A survey by a local recruitment firm in Northern Ireland has
revealed that 28% of respondents feel that universities don’t equip them for
the skills needed by the IT sector.
The recruitment firm Brightwater NI also unearthed the fact
that 81% of those surveyed felt that Northern Ireland graduates needed to have
stronger technical and practical coding skills. This is in addition to having
the other competencies in IT demanded by employers.
Michelle Kearns, commercial director of Brightwater NI said:
"There is still a large gap between what the universities teach and what
happens in the real world. There was also a general consensus that students
need to be better prepared for interview.
"This is something which has become increasingly
important in recent years, with the interview process now covering myriad
skills such as technical questions, technical tests, detailed company research
and competency based questions.”
79% of those questioned also argued that more needs to be
done in order to encourage students into the sector and into computing-related
courses to help address the demand for skilled staff.
Offering advice on how this vision could be achieved Mr
Kearns added: "There appears to be a consensus that local IT companies
need to work together to collaborate more effectively with the universities to
produce graduates who are more fully equipped to meet the commercial realities
of the market.
"Are we moving
towards the US model where employers offer scholarships to IT students through
universities or do IT leaders locally need to force this issue by assisting
local universities in terms of funding to expand current degree places within
Leading online supermarket Ocado has argued that a shortage
of graduate IT talent in the UK has forced them to recruit candidates in
The firm is planning to create a new technical office in the
central European country, after arguing that the percentage of computer science
graduates was much lower in the UK.
Chief executive Tim Steiner told trade magazine The Grocer: “Because we don’t have
enough computer science graduates in the UK, we are looking to open a base in
Poland, which produces 10 times the number of relevant graduates.”
Do you think that more trainee jobs should be
offered to IT graduates to address the skills shortage in the sector?