If You Want a Job in Tech, Learn to Code

'I'm probably not going to hire you,' exec tells recent grads, too many of whom lack critical skills.

Commencement ceremonies are going on at universities across the country during the month of May, unveiling a new crop of college graduates eager to find their dream jobs. And according to a study released last week, technology and engineering grads should have no trouble finding jobs, right?

That’s not necessarily the case, says Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, an ad tech company in Manhattan, in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

“I run a cool, rapidly growing company in the digital field, where the work is interesting and rewarding,” McDonald writes to recent graduates. “But I’ve got to be honest about some unfortunate news: I’m probably not going to hire you.”

It’s not that PubMatic does not have jobs to fill; it’s largely because our nation’s education system has fallen short in grooming graduates with the skills necessary to effectively work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, McDonald writes, citing a potential shortage of roughly 80,000 IT workers over the next decade.

While states and companies should be working together to address this crisis, McDonald encourages current and recent graduates to take matters into their own hands and learn how to speak computer code. With technology now a major player in almost every area of business, having some knowledge of computer code on your resume is almost essential to landing a job, McDonald writes.

“If you want a job in media, technology, or a related field, make learning basic computer language your goal this summer,” McDonald writes. “There are plenty of services – some free and others affordable – that will set you on your way.”

Is your agency facing the same challenges in finding tech-savvy talent? What can current and recent grads do to get up to speed? 

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