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

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Waylon Kenning, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. I read an interesting article here
    http://it.seek.co.nz/editorial/0-9-4_IT_unemployment.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?
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. Waylon Kenning

    Cheetah Guest

    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 :)
     
    Cheetah, Oct 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. 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.
     
    Steve Robertson, Oct 2, 2004
    #3
  4. Waylon Kenning

    Harry Guest

    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.
     
    Harry, Oct 2, 2004
    #4
  5. 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
     
    The Other Guy, Oct 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Waylon Kenning

    Ryan Jacobs Guest

    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.
    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.
     
    Ryan Jacobs, Oct 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Waylon Kenning

    Enkidu Guest

    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
     
    Enkidu, Oct 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Sat, 02 Oct 2004 15:26:25 +1200, Waylon Kenning
    Uni courses are all theory

    Poly courses suck on quality.

    No one qualification can meet all market needs.
     
    Patrick Dunford, Oct 2, 2004
    #8
  9. It seems like Sat, 02 Oct 2004 17:28:48 +1200 was when The Other Guy
    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?
    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".
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 2, 2004
    #9
  10. It seems like Sat, 02 Oct 2004 16:54:37 +1200 was when "Dave -
    Speaking of that, I'm about 6 months away from making my own engine
    management computer for a car using either a MC68000 or a 80C552 micro
    controller. The relevance this has to do with passing my MCSE, I can't
    quite see yet, but I'm still a student. I'm sure someone has an
    answer. Right? Guys? Anyone?

    But really, there does seem to be a bit of "you need to know this,
    just trust us on this one" going on in degrees. Whether it's all
    valid, I'll tell you in 20 years:)
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 2, 2004
    #10
  11. so you dont do software development then?
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Oct 2, 2004
    #11
  12. although it sounds like fun, I don't see that it is relevant... although
    it would be programming, flashing etc... but umm, yeah, odd.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Oct 2, 2004
    #12
  13. It seems like Sun, 03 Oct 2004 10:05:17 +1300 was when "Dave -
    I was thinking about this, is there still a demand for System Analysts
    in contrast to Analyst/Programmers? I mean, I'm really enjoying
    reading about System Analysis and Design, I just *dislike* coding. I
    don't even mind doing pseudocode, I just don't want to be a programmer
    and be caught up in the semantics of the language that's all. So
    perhaps yeah, I'll do software development right up until you want me
    to program it, then I'm taking a holiday!:)

    Actually, with the disappointing looking field for graduates (I
    searched http://it.seek.co.nz for "graduate" and came up with about 5
    valid hits), I'm looking at going into teaching. Funnily enough, at
    least you know you have a guaranteed job at the end of it, and it's as
    easy as tacking on a post grad. diploma in teaching. Anything that
    helps me retire to Niue or New Caledonia, I'm happy with:)
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 2, 2004
    #13
  14. Waylon Kenning

    Kippla Guest

    First off I wouldn't offer anything for free. Put yourself in their shoes
    and I sure wouldn't want to let some new guy loose on my code, networks etc
    who wasn't fully confident in what they were doing. And offering to do it
    for free would tell me you weren't. You could sell it better of course, and
    sound like you really know what you're doing. But willing to do it for free
    doesn't look good IMHO. But that's just me.

    That being said, some people will love free work. Mostly businesses who
    aren't I.T. orientated. I had a friend who offered to do free website
    development for local Dunedin businesses, and they got so many call backs
    they had to turn a lot down. Plus they did really good work and usually got
    paid for it anyway. People who have no knowledge of such things will love
    free work since they don't really have anything to loose.
     
    Kippla, Oct 2, 2004
    #14
  15. Waylon Kenning

    Collector-NZ Guest

    Kippla said the following on 3/10/2004 11:16:
    Over the years I have had a number of people offer to work for free for
    experiance, I have never accepted one of them as free, free means no
    responsibilty or answerability for there own actions. That said I have
    been impressed by some of the people and given them a temporary position
    at a basic rate, that way they and I are covered as far as responsibilty
    and answerabilty goes. Those who I have helped in this way have gone on
    to bigger and better things.
     
    Collector-NZ, Oct 2, 2004
    #15
  16. Waylon Kenning

    Cheetah Guest

    There never was a demand for "System Analyst" with no coding experience. You
    simply cannot divorce the development of specifications from the coding
    tools used. The environment has a huge impact on how applications are
    implemented.

    The decisions made in developing specifications can make all the difference
    between implementing something in one month or one year. Without being a
    coder there is little to no idea about how difficult something is to
    actually implement.

    I am personally doing very little coding nowdays - but I am still able to do
    so, and I have come up with some very innovative solutions to problems that
    someone with no coding experience never could have.
     
    Cheetah, Oct 3, 2004
    #16
  17. Waylon Kenning

    Harry Guest

    You are obviously a valuable asset to the company that employs you.
    If only everyone who posted to this ng showed the commonsense and
    intelligence that you obviously have.
     
    Harry, Oct 3, 2004
    #17
  18. Waylon Kenning

    Collector-NZ Guest

    Harry said the following on 3/10/2004 12:22:
    Pot > Kettle > Black LMAO
     
    Collector-NZ, Oct 3, 2004
    #18
  19. Waylon Kenning

    Harry Guest

    Why feed a troll?
    You claim I am a troll yet you persistently feed me.

    What is your point?

    Is your entire mission in life to waste it on people of no
    consequence like myself? Or perhaps the very fact that you
    pay me so much attention is proof that you are actually
    infactuated with me, and love and respect me.
     
    Harry, Oct 3, 2004
    #19
  20. Waylon Kenning

    Geronimo! Guest

    definitely here
     
    Geronimo!, Oct 4, 2004
    #20
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