Tuesday, 09 August 2011 23:35

Postgrad IT qualifications no guarantee of a job

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A taught Masters degree in some fields still comes close to being an automatic ticket to employment. Unfortunately, that's not the case with IT.


According to the latest Postgraduate Destinations survey by Graduate Careers Australia, students completing IT-related postgraduate study in 2010 did not do especially well when it came to getting a job.

Overall, almost 85% of last year's coursework Masters graduates who were available for full-time employment had a full-time job at the time of the survey. But those from IT related disciplines fared relatively poorly: the figure for electronic/computing engineering was 67.2%, with computer science students doing slightly worse than average on 81.4%. It is possible that some business studies postgrads (88.5%) had taken IT-related courses.

Taught Masters courses most likely to lead to a job included physical sciences (100%), pharmacy (97%), law (93%), medicine (93%), nursing (95%), civil engineering (91%), and surveying (90%).

Thinking of doing a PhD? Again, almost 85% of those available for full-time employment had found such a job by the time of the survey, but this time IT did a bit better: 84.4% for computer science, 81.8% for electronic/computing engineering, and 91.6% for business studies.

Veterinary science (100%), education (as a supplementary qualification, 97%), social work (95%), physical sciences (93%), mechanical engineering (92%), accounting (91%), psychology (90%), and various health disciplines other than medicine and pharmacy were among the disciplines with good work outcomes at the PhD level. It seems likely that many of these individuals were previously or concurrently working in their fields of study.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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