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IT employers cool on tech degrees

Survey finds that many U.K. employers don't care whether IT job applicants graduated with a tech-related degree.

Six out of ten U.K. employers do not care whether applicants for jobs in information and communications technology have tech-related degrees, a survey has revealed.

The statistics, released Tuesday by E-Skills UK, a British government-led agency, also show that only two out of every five U.K. graduates working in ICT (information and communications technology) have an ICT-related degree.

"Graduates from non-ICT disciplines have often developed skills in areas not yet widely included in traditional computing courses such as business, project, communication and other interpersonal skills," said E-Skills Chief Executive Karen Price.

Price said the figures demonstrated that ICT degrees should "evolve to reflect the broader range of capabilities required to be successful in modern careers in IT and telecom."

She also said that the statistics highlighted the such as those earned through information technology management for business (ITMB) degrees, which will available at 12 U.K. universities by the end of the year. ITMB degrees have a greater focus on business, rather than pure technology skills.

Other findings arising from the survey of more than 1,000 employers were that "55 percent of employers consider the level of achievement in the degree to be 'important' or 'very important' (and) 4 percent of employers consider the place of study to be important or very important."

Another recent E-Skills study found that 17 percent of U.K. employers worried that their staff lacked sufficient IT skills.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.