Update – I submitted my dissertation in December 2014. I intend to provide a summary of my findings on this page in due course, but if you are interested in hearing more about this project, please do get in touch.
As part of my MSc in Human Resource Management and Development at the University of Salford, I am conducting research into the unemployment of computer science graduates.
According to the annual HESA Destination of Higher Education Leavers (DLHE) survey, computer science graduates are more likely than any other discipline to be unemployed six months after graduation. This is despite concerns from the technology industry about a shortage of skilled and qualified technology professionals and many graduate employers reporting unfilled vacancies. The problem persists, as shown by the HESA DLHE longitudinal study conducted three and a half years after graduation – again computer science graduates have the highest level of unemployment.
My master’s research aims to investigate some of the factors behind this issue, considering computer science graduates attitudes and behaviours towards career development and employability. I aim to used multiple research methods, combining an attitudes survey with interviews and a focus group event in order to gather the widest range of possible insight.
Manchester STEM Graduate Employability Survey
To investigate these attitudes and behaviours, I am conducting a survey with graduates from Manchester-based universities (The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford) who completed undergraduate STEM degrees in the last 5 years. The survey will compare the responses of computer science graduates with other STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates and asks questions related to graduate employability and careers development. Topics covered include thoughts on the graduate recruitment market, career plans, further study and job search.
The survey can be completed at: http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/salford/manc-stem-employ.
Computer Science Graduate Interviews
I wish to support my survey with case study interviews with employed and unemployed computer science graduates from any UK university. I am happy to conduct interviews face-to-face, by telephone or online through Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout.
Interviews will last between 30 minutes and an hour and will discuss similar topics to the survey, as well as your motivations for pursuing a computer science degree in the first place and your thoughts on solutions to the issue.
Since starting my research, I’ve been sharing my experience and thoughts on my blog and using social media to promote my research and source participants. A list of posts related to my research are listed below in chronological order (oldest post first):
- Are Computer Scientists Unemployable?
- Can you help with my dissertation research?
- Research update – planning an event to debate computer science graduate unemployment
- The missing unemployed computer science graduates?
Keep popping back for further updates and developments as my research progresses.