Naked CIO: Stop the rot that's poisoning IT graduate recruitment

The UK is already a Third World IT state and we must find ways to bring in young talent

Out-of-touch courses, risk-averse recruiters and the UK's faltering IT status: it's hard to know where to start to get new blood into the industry, says the Naked CIO.

The unemployment rate among IT graduates is not surprising. Sadly, it bears further testament to IT's failure to develop talent and provide realistic opportunities for young professionals.

The first main problem is a disjoint between educators and IT professionals: the curriculum and education systems are not engaged with the businesses that hire IT workers.

Some courses succeed in producing graduates who are hired straight out of university. These strong programmes have great mentoring partnerships and business involvement in research, projects and practical experience forums. Such courses provide young people with real-world experience and networking opportunities before they graduate.

Young people in a meeting

The government must do more to support start-ups and cool tech companies where young talent can thrive
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

This approach is critical. It requires educational institutions and businesses to forge mutually beneficial partnerships that transcend education and commerce. Such partnerships become innovative and idea-driven arrangements that energise both sides of the equation. I have worked with universities before on research initiatives and have always found the outcomes positive.

Overemphasis on IT experience in hiring
The second huge issue we face is that people who hire IT staff are increasingly risk-averse: they refuse to hire someone without technical or field experience in jobs. Practical experience is imperative for many positions but I think we have a tendency to dismiss applicants who lack industry and technical exposure.

If we are sympathetic to ensuring we have young talent to fill a pipeline of succession planning, then we must be more open to the idea of hiring grads in certain areas and support the development of these people through training and guidance.

But this issue raises another problematic trend in IT: there is no loyalty among IT workers or at least that is...