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In a previous blog post, we initiated a discussion about to what extent there is a shortage of IT skills in South Africa. In a series of upcoming posts, we’ll be expanding on each of the points we made to further the discussion.

It is understandable that companies only want to hire the best person for the job, but what happens when exceptional candidates are overlooked because they don’t meet all of the criteria on paper?

While a list of formal qualifications is obviously a wonderful achievement, not every potential candidate may have had the resources to enable them to get straight A’s.

In a country like South Africa this is especially relevant, skills shortage or not, as many candidates often struggle to get through a degree without much support.

What about tenacity? Surely a candidate that passed his degree in the face of adversity is going to be a good investment for a business?

Reframing the Importance of Over-Achievers

It is important that candidate is technically skilled, and has the required training, especially with all of the fast paced development that continues to take place on a global scale.

However, so-called “soft skills” are becoming increasingly important in a world of automation, so surely being able to handle conflict, build relationships and cope under pressure are also valuable skills to consider in addition to a degree/diploma?

What Does the IT Industry Think?

From a candidate’s perspective, have you ever applied for a job only to be told that you don’t have the right marks?

Do businesses feel they can’t take a risk and hire someone unless they conform to a certain set of academic criteria?

If you work in the IT industry, we’d really like to hear what you think, share your thoughts in the comments below!