6 key skills new IT grads are lacking


The CIO of U.S. Gas & Electric in North Miami Beach recently hired four new staffers and was looking to add 11 more people to his team of 20. His list of open positions included an EDI programmer, a risk management programmer, a CRM programmer, a business analyst and an assistant IT manager.

Taffet says he doubts any new college grad could easily fill any of those roles. Undergraduate and graduate schools aren't able to keep up with the needs of enterprise IT shops, he says. "It's a horrible thing to say, but there's just not enough time [in college to learn] all the skills that people need to be successful. We are expecting more and more, and universities are supplying more, but we're asking for still more," he says.

What "more" do Taffet and other IT leaders want? They continue to value the "soft skills" -- particularly communication skills, customer service skills and an understanding of how to behave professionally -- that have topped their lists for years. But now they're also looking for specific business and technical skills that recent grads seem to be lacking. Computerworld talked with IT managers and found that there are six key skills they wish their newest hires had picked up in college.