Whats your background?

After having been through the usual hunt for job candidates, i was quite surprised and alarmed by

  1. the lack of suitable, technical GIS applicants and
  2. the general IT professionals who think they are suitable when they have no spatial understanding

Do you think it’s more beneficial to have spatial understanding and then be trained up; or the opposite, and train them with spatial knowledge.

I’d love to hear from the public as to what your experiences have been and how you got into the industry. In my travels, it seems as though people with IT backgrounds + spatial training outnumber the pure spatial background people quite significantly .. which is a shame, as these people are usually the ones who end up with the Spatial Analyst type roles.
It seems that most GIS related graduates get sucked into the vacuum that is data capture/manipulation, never to be seen from again.

In answer to my own question, i obviously graduated with a Bsc(GIS) but was lucky enough to have significant technical background in web development and programming to get me through my current work. Perhaps, the problem is two-fold, in that the current geospatial degrees have too much spatial and not enough technical work.

I have been in more than one situation where an IT professional by trade has scared the living daylights out of me with their lack of any spatial understanding. Whats a projection? Whats topology?