ICT graduates face a worsening job market in 2013 as companies cut back graduate programs.
Fuji Xerox has told iTnews it will be cutting its graduate program for 2014. Hewlett Packard too will not be continuing its graduate program in Australia for the time being.
The public service will also be hit. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), traditionally an employer of IT graduates, has put its 2014 program on hold with no plans to continue.
The good news is that there are still several large organisations investing in graduate programs, the 20 best of them are featured in the iTnews Graduate Guide for 2013/14.
The employment rate for IT graduates has steadily dropped in 2012 from the year prior.
According to the latest Gradstats survey by Graduate Careers Australia, 20.5 percent of electronic and computer engineering graduates were unemployed in December 2012, a 2.7 percent rise on the year before. Similarly, 25.3 percent of computer science graduates were without work in December 2012, a 3.1 percent rise on the previous year.
Hiring exclusively through internship programs is also on the rise. A spokesperson from Suncorp said that for 2014 all IT graduate positions will be filled through the firm’s vacation and internship programs. Microsoft also hire predominately though its internship program.
While the market is narrowing, technology companies and larger firms with IT department are jostling to attract talent and more women into the area.
Accenture have established an alternative entry program with a focus on fun group problem-solving activities. Westpac Bank, meanwhile is amidst a public relations campaign aimed at attracting female IT graduates.
Atlassian, which has only recently begun looking to the graduate market, is already a favourite among the popular Whirlpool graduate forum users with its plethora of employee perks.
Joris Luijke, Atlassian's Vice President of Talent says while it’s tougher for new graduates to stand out, showing initiative during their time at university is important.
“We get hundreds and hundreds of applications, and we have to cherry pick the best," he said.
“If you have developed an application you stand out more, if you do coding in your spare time, we take notes. We like graduates are active outside of their coursework.”