I was pretty shocked to find UK IT graduates as having the highest unemployment rate amongst all graduates. In an age of rapid technical advancement, seeing so many technically qualified people struggling to find opportunities is disheartening.
Worse still, this is amongst the backdrop of more skilled people from abroad being brought in to shore up supposed 'skill shortages' in IT. Which I find disturbing, whereby we are potentially putting qualified people on the scrap heap to save a pittance.
It's only when delving deeper from just scratching at the surface, did I realise there were deep seated issues with the IT degrees being taught at the UK universities. The IT related degrees themselves were disadvantaging the students taking these degree courses.
Instead of making the degrees sort of cutting edge, where traditional IT technologies were learnt along with newer technologies. What was actually happening was, students were learning technologies which were, not really what employers wanted.
It was quite apparent those involved in developing the curriculum for these courses had lost touch with reality. In an ever changing IT landscape, they were still focusing on technology whose relevance wasn't as prominent as before. Worse still, technologies which were known by the masses and therefore there were too many candidates saturating the marketplace.
Technologies such as Java which are predominantly taught across universities, primarily due to its easier adoption by students, compared to language such as C++.
However this easier adoption comes at a price, too many people enter the marketplace after graduation armed with only Java.
This makes attaining a role using predominantly Java more difficult due to competition from many likeminded graduates. There is very little to differentiate between the graduates, so many end up struggling to find work.
There is also a lot of filler in the IT degree courses which serve very little purpose in the realities of attaining a job in IT.
Filler such as looking at IT from psychological or social perspective, doesn't really give an edge in the recruitment stakes. I can't see a recruiter really giving much thought to candidates who have these so called 'additional' skills, as they serve little or no purpose in the marketplace.
Degree courses need to be market aware and understand how the market changes periodically.
In comparison to IT graduates from other countries especially those from India, these foreign graduates are better equipped from what they learn during their degree courses.
With Indian graduates learning several programming languages in comparison to their UK counterparts. This allows them to be better prepared for graduate roles which required an understanding of different programming languages.
So in market conditions where there is a glut of IT graduates, the employers who recruit for graduate programmes, can pick and choose what they believe are the best candidates.
With the added bonus too, of being able to pay these graduates far less in remuneration, as competition also drives salaries down.
Those who are 'plain jane' graduates with one string to their bows such as Java, face incredible competition to succeed in getting a graduate opportunity.
Those who've attained extra strings on their bows, such as C#, C++ etc, will stand a better chance of finding employment on the graduate schemes.
The people responsible for designing and developing IT degrees need to wake up and realise what's happening in the IT world. As it's quite apparent, they're letting our IT graduates down badly.