February 25, 2011 – Candidates who can bridge the divides between IT departments and business will lead the pack, according to a new study. IBM customer user group SHARE and Unisphere Research coordinated the research effort, “Closing the IT Skills Gap,” a study of abilities in IT and business.

Nearly 400 responding organizations agree that colleges and universities need to provide their students with the essential skills required to run IT departments, yet only eight percent of hiring managers would rate IT graduates hired as “well trained, ready to go,” according to the release. Respondents report that IT hires are not sufficiently prepared to perform jobs within their companies, and another 44 percent say, at a minimum, that there are noticeable gaps in their skills.

Employers report they are seeking some specific capabilities to be instructed in educational institutions. The abilities in high demand according to those surveyed include programming skills, database skills, analysis and architectural skills and problem solving.

Project management, analytics/business intelligence and enterprise architecture skills are in demand by more than half of the companies surveyed.

The report shows that organizations are set to hire. The survey illustrates that 59 percent of employers in recruitment indicate that they are either currently hiring or planning to hire programmers and developers in the coming months. Employees are also hiring analysts, database professionals and architects.

The survey found that, although not preferable, organizations hire professionals with little, if any previous experience. Nearly half of companies responding to the survey hire new IT employees straight out of school. Two-thirds of organizations require at least some college intern experience.

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