I didn't know I needed to know all that!

Submitted by rnojonson on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 15:11.

I am a IT person, that is, I've been trained in that direction. Yes, Information Technology the wave of the future and the backbone of business. As of late there are no wavy backbones!

You go to school to get the geist of the IT world but when it comes time to get a job, you are unequipped to work. Firstly HR people only read the job descriptions, if you don't fit you're out. Then companies don't want to train you if you are short on experience. Let's examine this a little closer.

The main problem is that schools are not up on what each industry in the area is using hardware and software wise. Schools only teach the gereral subject matter, and general use applications. They don't have time to teach more. Then business don't do in-house training for job specific hardware and software. They are hoping to find experinced people floating around.

So, I got my PC tinker history, go to school to get certs and diploma. What don't I know? I don't know about computers in a corporate setting, servers and large networks and communications and PDAs. Hospitals have this too and PC monitored medical equipment. Factories have CNC and other PC controlled stuff. Each industry has industry specific equipment and operations that the other industries don't have. They want you to maintain/fix computers and what is attached to them also. They write matching job decriptions and save the weeding for the interview.

I give you an example. I go to a big bank, they nod at my credentials then ask, do you know about VOIP (voice over I/P) or can you set up and maintain our phone system since it runs on the same network as the computers. What, I have to know phone systems too!? What about PDAs (Blackberries, iPhones, etc.). I didn't learn that in school, have no personal experience with that, do cell phones count?

I go to a manufacturing company, it's great you have lots of PC skills, do you do scripting, that is programming? No, didn't know I had to have that, for this job and besides, that is a system administrators function. Oh, we need someone who is able to relieve the system admin person from their over stressed workload, once and a while. (Gad, there is even pork in job descriptions!).

I am thinking there needs to be a knowledge bank that states what types of hardware and software are being used by each industry in NEO. Do HR folks know what is being taught in the schools? For instance, AutoCad was/is being taught for drafting and engineering for years. Then all of a sudden Pro-Engineering and Solid Edge were more worthy for the kinds of work being done in this area. Many schools never picked up on this. When I worked at NASA I learned what applications were being used at other companies from other drafters. And by the way there are no more drafters, just rookie engineers soon to be full engineers, doing drafting work.

My point is that it is hard for a person going into IT work to prepair if the training is too general. You can't be expected to learn it all in the school time frame. Employers need to embrace the generally trained to groom them specifically for their industry. This means apprenticeships, internships, and continous education. It least for IT workers, it is still a guru/nerd/geek/techie based profession. I think we strive to raise common people into the heights of knowledge instead of pushing knowledge down into the strata of common people.

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