IT's not sexy enough to fill uni courses

Completion of first-round offers for university placements across the country has revealed a serious decline in IT course enrolments.

The placements reflect a growing trend in higher education which shows IT course numbers slipping each year.

However, a Universities Admissions Centre NSW and ACT spokesperson said there has been a drop in cut-offs for most courses across the board, which could be attributed to an increase in the number of university places offered this year.

But most of the serious declines in NSW and ACT have occurred in IT courses.

For example, the University of Western Sydney's Bachelor of Information Technology first-round cut-off has dropped nearly 10 points since last year, as well as the University of Sydney's Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology, with the cut-off dropping from 85.05 to 80.

However, IT is just not sexy enough to appeal to undergrads, not because there are more courses to choose from, according to Australian Computer Society president Edward Mandla. "ICT professionals in Australia lack a sexy image."

He said ICT professionals are judged by stereotypes which stops talented school leavers from gravitating towards the industry.

"If young people are asked what they want to be when they get older and they answer an ICT professional then the decision gets a thumbs down because parents say it is an industry full of geeks and nerds, has a high unemployment rate, is not on the government's agenda and will be another dotcom failure - parents have even said your job will get offshored," Mandla said.

Concerned about such negative perceptions, which is creating a drop in first-preference demand for ICT courses, the Victorian ICT Minister Marsha Thompson has been calling on the federal government for years to develop a national response to the problem fearing it will have a serious impact on graduate numbers in three years time.

Natasha Edwards, head of IT at recruitment consultants Robert Walters, agrees there has been plenty of negativity.

"When people see good, experienced people out of work in the IT industry it puts them off," Edwards said.

As for whether the lack of people undertaking IT courses will mean a lack of local IT talent in the future, Edwards thinks this problem has already begun.

"I wouldn't say there's a complete lack of local IT talent at the moment, but there certainly is a shortage and fewer studying IT at university will make things worse."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Siobhan McBride

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?