Strange things are happening in the world of recruiting placement and graduate Computer Science students. It’s generally agreed that there aren’t enough Computer Science related students being produced by UK universities to meet the demand employers have to recruit them. So employers can’t get enough of you. On the other hand the largest number of unfilled grad scheme vacancies (11.8%) in 2013/2014 were with IT and telecommunications employers*. Why were 1 in 10 vacancies left unfilled? Employers aren’t lowering their standards and they want something more from you as a Computer Science student.
What’s that something more? Two things specifically.
Firstly they are still looking for that golden combination of tech ability and the ability to work with others and communicate well. The stereotype of a nerdy uncommunicative computer science student who only works on their own is a myth and employers know that but they still want reassurance. And more than just your examples of working together on group projects in university. Everyone has that opportunity. Instead look at other ways to demonstrate your collaboration and communication skills. Volunteering opportunities like CodeClub and paid roles in initiatives like FunTech.co.uk are opportunities to teach technology to kids and are excellent ways to make yourself stand out from all the other computer scientists and pick up one of those 1 in 10 empty vacancies.
Secondly they are looking for computer science students that live and breathe technology. That means doing more than your degree. Are you entering hackathons? Are you coding in open source communities like GitHub and online collaborative games design communities like GameSalad.com? All activities that, incidentally, help you develop your collaboration and communication skills as well!
If either of these don’t quite match your own tech career ambitions there’s always tech volunteering opportunities via do-it.org where you can search for opportunities to volunteer in your area under the headings of “IT”, “Technology” and “Web development”.
Do more = Be different = Get hired.
*Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Winter Survey 2014