Final year university students have their hands full at this time of year preparing for the examinations that mark the culmination of years of hard work and application. But as they try to focus on those all-important exams, they will have one eye on the job market. They will be all too aware however, that demand for ICT jobs in the UK will far exceed the number of jobs available. As George Molyneux of Salary Services claimed in November, Higher Education Statistics Agency figures show that Computer Science graduates are in fact the largest single group of unemployed university graduates in the country.
This situation can lead some job seekers to lose heart and leave the ICT field, moving instead to sectors that do not require the qualifications they trained so long to obtain. They consider their time at university to have been wasted and become even more frustrated at the prospect of having to deal with student debt.
There may, however, be some hope on the horizon for ICT graduates as 2013 progresses. Even though many companies are in the throes of belt-tightening resulting in staff cutbacks and limited recruitment, they still need to ensure that their ICT systems are properly maintained and continue to evolve in order to be able to sustain their competitive edge.
This situation should see a rise in the number of vacancies for ICT managers. Demand for ICT graduates may also increase and, given the wide range of ICT jobs for which they are equipped, they could well end up using their talents in jobs they had not initially anticipated.
They could, for example, turn their hands to web design. This is a rapidly growing industry that is expanding to meet the needs of companies and individuals seeking to increase their Internet presence. Among the beauties of web design is that it is possible to work from home as a freelancer with minimal overheads and the freedom to work as and when it suits. It also offers the potential for a long and lucrative career.
Another possibility is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Companies understand that merely having a website is not enough to attract business. Potential clients need to be driven to the website and given the vast number of competitive sites it is vital to rank high in search engines, hence the need for SEO. Those familiar with SEO protocols and the ever-changing algorithms employed by search engines can be crucial to a company’s survival.
The world of ICT is vast and there are countless opportunities open to those prepared to look hard and be flexible. Good qualifications and relevant experience will open many doors for the committed job seeker.