Tertiary Studies OR Self-Taught…

This blog will probably relate more to my junior tech audience. However I believe it’s an interesting subject to bring to light regarding universities / tafe’s / training institutions and their impact on the graduates within the web & tech industry.

A few months ago I received a phone call from an internal careers advisor at a well-known tertiary institute here in Brisbane – We’ll name the person who phoned me Ashleigh. Anyway Ashleigh was on the phone to tell me how great a particular graduate student was that had just graduated.

Time passes and I end up meeting with this super star student at the Boston Kennedy office here in Brisbane. The meeting went well, the student seemed very talented and what was even more of a plus was their great attitude. Admittedly this student wasn’t as up to scratch with their skills as I’d probably have liked, however as per procedure, I went back to my desk after the interview and booked this candidate a couple of meetings with 2 of my favourite clients.

48 hours later and after 2 different interviews with 2 separate clients of mine, the feedback was a little surprising. One client whom runs a very thorough internal hiring process, reported that the super star student, although possessing a great attitude to programming and in general, hadn’t any real depth to her skill set in comparison to their current employees.

Moving right to the point here, it was discovered that this particular student had studied for 8 months as a developer, paying $18,000 for a course that was teaching him slightly irrelevant information about IT development in parallel to the commercial world. It was also discovered that the hardware at the organisation was rather outdated. Disappointing, more so that this is not the only situation like this that I have experienced.

Now yes I have been one to bag uni’s and tafe’s in the past, mostly because of this particular reason. In case you’re wondering.. NO, I wasn’t academically smart enough to actually go to university. Although you might like to know that I’ve since learnt, that going to uni is very important, as it’s a good test of many things in an individual. However my main bug bear is that these tertiary institutions aren’t correctly preparing our graduates for what is required of them in the commercial world.

In tech and especially with the speed that everything is progressing online – most of the companies advertising for new positions on job boards etc. want to see what you’ve developed in your own time or on someone else’s. If you only have a multi-media degree or diploma in web development or design etc. it’s not enough – you will need to create a portfolio of your own. There is so much FREE info online now for aspiring web developers and techies to learn from it’s really amazing – where OR how do I get this, I hear you asking – well I’ll leave that bit up to your creativity to figure out 🙂

Your Friend Jason W. Roulston


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