While the jobs in IT sector continue to surge despite the shadow of recession looming, the reports of computer science graduates reeling under burden of unemployment seem like a paradox. In the UK, rate of unemployment among candidates from this stream is as high as 14 percent. At the same time, the IT and telecoms sector, is expected to witness rapid growth according to experts. A majority of firms need manpower in IT and telecoms positions.
Paradox of UK University Degrees and Employment Woes
There is no denying the steady demand for students passing out from UK universities. In recent time, studies conducted on comparative skill set and expertise of technical knowledge indicates UK universities offer superior teaching and research. Hence, this is somewhat unusual that employers grudge about graduates not being equipped with required skills and many large MNCs select candidates from Russell Group universities.
The Global Scene on IT Skill Shortage and Surging Demand
Does this picture look familiar with technical education scenes in other countries of the world? In the USA, Canada and the EU, instances of rising demand and skills shortages in specific IT jobs is commonplace. In the developing nations, employers seem willing to spend to upgrade staff expertise and skill sets. This explains why UK postgraduate degree holders are in demand amidst international students.
The Root causes of Unemployment Affecting Computer Science Graduates
This leads to the question why a majority of the computer science graduates in the UK have to cope with menace of unemployment. Data obtained from agencies like the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing point put at some interrelated factors that impact employment. These include quality of a degree, institution of study, location within the country etc. Another notable factor found from the data is black and minority students employment rate. A lot of computer science students hail from black and ethnic minority background. They prefer this subject over traditional science topics.
BME Graduates Face Worse in other Subjects too
The minority and black graduates face more unemployment woes across many subjects compared to their peers hail from different roots, as it has been observed. As it is, BME computer science graduates from those prestigious Russell Group institutions have a staggering 16.7% unemployment rate, way above average unemployment rate of Russell Group which stands at 7.2percent. As a matter of fact, many such students hail from areas with awfully high unemployment.
Employer’s Bias and Outscoring Affecting IT Graduates Unemployment Rate
As far as employers are concerned, bias does exist for in taking graduates hailing from BME origin. In some instances, BME applicants with better scores than their white counterparts get snubbed in job prospects. This leads to growing unemployment rate among students of this origin. Besides, many employers do not prefer fresh graduates anymore, saying they move on quickly. They want experienced candidates rather than taking fresh applicants and offering them training. Reports of off shoring graduate IT jobs have surfaced as well. This is not only adding to IT unemployment row but choking the pipeline required to develop skilled IT professionals.
Where Lies the Solution
In recent times, some changes have been made in the UK education system that may pave way for the IT skill shortage and high unemployment scene in long run. The inclusion of computer science at A-level and GCSE may equip the students with strong technical understanding of the subject. The stress on coding can sharpen their skills which will be beneficial both for them and their employers in future. These students will be better equipped to cater to needs of IT industry. However, for now employers need to review their disparity on BME graduates and reduce off shoring and bring back graduate training schemes.