More research shows graduates are put off by “geeky” IT title

More research shows graduates are put off by “geeky” IT title

The shortage of graduates in the IT industry is likely to continue as new research shows that graduates are discouraged from entering the IT profession because they are worried they will be considered “geeky.”

IT recruitment company, Just IT, surveyed 150 graduates on their thoughts surrounding different graduate professions and found that 78 per cent believe the IT profession is the geekiest, while 62 per cent thought that working in IT would not give them the chance to work with other people.

Sunil Duggal, Just IT managing director, described a catch 22 situation. “The image of the IT crowd in a darkened basement” and “an industry full of geeks” puts off the more social graduate from entering the profession and attracts more geeks, he explained. “Many IT graduates are struggling to get into the IT profession because they lack business awareness skills,” Duggal added.

Rob Flavell, managing director of recruitment company FDM, said the UK IT skills shortage is increasing the business demand for skilled IT personnel. “There has never been so many technology vacancies and spaces for related professionals,” he explained.

A common misconception is caused by technology consultancies that have vested interests in outsourcing to India and lead many to believe British people do not want to do work overseas, Flavell said.

In fact FDM is seeing many graduates who want to train and become skilled in .Net, Java and soft skills, said Flavell. FDM has experienced 41 per cent growth on 2006 figures and is opening up a new office in Manchester to help meet the increasing demand, according to a report.

This news comes as Cambridge University launches a publicity campaign for its computer science course in order to attract more applicants. The university’s applicant numbers for the course this year decreased by 390 students.

Professor Andy Hopper, head of Cambridge’s computer laboratory, agreed that the geeky image of IT, the burst of the dotcom bubble and the belief that most of the graduate vacancies have moved to India are reasons to blame for the drop in applicants.