Alignment of information technology hiring manager requirements with bachelor degree learning outcomes: Qualitative inquiry

by Heffernan, Tena M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 194 pages; 3646096


Employers have difficulty finding people with the knowledge and skills required to fill the information technology (IT) positions they have open in their organizations. This qualitative, exploratory study examines alignment between what IT hiring managers require and what students in bachelor degree programs focused on IT (BIT) are learning. The researcher interviewed two distinct groups of participants. Information technology hiring managers were asked to report their requirements when seeking employees who possess BIT degrees. Students at the junior or senior level of a BIT program, or those who had graduated within the past three calendar years, were asked to report what they were learning, or had learned, in their programs of study. After analyzing each group separately, the researcher compared results across groups for alignment. The results revealed that IT managers put a high value on non-technical knowledge and skills regardless of experience level of the employee. Results also revealed that, for entry-level positions, IT hiring managers are willing to provide some training if the candidate already has fundamental knowledge and skills. Technical knowledge and skills the IT hiring managers require of recruits vary depending on the specific role to be filled and the expected experience of the person to fill the role. Information technology hiring managers do not require certifications when hiring, but use certifications to help differentiate between candidates. Students in BIT programs are acquiring non-technical knowledge and skills, but they struggle to identify them in interviews. These students are not satisfied with the amount of hands-on, non-theoretical content of their programs. The researcher found good alignment between the two participant groups relative to communication and ability to work with others. Good alignment also existed between the groups for technical knowledge/skills for entry-level positions. Poor alignment existed between the two participant groups relative to customer service, troubleshooting, managerial/business, time management, and project management. Poor alignment also existed for non-entry-level positions in the areas of backup and repair, Unix, and virtualization.

AdviserBernard J. Sharum
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsHigher education administration; Management; Information technology; Labor economics; Adult education
Publication Number3646096

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