Research shows majority of IT graduates 'not workplace ready'

A study has found that the vast majority of IT employers find universities to fail their students in offering workplace ready skills. Should IT graduates be offered skills training and vocational work as part of their computer science degrees?
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Employers are unhappy with the lack of vocational and 'on the job' skills from students leaving college and university, a study has found.

IT graduates are being failed by universities by not training students in the real life skills that are necessary to succeed in the workplace. One of the biggest problems faced by college and university students is the lack of parity between degree courses and lack of skills overlap.

In my own experience, though it is not uncommon for students to take 'wild' modules outside the normal bounds of their degree course, students are not being advised to take particular courses based on their expected career prospects.


Some of these issues I have highlighted before, but nevertheless things have not changed. Universities are focusing on dishing out degrees in certain, close-minded subjects without little thought to how the content can be translated as skills and abilities in non-academic employment.

Some of the highlights of the study include:

Employers have concerns over a lack of technical skills and business sense in graduate students.While four out of ten employers say new graduates are not sufficiently prepared to carry out the job they have been given, only 8% of employers would state their new hires as "well trained and ready to go".

Colleges and universities need to provide students with real-life working skills to adequately run IT departments.

On the job work experience is vital for students, finding it to be better for students aiming to enter into a graduate job to take a sandwich course which would give credits for work.

The majority of employers want students to be adequately equipped with problem solving and technical ability, which can only be found with on the job working; another need for universities to provide sandwich courses and vocational training.

There is not enough variety in IT degrees for the application of real skills in areas of backup and recovery, security and disaster recovery.

In terms of the degree courses on offer, 76% of employers are looking for analytical and architectural skills, 77% want universities to teach solid programming skills and 82% are looking for databasing skills.

It is clear that some employers prefer to hire straight from school to then perform on the job training and educational forums for their new employees, to break them in and perform the schooling duties on them that they had previously missed.

What do you think of these findings? Are your graduate students ready to work, or are you holding off from offering employment from your own experience? Share your thoughts.

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