Report Describes Success Factors for Newly Hired IT Personnel

Microsoft this week unveiled survey results regarding IT new hires and their prospects at companies.

The June-published IDC study (PDF download), sponsored by Microsoft, polled the supervisors of new hires for IT jobs, asking them to characterize successful hires vs. unsuccessful hires. The study encompassed "906 new hires from 453 organizations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States," using poll results sampled from April 2021.

IDC expects that there will be more than 8.3 million new IT jobs created from 2021 to 2024 worldwide. In the United States alone, IDC expects to see more than 500,000 IT jobs created in that same time period.

Role-Specific Skills
The new hires that were fastest at becoming proficient were deemed successful by the supervisors. Successful new hires were those having "role-specific technical skills" (85 percent) and job experience (82 percent), according to the respondents.

The most important role-specific technical skill was "core product experience" (68 percent), followed by "core product certification" (63 percent).

The specific work experiences most valued by supervisors included project management (56 percent), in-role training (51 percent), and technical or role certification (51 percent).

IDC's survey asked which cloud skills would contribute to a new hire's success. The top cloud skills, according to supervisors, included:

  • Programming (56 percent)
  • Multicloud management (50 percent)
  • Basic cloud skills (50 percent)
  • Infrastructure management (46 percent)
  • DevOps (42 percent)
  • Serverless architecture (39 percent)

Specific personal traits were valued, namely willingness to learn (57 percent), initiative (57 percent) and perseverance (54 percent), among others.

Classroom Experience and Certifications
Supervisors favored some classroom experiences more than others as a way of estimating new hire success. The most favored classroom experience was "vendor-sourced courses (no certifications)" at 41 percent, followed by computer science classes (39 percent) and "vendor-sourced courses (with certifications)" at 38 percent.

While technical certifications might seem to be highly valued, they were thought to contribute to new hire success by more than 40 percent of supervisors, according to the study. Despite that middling number, the IDC study depicted industry certification credentials as being important to "boost new career entrants' chances."

In general, the IDC study touted cloud skills for IT job candidates, plus computer science and technical theory education. Schools should develop project-based courses, IDC's report suggested. School curricula that reflect industry needs would better enhance IT job prospects, the report added, but it also acknowledged the limitations that schools have in keeping their IT programs up to date.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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