Are Universities to Blame for the IT Careers Crisis?

Glen Van Der Vyver, Michael Lane
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
At a time when the IT industry in general and the IT academy in particular face major challenges, some accuse universities of producing graduates with poor or inappropriate skills. This qualitative study, based on interviews with fifteen senior IT executives and managers in the Australian financial services industry, examines what employers seek when they recruit new graduates. We find that employers now expect much more from IT graduates. They require a blend of technical, business and people skills combined with the right attitude. Furthermore, requirements are highly mediated by contextual factors such as company size and corporate culture. We also find that universities are not perceived as negatively as some would have it. Universities face a significant challenge in producing graduates with much wider skill sets. Although this study was conducted in Australia, we are of the opinion that the issues discussed are relevant in the wider international context.
IT Education; skills crisis; graduate employment; outsourcing; graduate attributes
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