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MS Student Survey Identifies Lack of IT Education, Soft Skills RRS feed

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  • A study and roundtable discussion by Microsoft Canada has found that IT education is lacking in communication and design training, or "soft skills," and that many 11th grade through second-year college students believe their technical skills are not being sufficiently developed. Courses that focus on soft skills would be more appealing to students, especially females, says CISP consultant Margaret Evered, as evidenced by the growth of social networking sites that focus on creativity and teamwork. Most IT professionals do not measure success by their soft-skill level, but the next generation of IT professional will have to be more involved in business processes. Training, especially in business practices, have become very scarce in IT departments. "They fail to recognize that this could help them," says University of Waterloo student Neville Samuell. IT education is also harmed by the teaching of outmoded languages that only cause students to need additional training later. The student survey showed that although 92 percent see technological experience as somewhat to very important for success in a career, only 42 percent believe their school cultivates these skills in them. Samuell says most students get such experience more from creating blogs and updating their MySpace page than from the classroom. "There's no way schools can keep up technologically," says University of Toronto computer science professor Eugene Fiume. Unless this trend is reversed, a vast divide will emerge, leaving those without computer skills to be "the illiterates of tomorrow," Evered says.
    Saturday, April 7, 2007 5:25 AM