Is now a good time for IT graduates? If they’ve done an internship, then maybe. According to research released earlier this year involving 100 employers, one third of graduate vacancies will be taken by applicants who have already worked for their new employer as an undergraduate.
The majority of these recruiters said it was unlikely that an undergraduate without any work experience would get a job.
The research involved companies including Merrill Lynch, Cadbury, the NHS and Siemens, The Guardian reported.
More than 60% of graduate employers provided placements, typically organised as part of degree courses, the survey found. Meanwhile a similar proportion ran internships during summer holidays.
It’s a hard time for any graduate. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK unemployment rose by 80,000 in the three months to July this year to 2.51 million. This is the largest increase in nearly two years. Alarmingly, youth unemployment increased sharply from 78,000 to 973,000.
The total number of unemployed men rose by 39,000 to 1.45 million in the three months to July, while the number of women out of work increased by 41,000 to 1.06 million, the highest figure since the three months to April 1988.
But what about IT jobs in the UK? Well, things may actually be looking up. According to recent research by e-Skills, the number of UK based IT professionals rose for the third consecutive quarter to an estimated 1.1 million people, the highest ever recorded. This means IT professionals now account for 5% of the UK workplace.
Other statistics released earlier this year found that the number of permanent IT jobs advertised had grown by 4.6% between the third and final quarters of 2010. Over the same period, the number of IT contract positions available grew by 0.9%. It seems that the number of project management jobs and developer jobs in particular may be on the rise.
According to another recent survey conducted, freelance programmers, SEO specialists and web developers are in high demand in both small and medium businesses (SMBs). The number of technical and web personnel hires by SMBs has increased by 80% over the last six months, one study found.
Besides full time options for graduates, there is contract work and freelancing roles to be considered, as Prospects points out. Many studies have also found that women are under-represented in the IT world, so they should look at all the options available.