TARGETjobs IT student survey on graduate careers in IT 2012


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We contacted undergraduate students from the database who
had told us that they were interested in working in the IT sector. 720
completed the survey, which was live on the site for a three-week period in
April/May 2012. These are the findings from the survey.

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TARGETjobs IT student survey on graduate careers in IT 2012

  1. 1. TARGETjobs IT Student Survey 2012 Copyright GTI Media 2012© GTI Media, June 2012 IT Student Survey 2012 | 1
  2. 2. Main findings • The majority of students decided on an IT career before starting university. • When choosing an employer, the type of job role offered is the most important factor, but many don’t yet know what their desired job role will be. • Starting salary isn’t the most important factor for most students in choosing an employer, and their expectations of what they will earn are realistic. • Most students have only considered applying for jobs with IT or finance employers. • The most popular sources of information for deciding between employers are employers’ websites and careers media such as TARGETjobs. • Most students have limited their applications for jobs or internships to a sensible number. • Students know how important work experience is, but don’t feel there is enough being offered. • Only 29 per cent of students report that their degree course has taught them the technical skills they need to get the job they want. Facts and figures • We contacted undergraduate students from the database who had told us that they were interested in working in the IT sector. 720 completed the survey, which was live on the site for a three-week period in April/May 2012. • There was a wide variety of universities represented in the sample, with the following producing the most responses: Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial College, Manchester, Oxford and Warwick. • 38 per cent of respondents were studying computer science or closely related subjects while 15 per cent were studying unrelated subjects. The remainder were doing science and engineering degrees. • 28 per cent of respondents were final year undergraduates and around 15 per cent were first years. Career choice2| IT Student Survey 2012 © GTI Media, June 2012
  3. 3. © GTI Media, June 2012 IT Student Survey 2012 | 3
  4. 4. The majority (61 per cent) had decided on an IT career before starting university but 21 per cent of a student sample interested in working in the sector were not sure if that’s where they would end up. These are the students that employers in the sector need to persuade to stay in IT. The two most important factors when choosing an employer were the job role itself (clear leader) and the training and development on offer. Location was not considered a key factor. Significantly, when asked about their preferred job role, nearly a third said they had not decided yet. Nearly half saw themselves working for a IT or technology company although a significant number were considering technical careers in finance firms. Employers4| IT Student Survey 2012 © GTI Media, June 2012
  5. 5. The two places that students went first for information about IT employers wereemployers’ own websites and specialist sites and publications such asTARGETjobs IT. The campus careers service and careers fairs were the next mostpopular sources. Respondents had a reasonable grasp of likely starting salaries with 37 per centexpecting to be paid £21k–£25k. A significant minority expected that they wouldbe paid less than £20k on graduation. Interestingly, over 80 per cent thought that they would be moving employersin the first four years.Jobs and internships© GTI Media, June 2012 IT Student Survey 2012 | 5
  6. 6. 6| IT Student Survey 2012 © GTI Media, June 2012
  7. 7. We asked final year students how many jobs they had applied for. 21 per centhadn’t applied for any but the majority had applied for 1–15. 12 per cent hadapplied for more than 25. We asked penultimate years the same question about internships, with over athird saying that they hadn’t applied for any. But they did overwhelmingly feel that internships were either ‘very important’or ‘critically important’ in increasingly employability. Only 5 per cent believedthem to be unimportant. Many were not confident at all of securing a job or internship in 2012. Thesewere some of the reasons they gave (in their own words):• The competition for jobs is very tough and there are not that many opportunities.• Level of competition, lack of understanding as to what graduate employers want.• As a first year student it is difficult to get a summer placement as most employers are looking for second years.• I am an international student. Employers want to hire candidates with work permits.Skills for workStudents studying technical disciplines were asked whether their degree hadtaught them the technical skills needed to get the job they wanted. Only 10 percent said no.Issues, concerns and questions about a career in ITFinally we asked respondents if they wanted to share any issues and concerns.This is a selection of responses with only small edits for language and grammar.© GTI Media, June 2012 IT Student Survey 2012 | 7
  8. 8. Many responses concerned work experience/internships, the recruitment process and equal opportunities. Work experience/internships • I think there should be more summer internships as this is what helped me to decide on my career path. • Consider a few internship programmes for lower-year students. • How do you treat applicants who have little/no work experience, but have done projects on their own time? Eg making a mobile app, contributing to open source projects, etc? • Why do employers look for experience knowing graduates have little experience in the working environment? • Very often graduates face a problem of not having enough experience which is expected by almost every employer today. But these employers need to realise that only way possible to get experience is to be given a chance. Without a chance or opportunity it is not possible to for fresh graduates to have the experience they are looking for. • The fact that, if a student does not any real working experience there should be at least an option to work unpaid for a period of time, if willing to. • The increasing need for experience for first jobs! Some people don’t get the right internship or may not have the right grade but still make a invaluable member of a team, more should be done to help undergraduates into their field. The recruitment process • Provide more descriptive information about job roles. • State clearly which programming languages theyd prefer. • Be more open with visa requirements. • They should process applications quicker. I have several times been left to wait for a very long time for them to come back to me. • They should all consider students who have little or no IT experience and be disposed to employ them. • I wish the employers would also register with the careers service at the University and inform when there is a requirement. • For software development roles, I have been told many times that companies seek mathematicians to be programmers. However, the fact that I study Maths, and not computer science, is severely hindering my chances of getting an internship in this sector. Why is this? • How many graduates that they are taking every year should be mentioned in the job adverts so that the applicants can decide to apply for it or not. • I strongly feel that companies should always advertise placements through Universities, as students like myself find it hard to keep up to date with finding placements that are not listed. • The earlier the recruitment process can start, and the quicker they are at progressing candidates through the recruitment process, the easier they will find it to get top class candidates. No recruitment process should take more than 2 months from start to finish. • When being interviewed for Easter technology internships at banks, all the questions I was asked were related to investment banking and nothing to do with technology or my degree course. I thought this was unfair and a bit irrelevant as most companies say you will learn all relevant extra information on the job.8| IT Student Survey 2012 © GTI Media, June 2012
  9. 9. Equal opportunities• IT seems intimidatingly male-dominated. Events specifically for women or simply more women featured in careers literature would be encouraging.• Little scope for mature students who are retraining.• Expectations that new graduates are geographically flexible and able to work away from home for extended periods. This discriminates against mature students.• Be more lenient with requirements for jobs as new faces and a wide range of people can benefit companies positively.• Why do employers have a biased outlook towards international students?? For a graduate role, they are not taking a candidate who has a work experience of 2 yrs with an MNC, has a masters, a bachelors in IT, with hons. They recruit someone who is British, and has done a Bachelors in Arts or geography.The content of this report is the property of GTI Media, so please ask permission if you wantto use any part of it (usually freely given) and always credit the source as the TARGETjobs ITStudent Survey 2012.Please feel free to contact us with any observations or suggestions for next year’ssurvey.Chris Phillips, Publishing Director, GTI Drummond, IT Account Adams, TARGETjobs IT Editor01491 2012© GTI Media, June 2012 IT Student Survey 2012 | 9