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IT Skills – Experience Rated Over Qualifications


Many organisations see IT management experience as more important than qualifications, according to a new British Computer Society (BCS) survey.

Almost 90% (88%) of organisations surveyed said that it was the experience of their IT managers that was important to them rather than their IT qualifications (41%).

When recruiting IT managers, 69% of companies put a high importance on the IT knowledge of the applicant compared with 51% who rated management knowledge highly. For the majority of organisations the head of IT or the equivalent was the key decision maker in the recruitment of IT managers.

The head of IT was normally also responsible for setting the standards of management knowledge for new IT managers and the selection of education and training for his IT managers. The survey found that the choice of training provider was based mostly on either previous experience of the provider or on their reputation. Cost was a lesser consideration.

The majority of organisations (69%) did not use a Professional Development scheme for their IT managers. However of those organisations that did use such a scheme, half were based on a scheme either run by or accredited by a professional body. In addition, 59% of the companies stated that they would put a high value on more standardised education and qualifications for IT managers.

BCS chief executive David Clarke said: "This confirms that the Society's Professionalism in IT (ProfIT) programme - currently seeking to upgrade the perceived value of the IT profession - has a big challenge to correct what is seen by the BCS as an alarming misapprehension. In particular, ProfIT must play a central role in guiding British business and the public services sector to encourage and value a qualified approach to recruiting and integrating IT into the broader business."

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