More computer science graduates finding work as IT professionals but unemployment rate still high

Students from computer science and IT degree courses who graduated in 2011 were more likely than previous years’ graduates to find work as IT professionals. That’s according to the latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey, conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which questioned graduates across all degree subjects about their job status six months after graduation.

It found that among students who finished their studies in computer science and related subjects in the 2010/11 academic year and were in employment six months later, 47.3% were working as IT professionals. These included software designers and engineers (16.0% of those in employment), computer analysts and programmers (7.3%) and web developers and producers (6.3%). This compares with 44.2% of IT graduates from 2009/10 and 38.9% from 2008/09.

Employment and unemployment among computer science graduates

Among all graduates finishing their degrees in 2010/11, computer science and IT students were more likely than the average graduate to be in employment (64.2%, compared with 61.8% for all graduates). (NB these figures exclude those who were combining work and study.)

However, they were also more likely than the average graduate to be unemployed (13.9%, compared with 8.6% for all graduates). This apparent discrepancy is explained by the fact that the survey also included a number of other categories, such as ‘in further study’, ‘working and studying’ and ‘not available for employment, study or training’, which computer science and IT graduates were less likely than the average graduate to be undertaking.

This year’s unemployment figure for computer science and related graduates was very similar to last year’s (14.2%).

Graduates in fall-back jobs

Following IT professionals, the second biggest group of computer science and IT graduates in employment were working as retail, catering, waiting and bar staff (12.3%), which it seems safe to assume were largely fall-back choices. However, computer science and IT graduates were nevertheless less likely to be working in these occupations than the average across all graduates (14.7%).

How computer science students can increase their odds of a graduate job

To increase their odds of landing a graduate job, computer science students need a clear understanding of the roles available to them and what recruiters are looking for in the recruitment process. Extensive information on both can be found at TARGETjobs IT & Technology. There’s also help with applying to specific IT employers at the TARGETjobs employer hubs.

Posted by Liz_TARGETjobs on 22 October 2012