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Is there a widening gap between IT graduate's knowledge, and what the real world expects?

 
 
Waylon Kenning
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      10-02-2004
I read an interesting article here
http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?

I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
wants?

The above's all my opinion and could be totally illogical, what's your
views?
--
Regards,
Waylon Kenning.

1st Year B.I.T. WelTec
 
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Cheetah
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      10-02-2004
Waylon Kenning wrote:

> I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
> sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
> recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
> work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
> unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
> experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
> skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
> wants?


As am employer I am more than willing to employ people out of University. In
fact I have a part time employee who is at Uni right now.

The idea that Uni/Tech doesn't provide what the industry needs isn't new.
But then the technologies change so rapidly that it is difficult for them
to keep up. However employing people based on narrow skill sets isn't a
good plan anyway. I employed a PHP developer, and will be teaching them
Java for example. A good developer is flexible and can easily learn new
technology.

I am more than willing to have people work for me for free to get industry
experience

 
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Steve Robertson
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      10-02-2004

>IT industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant


Is this really true. My previous employer had a stack of CV's 2 feet high for
the job he advertised for. These where the CV's that he had weeded out &
printed. Most were easily qualified for the position.
What employers complaining wont say is that they arent willing to pay more to
keep/attract staff. When you can earn more with a good lawn mowing round a bit
of honesty is needed when making statements about staff recruitment issues.
My former workmate with 8 years as a PCTECH & a qualified aviation engineer
makes more as a unskilled factory worker in Aus.

 
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Harry
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      10-02-2004
Waylon Kenning wrote:

> I read an interesting article here
> http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
> industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
> to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
> skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
> why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?
>
> I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
> sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
> recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
> work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
> unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
> experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
> skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
> wants?
>
> The above's all my opinion and could be totally illogical, what's your
> views?


It is most probably the case that the best IT people don't get a job
teaching at universities or polytechnics.

That is possibly the reason.

 
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Dave - Dave.net.nz
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004
Waylon Kenning wrote:

> I read an interesting article here
> http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
> industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
> to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
> skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
> why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?
>
> I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
> sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
> recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
> work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
> unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
> experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
> skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
> wants?
>
> The above's all my opinion and could be totally illogical, what's your
> views?


Each place I have worked has valued experience over actual
qualifications... infact, I have none to speak of.

I finished school(to 7th form), and have done **** all education since,
yet I consider that I know a fair bit about a fair bit of IT stuff.(boy
don't I sound smart

For about a year I worked with a BIT graduate(otago poly) and he was
surprised to see how little he knew, and how much I learned.

When he left we were chatting about it and he said that I could have
easily passed all of the exams in BIT, except for a few of the odd
things that they make you learn with no relevance to anything.

I do feel that I should get some piece of paper to say what I know, but
with the glowing references I have, I don't yet see the point.
 
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The Other Guy
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004
Hi Waylon,

Having been involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate IT studies
at two different institutions, I can honestly say I'm not impressed with
the quality coming out of these courses.

Most of what I know, I know because I personally put the time and effort
in to learning it. Sometimes it was just reading ahead and doing more
complicated things than in class (E.g. C programming), but mainly I have
chosen to research and learn about other things in my own time.

I graduated with about 10 other students, and none of them had what I
would consider an adequate _technical_ knowledge. I think many of these
courses have far too much emphasis placed on business needs, and they
don't teach 'IT'. That is fine if businesses want people to run
accounting packages, but in reality IT is still a very technical area.

In my degree, the core paper on computer operations was a first year
_business_ computing paper. The lecturer made numerous mistakes (Not as
many as a certain government-funeded course I went for a job at, but
that is another story), and the level of detail was far too simplistic
for an IT degree.

Another paper I did, and particularly enjoyed, was 'too hard', so it was
later divided in to two papers. What is wrong with failure? Damn it,
students _need_ to know this stuff.

My advice to you would be to get an MCSE or other industry certification
while you are studying. This is what I had planned to do, but because I
chose to go in to cross-platform development, I never really had the
need for it. Right now I'm looking for a new job, but most require some
form of industry qualification, and to a lesser extent degrees.

As an employer, I'd be looking for work history and industry
qualifications, or someone who could demonstrate a good knowledge of the
work involved, and have the ability to learn. I don't feel the current
degrees do that.

