What IT managers look for in new graduates

From SAP to ITIL, to business analysis and Oracle, what certifications are IT managers looking for when hiring?

For graduates looking to enter the work force, an SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) certificate is often a good choice for junior consultants. Focused on business software applications, SAP is related to enterprise resource planning, which includes management knowledge in supply chain and product life-cycle.

“On the other hand, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) foundation is open for all IT professionals who are interested in understanding the ITIL framework,” explained Linying Dong, Associate Professor of Business Management Technology at Toronto’s Ryerson University. “Also, some schools offer certifications such as Business Analysis at the University of Toronto that helps show the student has possessed knowledge and skills in a certain area.”

However, Dong noted not all certifications are suitable for new graduates when experience is taken into account. For example, a Business System Analyst certificate requires a candidate to acquire more than 5,500 hours of working experience in the areas related to business analysis, which is nearly impossible for new graduates to acquire.

“As a result, IT managers know about the difficulty for entry-level candidates to obtain an IT certificate, so any IT-related certifications would help a candidate in his/her job search,” said Dong.

Depending on the position a person is applies to, Google keeps an eye out for computer science degrees as well as experience with Java, Java Script, or C++, Google spokesperson Wendy Bairos said.

“It’s as much about what degrees and certifications a person has, and how well they fit in with a team,” she said. For example, a software engineer position in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada requires the minimum requirements of a B.A. or B.Sc. in lieu of a degree or equivalent experience.

“Both are looked at equally, but depending on the role, it may require experience with at least one of Java, Java Script, or C++,” said Bairos. “There are some preferred qualifications, but they’re not necessary. Job postings give people a sense of what we look for, and it gives the employee a sense of what we may expect of them under an engineering team.”

Bairos added that certificates and diplomas are always welcome, but a key element IT managers look for is a good fit with the culture of the company and the ability to work in a team environment.

“In order to be successful you need to be able to work together,” she said. “We do look for people who can work and collaborate with a team, not just people who have very specific skills for a job.”

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