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IT certificates hold little value say CIOs

When a company is looking to hire someone for the IT department, CIOs and IT leaders are far more likely to look at evidence of team participation and experience than check the number of certifications they have

IT certificates hold little value say CIOs
Paul O’Kirwan says that internships are very important to allow recent graduates to get their foot in the door at big network companies.

When a company is looking to hire someone for the IT department, CIOs and IT leaders are far more likely to look at evidence of team participation and experience than check the number of certifications they have, according to three top Middle East-based IT experts.

Speaking at the ACN 100 conference, Nigel Hattersley, Middle East regional director of IT, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Paul O’Kirwan, IT director Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Hossam Elkobrosy, head of IT infrastructure, National Bank of Abu Dhabi said that IT certifications hold slim value for them.

“The value that we look for is that they have the experience and the know-how, but if someone comes with a certification by itself, no, it has little value,” said Elkobrosy.

While all agree that new hires do need to know how to do the job, most need training to get up to corporate standards anyway and having team skills is more important that a stamped piece of paper.

“What I struggle with is finding new recruits that have management skills, which have the ability to speak in a group, to offer solutions. The new recruit technicians that we get keep their mouths closed and keep quiet all the time. I find it very hard to find someone that is going to form part of a team in the organisation. That is something that you are not getting straight out of college,” said Hattersley.

Applicants to universities computer science courses used to have experience and skill in programming, O’Kirwan said, but those skills are now lacking.

This means that the students are not starting courses with the correct skills, and results in them not coming out the other end as competent computer science professionals.

One of the ways to ensure that college and university graduates have the required team skills is by implementing compulsory internships at leading regional network vendors.

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