

  • "The survey also highlighted a lack of business skills in IT candidates. 83 per cent of HR managers interviewed said that candidates needed additional training, citing communications skills, management ability and general business awareness as highest on the list. "

  • "However it is not all doom and gloom. Nearly half (46 per cent) of HR managers surveyed felt that the quality of IT candidates has improved over time. IT still appeals to younger applicants with 60 per cent of respondents stating they were seeing a steady stream of young people applying for jobs in technology. And despite ongoing news of the influx of migrant workers to the UK, 63 per cent of those polled felt that the strongest candidates came from the UK, with the US a close second."
Interesting stuff. It seems that proven, hands-on experience is a great way to get a job in the IT industry. If you're already studying, that could mean getting some work experience or taking a voluntary position with a charity, small company or even just writing proof-of-concept and open source websites and programmes.

You can also get ahead of the pack by proving that you understand business, as well as IT - after all, most IT departments exist to support larger businesses.

If you guys are interested, we'll ping FDM and get the full report to whack up in the forums. Drop us your thoughts there in the mean time.
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