Survey: IT Grads’ Communication Skills Need an Upgrade

A new survey of CIOs found that a majority of tech leaders think new IT grads need to beef up their communication skills to be successful in the work place.

Sometimes what you say is not as important as how you say it.

Whatever form of communication, you must look at how that person is going to perceive what you are saying.

Adding fuel to this belief is a new survey by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology that found while more than a third of CIOs from U.S. companies plan to hire new IT grads this year, the largest impediment to the young professionals’ success is a lack of interpersonal skills.

Fifty-five percent of the 2,300 surveyed CIOs reported IT grads most lack communication and leadership skills, as opposed to technical or business skills.

“IT hiring managers are seeking candidates who not only possess technical abilities but can also meet deadlines and work well with customers and colleagues,” John Reed, Robert Half Technology’s senior executive director, said in a statement. “New IT graduates can distinguish themselves in the job market by demonstrating business acumen and solid interpersonal skills.”

Communication skills and other soft skills are also important for anyone who wants to climb the career ladder in IT.

“It’s very important from a technical person’s perspective to understand that everyone who you’d be working with at [an executive] level may not be as technical as you,” said Kara Freeman, vice president and CIO at the American Council on Education. “You have to watch the technical jargon.”

Freeman advised having an empathetic perspective on communication, rather than an “I’m just going to tell you this,” attitude.

“Look at things from the perspective of the person to whom you’re speaking or the person to whom you are communicating with, whether it’s over email or in person or phone or text. Whatever form of communication, you must look at how that person is going to perceive what you are saying,” Freedman said.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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