A new arrival fresh from university may be required to perform certain tasks, the knowledge for which was covered in year 1 of a 3 or 4 year degree course. This could be well forgotten, not having had time to cement the learning with regular practical experience. This is where specific training course come in to put the meat on the bones, so to speak. Training courses tailored to a specific technology or skillset will almost certainly give students a chance to practice and test the skills, assuming it is a hands-on training course.
It is not that Universities are failing, just that they are there to produce academics, and the real world experience comes afterwards. I remember running a training course on data networking and Voice over IP, and I had a young man who introduced himself and stated that he had a degree in IT. On day two of the course I myself experiences some problems on my notebook computer with the Windows software. Remembering that there was a young chap with a degree in IT who had stated that he was also an MCSE and MCSA, I decided to ask his advice. To my amazement he really didn’t have much of a clue and I managed to sort the problem myself during a lunch break.
This young man went on to become a good engineer in a high profile department of a large telecommunications company, but at the time of the training course he was almost fresh from University.
So, employers that are expecting our universities to provide a source of fully qualified and experienced IT engineers are really asking a bit too much. What they receive are individuals who have demonstrated the ability to learn and problem solve, and who need now to be introduced to the rigours of the IT industry. Additionally, they will probably need to attend professional IT training courses that are specific to the tasks they are to perform, in addition to receiving mentoring from a suitably experienced member of staff.