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6 key skills new IT grads are lacking

February 13, 2012 06:00 AM ET

"As much as we'd like to think that this generation is all about social media, working together continues to be a significant challenge," Thibodeaux says, noting that this weakness is particularly prevalent among computer science majors who spent a lot of time in college working on projects alone. "A lot of them don't know how to work together effectively or set and manage expectations. That's not being taught very well in colleges or graduate schools."

James T. Brown, president of consulting and training firm SEBA Solutions in Viera, Fla., says some colleges are trying to address that deficiency by assigning homework to teams rather than individual students. Unfortunately, this approach isn't always successful because the teams often just break the assignments into pieces that individuals complete on their own.

Brown says only a handful of companies offer employees robust leadership and team-building training programs -- and they're the ones that recognize that they get the most value out of employees who work well with others.

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. You can contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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