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IT employers cool on tech degrees

Bosses say ICT degrees are now unimportant in recruitment decisions
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Six out of 10 employers do not care whether graduate applicants for ICT jobs have ICT-related degrees, a survey has revealed.

The statistics, released on Tuesday by E-Skills UK, the government-led skills agency, also show that only two out of every five graduates working in ICT (information and communications technology) have an ICT-related degree.

"Graduates from non-ICT disciplines have often developed skills in areas not yet widely included in traditional computing courses, such as business, project, communication and other interpersonal skills," said E-Skills chief executive Karen Price.

Price said the figures demonstrated that ICT-related degrees should "evolve to reflect the broader range of capabilities required to be successful in modern careers in IT and telecoms". She also claimed that the statistics highlighted the need for qualifications such as those earned through information technology management for business (ITMB) degrees, which will be running at 12 universities by the end of the year. ITMB degrees have a greater focus on business, rather than pure technology skills.

Other findings arising from the survey of more than 1,000 ICT recruiters were that "55 percent of employers consider the level of achievement in the degree to be 'important' or 'very important' [and] 4 percent of employers consider the place of study to be important or very important".

Another recent E-Skills study found that 17 percent of UK employers worried that their staff lacked sufficient IT skills.

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