a journal of a researcher

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Prefect CS students fits the market

My student Matthias Klein sent the top IT companies an email to ask them what are the prefect CS students for them. It is an interesting investigation and superisingly, he did get many replies. He wrote down his result at http://www.cmklein.de/it/perfectgraduate/.

If let me summarize, I saw the following items are important, the orders do not concern:
1) Working experiences, or internships
2) Soft working skills, such as team work, communication, inter-people relations
3) Good knowledge on the focus technologies of the company
4) Good understanding of the economy, (or I understand more as understanding the business of the company and the position of the company in the economic system.)
5) English language (for foreign companies or for international students)
6) GPA.

I also did a small survey on monster.com for US IT jobs and monster.ca for Canadian IT jobs. I used each of the key words, java, c++, c, php, vb, for search and ranked them by the job posting numbers. Below is my list. Remember, I just use the data in the recent week. More scientifically, this experience should be repeated and sample different time window within a year to give the conclusion.

1. java
2. php/mySQL
3. C++
4. c
5. VB

Java gets absolutely highest hits. And the companies are large major companies. As Matthias suggested in our work, Java is used for serious applications and preferred by large companies. Web based applications are the major technology consumers.


  • Reading through the original answers of the companies I would say that the order of required skills does actually matter a lot.

    If you switch your items 3 and 4 then you pretty much have them sorted in the order that seem to match the requirements of the IT industry.

    Practical work experience is by far the most important thing, even for students who just graduated. Some companies made it very clear: even with the perfect GPA they would not hire you if you don't have practical experience.

    By "understanding of the economy" the companies seem to mean: "Know business, think business, know management". The reason is that a company is about making money. An IT expert might have a great idea but if it doesn't fit the needs of the market or is useless from the business point of view, a company will not be interested. Therefore, an IT graduate needs to know business and how it works.

    University knowledge and GPA seems to be the least interesting factor for companies, they simply expect you to have enough of it.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 AM  

  • It seems to me a philosophy question to discuss what "perfect CS student" is. Like written in the reply from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, it is a hard question.

    I guess the key point is there is no general "perfect CS student", they only exist when they are put in to certain context, e.g. for what kind of purposes, for what kind of companies.

    If unversity knowledge is really that not important, why do they request that. A community college graduate could easily excel a university graduate in this case, why don't they lower the requirements?

    I still think of theory study as a process of learning problem solving skill. You need to use logic, use induction and deduction to solve a given problem, you have to consider exceptions and completeness, pretty much similar to what you will be doing in industry. Why does IBM give job offers to all the attendants of ACM anual programming competition?

    It's all about problem solving in Computer Science. I am not saying other factors are not important, in fact they are. What I am trying to say is "perfect CS students" only exist when you give the context. Maybe developping and implementation require less problem solving skill while consulting and designing rely more on that.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 PM  

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