Learning & Development

Microsoft Survey Sees Lack in Software Training

We talk a lot about both vocational training within the educational system and on-the-job training provided by employers. Both are important, but unfortunately, both also are often lacking.


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In fact, a recent survey of 500 K–12 educators conducted by Microsoft and international company YouGov found that significant percentages of educators feel that both the educational system and major tech companies aren’t doing enough to promote computer science and coding skills among young people.

Software Professionals Are Self-Teaching

Many future software professionals may be filling the tech training gap on their own. In addition to the potential impacts this may have on training models in school and on the job, it may also have some impacts for how companies recruit tech talent.
“Self-directed learning is the norm among developers; so when companies focus on hiring based on proven skill instead of prestigious degree or GPA, a massive pool of overlooked talent opens up,” says Vivek Ravisankar, CEO and cofounder of HackerRank.

A Look at Emerging Developers

HackerRank surveyed 10,000 developers across universities around the globe on how they are learning, what they are learning, and what they look for in a job. Here are a few of the interesting findings:

  • While 76% of tech students are pursuing a degree in computer science, 65% of all student developers say they are at least partially self-taught.
  • Nearly one-third of that 76% said they are completely self-taught.
  • While 48% of employers say they need JavaScript skills, only 42% of student developers worldwide say they know JavaScript.
  • S. students are significantly more interested in company culture than students from any other country.
  • S. students also are the only group that identifies “work/life balance” as their number one priority

The HackerRank survey provides some interesting insights into how student developers learn the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. But just because they are likely to be spending time learning skills on their own doesn’t mean employers should skimp on their own training programs.
What it does mean is that a student’s GPA in school-based training may not accurately reflect that student’s actual aptitude.
That’s an important thing to consider when evaluating job candidates.