Analysis by the University of West of England (UWE) has found that computing degrees with strong links to industry have the strongest record of subsequent graduate employment. Over 80% of graduates from courses such as BSc computer systems engineering achieved graduate level employment over the last three years.
A recent study of UWE's business school graduates also found that graduates with work experience were 16% more likely to get a job and earned an 8% salary premium. They were nearly three times less likely to be unemployed.
HP promises 20 new internships
On the back of the study, UWE this week announced a five-year collaboration Hewlett-Packard, which includes the creation of a new ‘hybrid IT’ degree, the provision of 20 internships a year, and collaboration on curriculum development. The degree course follows in the footsteps of the ITMB (information technology management for business), created by government agency e-skills together with industry, which is taught at eleven UK universities.
“Time and time again we find this relationship between work experience and employment success,” said a spokesperson for UWE. “The irony is that graduates of computer science have the worst record of post-degree employment – it’d a lot to do with the fact that some courses are out of date as soon as they are designed. This competitive marketplace makes real experience all the more important,” he added.
Blended degrees in vogue
E-skills, the IT sector government agency, also encourages students to consider applying for a degree course that teach a blend of technical, business, management and interpersonal skills. “Higher education degrees that provide internships and closely match the needs of employers in the sector, such as e-skills UK’s ITMB degree are more likely to provide graduates with the right skills for a successful career in technology,“ said CEO of e-skills , Karen Price.
The overall aim of the new collaboration between HP and UWE is to produce 'industry-ready' graduates who have the skills to make the leap from academia to business. “HP is a major employer in the UK and our success is dependent on attracting top talent”, confirmed Nick Wilson, managing director HP UK and Ireland. HP is a very visible employer and investor in the Bristol region where its R&D laboratories are located.
As a result of the collaboration with the local university, graduates on the UWE degree programme will undertake internships with HP and its partners as part of the course. The agreement with UWE allows HP to participate in the development of degree courses. HP is also helping to support an initiative to build a new, state of the art Education Innovation Centre at UWE as part of their ongoing shared campus facilities agreement to bring added benefits to students.
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