In recent years there have been many stories about chancers that have enriched themselves by purchasing some spurious doctorate from a little-known institute on the other side of the Atlantic. Some of them even get TV shows. Pity then the poor IT graduates, toiling for years to get qualified, running up vast debts in the process, only to find that their degrees are not valued.
According to the IT industry skills council, e-skills UK, the majority of employers are not impressed by IT degrees. Most employers (60%) do not consider an IT degree to be an important factor when selecting potential candidates for jobs in IT.
That report is no one-off: a separate study by market researcher Vanson Bourne found that just 12% of HR managers would hire an IT graduate. Most see on-the-job training as more valuable.
The message from both studies is that degree-level IT courses do not equip trainees with the necessary skills for a career in IT. “Employers want staff skilled in business and competencies that facilitate team working,” notes Rick Firth, of IT skills company Parity Training.
Rod Flavell, CEO of IT staffing company the FDM Group, believes that university IT courses are outdated. Businesses must help universities and colleges “sculpt useful courses”, he urges.