Education alone won’t result in a job offer. Employers want candidates who have used their tech skills
By Fred O’Connor
IDG News Service (Boston Bureau) — Tyler Kresch isn’t turning to graduate school to help him change his job from tech sales to running a startup; instead he’s taking massive open online courses (MOOCs) to learn the IT skills necessary for that career move.
Kresch’s foray into IT may come sooner than the 2012 college graduate anticipated.
Currently working as an account manager at Procore Technologies, Kresch was recently offered a junior developer position at the Santa Barbara, California, startup. The development team was impressed with how he used his computer science skills to improve the company’s cloud-based construction management software.
“I created a small app to help with the really tricky part of the account setup,” said Kresch, whose long-term career goal involves starting a tech company. “It used to take an hour of our account manager’s time to close every new account. We now use my tool and that saves us that hour.”
For IT professionals looking to advance their careers or people who want to make a career change to tech, taking a MOOC in a technical topic can help, according to employers. The caveat: People need projects that show hiring managers how they’ve used the tech skills they learned online.
“We’re not theorists here. We’re actually buildings things,” said Chad Morris, product lead at Mandrill, the transactional email service from MailChimp. “We’re really looking at what it is you’ve actually done.”
Morris applies this metric to all job candidates, including those with a computer science degree from a four-year college.
“We rate education relatively light here,” Morris said. To him, a traditional college education and online learning hold the same value and convey the same information: that a person has been exposed to code.
[ Full article available at CIO: http://www.cio.com/article/744434/Employers_Receptive_to_Hiring_IT_Job_Candidates_with_MOOC_Educations ]