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Call for re-think of training

IT graduates struggle for work despite digital boom

Digital work

Employers may have to re-think IT recruitment


Almost a third of IT graduates are dropping out of the sector and failing to convert their qualifications into jobs, with less than half (43%) believing their university course was a good preparation for work.

New data has raised concerns about the suitability of training courses and how industry attracts and retains qualified staff.

The main reason graduates gave for not using a computing science degree to get into an IT job was that “I found it too hard to get a job.” Many others said they have not yet found a job.

The trends have emerged at a time of increasing digitalisation in business and public services, cyber protection, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data which are having a big impact on the economy.

A survey over the past five years by IT recruitment company Be-IT also found that internships were regarded as valuable, with 53% of graduates having had one. Of these, 87% said their internship was useful, with 55% saying that they “learned a huge amount.” 

Be-IT CEO Gareth Biggerstaff said: “Digital technologies are at the heart of business in Scotland, and it is vital that we monitor trends and consider the best way to address issues that emerge. Our survey is part of that process.

“There are many aspects of the sector that are performing well, but we must be prepared to adapt and learn. People are the lifeblood of any industry and we have to make sure everything is done to allow the talent to develop. We can’t afford to let skills go to waste. 

“In terms of the third of graduates not securing a job in IT, universities need to continually look at the suitability of the degree course and ensure there are embed employer readiness skills within them. Internships likewise for all IT students would enhance uptake into the sector after graduation.”

Rapid business digital transformation and a restricted talent pool are already having a turbulent effect on the Scottish IT jobs sector, forcing employers to re-think both recruitment and retention of staff.

Be-IT Managing Director Nikola Kelly said: “This survey shows we cannot be complacent and highlights that there continue to be challenges for our industry to overcome to meet the skills needs of the sector.

“The technology sector is continually expanding and is a major growth opportunity for the Scottish economy, so we have to get this right.”


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