William H. Magill on Tue, 8 Jul 2003 10:46:05 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Tech jobs and politics, and IT diploma mills

On Monday, July 7, 2003, at 12:11 PM, Craig Brennan wrote:
The problem with most IT "schools" today is that the school's management does not realize that you will learn nothing in a pristine lab setting using only MS software. 

And the reason these schools do this is because this is what the employers want.
Employers want "certified" applicants... people who they don't have to worry about putting through any kind of internal testing or qualification because they are terrified of the threats of affirmative action, eeo, law suits and the like. By "delegating" the job of defining job qualifications to somebody else, they can set job qualifications that have no relationship to the job, but which allow them to screen 90% of the applicants as "unqualified" without ever talking to them.

Hiring practices and "HR" procedures of small and medium sized companies (which is where many of these graduates find work) are pathetic at best. The only reason they aren't prosecuted for their practices is the fact that there are too many of them and they are not "important enough" for the prosecutors to make the six-o'clock news over.

"Major" Corporations do much the same thing for the same reasons, but they normally have procedures in place that once the "dumb screens" are passed, the remaining applicants are screened, at least by their peers, in a department... in small companies, there are frequently zero peers and the only screening is done by some pointy-haired boss.

All the talk on this list over the years of various linux, unix certifications and the like simply re-enforces this point of view. The "problem" is that there are so few companies out there with Unix/Linux requirements. They only have a couple of WinTel machines and maybe a WinTel server... so they want WinTel certifications. They heard they should have a network and that Cisco was the "leader" in networking... and OH! Cisco has a certification also! cool! Lets require that.

"Major" corporations are the only ones with "career paths" -- operations large enough that they can hire "trainees" and move them "up through the ranks." Small and medium size companies are so "flat" or "tight" that they expect every new hire "to hit the ground running."

William H. Magill
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