Computer grads can't even get jobs offering personal services
Media studies a better jobs bet
Computer science graduates have even less chance than media studies grads of being in gainful employment six months after leaving college, government figures show.
Latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show in 2008/2009, 1375 of the 8090 computer science students it could track down six months after graduation were twiddling their thumbs.
This left them with way more free time than their swotty friends who'd studied medicine and dentistry grads, all of whom were fully employed according to their figures. Even teachers were having to get up more often than computer jockeys, with 95 per cent of education grads working.
Law grads were only marginally behind the teachers, with a six per cent unemployment rate, and even biologists and linguists out stripped compsci grads, with just nine per cent unemployment.
Computer scientists were left to drown their sorrows - presumably in the park, with cider - with the 14 per cent of mass communications grads who had failed to score internships at their uncle's PR firms. Architecture, engineering, and creative arts all managed unemployment rates of 13 per cent, while the non-hit rate for business grads was 11 per cent.
Still, if there's one thing computer scientists know how to do, it's drill down into the figures. Of those techies that did find work, well over 3,000 were in either professional or associate professional or technical jobs. Another 735 were in "sales and customer service jobs" while a puzzling 80 were listed as working in "personal services".
This compares with the 4000 working lawyers, of whom 925 were in sales and customer services, and a cracking 165 peddling "personal services". And if the thought of those 165 law grads isn't scary enough, almost 2000 biologists were listed as working in the "personal services" industry. ®
A company in the UK places add for "Programmer" and gets 40 applicants. The company tests applicants and find them to be mostly wankers and so places a second advertisement in the local paper. More CV's arrive and the girl who's employed to clean the office and empty the trash sees the advert and applies too - except that her spoken English is very poor (even for a graduate of a Russian University).
Everyone laughs and gives a copy of the test to the girl as well - the test is to write a short program that can parse a serial data stream from a port given the data format. Everyone gets a day to complete the test - the catch here is that there are some errors in the stream ... it's a real time, real life test.
When they look at the results - most of the submitted programs are huge and don't work or crash when errors appear - except for the Russian girls program - which works, it's tiny yet includes a test harness to demonstrate its operation and full error trapping and diagnostic dumps when the serial stream contained errors.
Low quality compsci garduates
Perhaps it has something to do with the abysmal quality of recent computer science graduates.
At my previous job we were recruiting and interviewed the best of the bunch who claimed to have good C, C++ or C# experience on their CV's. We gave them a little puzzle which involved writing some code to solve an anagram given text file dictionary. We weren't expecting a fully debugged program in the language of their choice after half an hour, but at least something to indicate they understood the problem and could break it down in to logical steps. Many of them didn't manage a single line of code, and most didn't have a clue on how to read a word from a one word per line text file. In the end we rejected all the graduates and went for a guy in his late 50's, who might of started on Cobol, but had the thought process of a programmer.
I was a reasonable student at University, I attended most lectures and I did ok in the end.
Although I wasn't the best in my fields, I had dedication to help me. After graduating, in the space of three months I applied for around 300 jobs. I did free work to gain field experience and when I started my first job as IT administrator for a product company, I was still working two jobs. After 6 months, the company I had done free work for approached me and offered me a job.
It may not be the best solution but it payed off well and I'm enjoying everything I do!