The Other Guy

Waylon Kenning wrote:
> I read an interesting article here
> http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
> industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
> to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
> skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
> why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?
>
> I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
> sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
> recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
> work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
> unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
> experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
> skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
> wants?
>
> The above's all my opinion and could be totally illogical, what's your
> views?

 
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Ryan Jacobs
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004

"Steve Robertson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:415e3bdc$(E-Mail Removed)...
>


> What employers complaining wont say is that they arent willing to pay more
> to
> keep/attract staff.


Aint that the truth. Given the nature of the IT industry (technology
changing almost on a daily basis), you'd think they spend a little money in
upskilling & training their current staff. And, the cost of recriuting new
staff far outways the cost of providing benefits to existing staff.

> When you can earn more with a good lawn mowing round a bit
> of honesty is needed when making statements about staff recruitment
> issues.
> My former workmate with 8 years as a PCTECH & a qualified aviation
> engineer
> makes more as a unskilled factory worker in Aus.
>


Since I became self-employed - I work much less hours and earn 3 times the
money. And, (the best part) I don't have a stupid boss whinging about the
things bosses whinge about.


 
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Enkidu
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004
On Sat, 02 Oct 2004 15:26:25 +1200, Waylon Kenning
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I read an interesting article here
>http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
>industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
>to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
>skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
>why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?
>
>I find it interesting to note that students at certain universities
>sometimes get firm job offers in their *first* year of study, yet
>recently, I offered a local computing company in Lower Hutt unpaid
>work experience, they seem to have turned me down. I can't even get
>unpaid work around here! Every where I look people want 3 years
>experience-this, and 5 years experience-that, alas, why aren't the
>skills I'm learning at polytech better matched to what the industry
>wants?
>
>The above's all my opinion and could be totally illogical, what's your
>views?
>

Sometimes a graduate is his/her worst enemy. You know the old saying
"Hire a graduate while they still know it all". Graduates wanting top
dollar with *no* real world experience? Come on!

That said, I know of one place that is looking for graduates who are
willing to learn the real world way!

Cheers,

Cliff
 
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Patrick Dunford
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)> in nz.comp on
Sat, 02 Oct 2004 15:26:25 +1200, Waylon Kenning
<(E-Mail Removed)> says...
> I read an interesting article here
> http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4...employment.htm about the IT
> industry having a hard time finding staff, yet so many are reluctant
> to accept graduates. Is this because of a widening gap between what
> skills graduates come out with, and what employers want? And if so,
> why aren't universities and polytechnics doing more about this?


Uni courses are all theory

Poly courses suck on quality.

No one qualification can meet all market needs.
 
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Waylon Kenning
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-02-2004
It seems like Sat, 02 Oct 2004 17:28:48 +1200 was when The Other Guy
<(E-Mail Removed)> said Blah blah blah...

>Most of what I know, I know because I personally put the time and effort
>in to learning it. Sometimes it was just reading ahead and doing more
>complicated things than in class (E.g. C programming), but mainly I have
>chosen to research and learn about other things in my own time.

Yeah, I'm finding I'm having to do that too. The only downside I
believe to my degree is the first year wasted doing papers that are
compulsory, but not relevant from my point of view to the end goal. So
I'm finding myself sitting in the library reading "System Analysis and
Design" (an excellent Prometric-Thompson book IMHO), and doing study
on that, instead of doing actual degree work on Computer Architecture.
Probably the worst thing about learning things in your own time is,
who assesses you?

>My advice to you would be to get an MCSE or other industry certification
>while you are studying. This is what I had planned to do, but because I
>chose to go in to cross-platform development, I never really had the
>need for it. Right now I'm looking for a new job, but most require some
>form of industry qualification, and to a lesser extent degrees.

Yah, that's one of the advantages to me of WelTec degrees, their
degree content directly matches up to industry certification. So get a
degree and industry certification for the same work, it's a bloody
good idea.

Oh, if anyone's in Wellington, and wants a 1st year BIT student for
work experience, I'm quite willing to help. Whatever it is, I'll do it
for free, as long as I don't have to say "Would you like fries with
that".
--
Regards,
Waylon Kenning.

1st Year B.I.T. WelTec
 
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