Does Alma Mater Matter For Tech Pros? Not So Much, Say CIOs Robert Half Technology Provides 4 Tips for Showcasing Experience During the Job Hunt

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As students head back to class this fall, they should try to obtain real-world experience, in addition to their diplomas, if they want to make the grade with employers, a Robert Half Technology survey suggests. Seventy-one percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they prioritize skills and experience over college degrees when making hiring decisions. Another 12 percent said they place a little weight on the prestige of a job seeker's university when evaluating applicants; only 5 percent are heavily influenced by an impressive alma mater.

The survey is based on more than 2,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 24 major metropolitan areas. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, "When evaluating a candidate for an IT position, what value do you place on the prestige of their college or university?

I place a lot of weight on university prestige

5%

I place a little weight on university prestige

12%

University prestige doesn't matter to me

12%

I place more weight on skills and experience than on whether or not a candidate attended college/university

71%

Total

100%

"A quality education provides the foundation, but IT employers want to see evidence of practical application of that knowledge," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Job candidates with real-world IT experience can jump in and start contributing without a long ramp-up period, making them appealing to employers."

Robert Half Technology offers these four suggestions for showcasing real-word experience during a job hunt:

  1. Explain your learning process. What resources have you used to build your skills? For example, if you are a developer, are you active in any developer communities, or have you taken part in hackathons?
  2. Show off your projects. Have you designed an app? A website? A software product? Come to the interview prepared to share examples of your own work.
  3. Discuss experience earned in the 'real world.' A potential employer should hear about any relevant internships, volunteer opportunities and part-time or project work you have completed. Explain not only what you did in those roles but also how you made a difference.
  4. Shine a spotlight on your soft skills. Many employers are looking for technology professionals who can bring both technical and nontechnical skills to the job. Calling attention to communication, project management, problem-solving and similar skills could set you apart from other candidates.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology at twitter.com/RobertHalfTech or visit our technology blog at blog.rht.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology



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