Wednesday, 9 July 2008

No jobs for IT graduates. I wonder why?

My blood started to boil when I read the article in last Thursday's FT - Call for more relevant training as IT graduates struggle to find work. The article was occasioned by a report that one-in-ten computer science graduates were still unemployed several months after graduating - the highest rate for any subject. The answer put forward by 'the experts' was not to teach them "computer sciences" at university but "service sciences" instead.

That seems to be missing the point. As I said back in January (and many times before and since) -See Climbing the IT career ladder with the bottom run missing - the REAL problem is that most of the entry level jobs for IT staff in the UK now don't exist; having been off-shored. IT graduates in India, China etal seem to have no problem getting jobs; many of them with UK or other Western firms.

As every recruiter, ITSA and resourcer will tell you, the skills that are missing in the UK right now are the 'project management' skills that can only be acquired after 5-10 years 'on the job' experience or similarly experienced top level software/network developers. In a few years time (maybe, actually, right now!) the only people with those skills as well will be those from off-shore. That way the UK will have given up any hope of having any future as a centre of excellence for IT.

Whether it is IT or loads of other careers, we need more entry-level jobs, more apprenticeships, more 'on-the-job' training, more incentives for companies based in the UK to employ our own indigenous youngsters. Putting more people through equally unsuitable university courses will not help anybody.

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