CIOs: College grads not ready for IT prime time

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The lines of new graduates with computer science degrees are probably pretty long outside your office these days. It seems they have good backgrounds in simulation and modeling, parallel computation and Internet software development. But what looks good on paper isn't necessarily as helpful in the real world.

IT executives are finding that many of these college graduates are not ready for IT jobs. There are gaps in their experience and skills, and they need more education before they can handle the job.

"The problem is that universities don't train people to take jobs," Michael Gabriel, CIO at Home Box Office in New York, tells Computerworld.com. "If they were better prepared to hit the ground running, they would be a more effective and lower-cost resource that could compete with offshore talent. They wouldn't hit potential constraints imposed by the time and effort required to get them to be productive," he adds.

Many colleges and universities provide internships for undergraduates to hone their skills. But others just teach out of the book, and that's a real flaw for anyone trying to land a job in the growing IT market.

Here's a list of some things that IT executives hope to see in recent grads:

  • Make sure expectations are realistic. Don't expect to get paid $75,000 for your first job.
  • Make sure you have internships during college to close that gap between the world of universities and the real world.
  • Make sure relationship skills are as good as social networking ones.
  • Make sure you are career focused.

While the next generation may not be great at self-promotion right now, remember that you could be talking to the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Vint Cerf, still wet behind the ears.

For more on the graduating IT class:
- see this Computerworld.com article

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