Research: Skills Beat Degrees for IT Career Success

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by Ellie Victor

For many work sectors, graduating at university is the only way to get a foot on the career ladder. But a recent study by IT employment experts LynxPro has revealed skills and experience, alongside a solid work ethic and attitude, could prove much more worthwhile than a degree for people wanting to work in IT.

Looking specifically at how IT workers reached their current professions, the survey has revealed:

• 75% of tech workers are self-taught
• 39% of tech workers develop their skills with on-the-job training
• Only 43% of tech worker have degrees

Skills Beat Degrees for IT Career Success infographic

“Dropped out”

The study looked at workers in four rapidly growing IT sectors: computer science, data analysis, app development and web development.

A huge 90% of web developers say they are largely self-taught, perhaps because web pros need to maintain a ‘constantly learning’ work ethic in order to stay on top of a fast-changing work environment. Yet despite this, 63.7% still hold a degree.

App developers, however, are inclined to learn on the job or are entirely self-taught, with only 19.7% holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Certainly, this would correlate with well-known tech entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs, all of whom never finished university, but instead dropped out to form companies that would later go on to become worldwide brands and make them multi-millionaires.

Skills Beat Degrees for IT Career Success facebook

“Rapidly expanding sector”

LynxPro added to the findings by analysing their own data and discovering that employers looking for candidates in some in-demand IT roles have started to emphasise a need for skills and experience over educational background.

Matthew Smith, the Managing Director at LynxPro, said: “As a recruitment platform focusing on IT positions, at LynxPro.com we know that technologies change much faster than any University course. Contractors typically build their knowledge of the latest technologies through experience in the commercial environment.”

In a rapidly expanding sector, the survey reveals IT employers are thinking outside the box for their future employees – it’s a policy that should become even more prevalent as the industry expands further in the future.

For more info on LynxPro, visit: www.lynxpro.com

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