by Jason Compton

Future IT Workforce Has Poor Communication Skills

Nov 01, 20012 mins
IT Skills

Some believe that the universities, perhaps lured too far away from their general educational goals by the flood of technology, are failing at a more fundamental level. “I see a woeful number of graduates who come out who can’t even write a coherent document of any kind?specifications, cost/benefit analysis, even a white paper. They just can’t write,” says David Johnson, senior vice president and CIO of Transamerica Real Estate Tax Service in Dallas. “They know a lot about tool sets, a lot about statistical development, C++ and Cobol, and how compilers are put together, but they have very little critical skills thinking. They can’t answer the question of why we would want to be doing this in a business.”

While Johnson stresses that his major complaint is in the quantity, not the quality of new hires available to him, he remains upset about graduates’ lack of basic abilities. “I can expect that I’ll bring somebody on board and I might have to bring them up to speed on technical skills. I can give that to them and get there quickly,” he says. “What I don’t have the time or stomach for is to train somebody how to think through things, how to ask hard questions, communicate and run a meeting.”