IT hiring managers recommend applications developer roles as the best opportunity for new college graduates, according to a TEKsystems survey of IT leaders. Individuals with an IT degree in computer science can learn common development environments such as Windows, .NET, Linux and SQL. This experience provides a foundation for future growth in a more specialized area of software development.
Digital transformation will continue to create a lot of opportunity for new IT professionals as organizations take on more and larger IT projects. These initiatives will require a small number of highly skilled and experienced individuals to design, but a larger number of junior- or entry-level workers to implement and pass the pre-employment screening.
Developer roles are consistently difficult roles to fill, a result of the sky-high demand for qualified tech professionals across the industry. Technical support, business analyst and web developer positions are also mentioned as good opportunities for new graduates with generalized degrees.
IT leaders in the survey were asked, “What skill sets provide the greatest opportunity for recent college graduates searching for entry-level positions? Select all that apply.” Responses include:
- Applications developer: 60%
- Technical support: 54%
- Business/systems analyst: 52%
- Web developer: 48%
- Network/systems administrator: 39%
- Network/systems engineer: 37%
- Database administrator: 35%
- Quality assurance engineer: 27%
When considering recent college graduates for entry-level positions, IT hiring managers are adamant that work-related internships or experience is the most important factor besides passing the pre-employment screening, with 86% ranking it their first or second most important factor — twice as high as the next factor, referrals and reference, at 50%.
Not surprisingly, IT hiring managers say salary is the most attractive aspect of a hiring package for recent college graduates. A recent graduate could be in line for as much as a 10% bump in the initial salary offering if a hiring manager finds the candidate exceptional. However, that’s the maximum amount most recent graduates should expect for job offers, as the salary bump percentages drastically drop beyond that. Hiring managers are also well aligned with the desires of IT candidates when thinking about the most attractive pieces of the hiring package puzzle besides passing the pre-employment screening, ranking workplace flexibility as the second highest factor – even above health care.
The survey was conducted in March 2017 and the results represent the views of more than 250 IT hiring managers across the US.
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