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Author Topic: Google executive says about jobseekers

Posts: 24
Google executive says about jobseekers
on: April 24, 2014, 09:33

It is far better to be a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English.

This is according to Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations for Google.

Bock told Thomas Friedman in a New York Times interview that Google has a few hiring attributes across the company, including:

General cognitive ability – “It’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly.”
Leadership – “In particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership.”
Humility and ownership – “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in.”
Bock downplayed the importance of a degree, saying that “the world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know”.

In his interview Bock also touched on a topic which is particularly relevant in a South African context: the need for more students taking and passing mathematics and science related subjects.

In response to a student who wanted to drop computer science in preference of an easier course, he said: “You are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English”.

He explained that the computer science course signals a rigor in thinking and a more challenging course load.

South Africa’s poor education system

In South Africa, only 43% of matric students sat the standard mathematics paper – a 17% decline in the number of candidates who wrote mathematics between 2009 and 2013.

The situation for science looks even worse: only 33% of matrics took science, and only a quarter of these students received a mark over 50%.

Unsurprisingly, South Africa is suffering from a shortage of engineers and related science professionals. BA graduates, on the other hand, find it challenging to be employed.

The situation is so dire that former Naspers CEO Koos Bekker has warned that SA’s poor education system is hurting Internet developments and investments in the country by not developing enough engineers to drive the country forward.

“To get an engineer you need a kid who is enthused about mathematics, and is prepared to study engineering at university,” said Bekker.

“Regrettably our education system is so poor it simply does not yield the mathematics geniuses we need to go to university to become engineers.”


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