Offshoring IT will double in five years but what about IT graduate unemployment?

I wrote a blog post last week about the fact that Computer Science graduates are the largest group of unemployed graduates in the UK with 17% of recent graduates unemployed.


There was a great debate about whether offshoring was the main cause of this. Not everyone thought so. One thought 17% might not be very good.


Well, if offshoring is the main cause of Computer Science graduate unemployment, there could be trouble ahead. I have spoken to Gartner’s Ian Marriot today about the likely growth of the use of offshoring by UK businesses and he says it will probably double in the next five years. He says this is due to factors such as confidence in offshore services meaning businesses offshore a broader range of services. He also said the small, medium business sectors as well as the public sector are expected to offshore more work.


Also, according to Gartner, the recession has caused 38% of CIOs to offshore more work, 44% offshore the same amount and only 18% offshore less in 2009.


The figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that 17% of 2009 computer science graduates were unemployed. This is the highest and the average graduate unemployment is 10%.

As this blog post got so much reaction I though I would give the figures for the previous three years, back to when the study began, so we can monitor how the number of Computer Science graduates are unemployed has changed.  

Recent graduate unemployment rates


Computer science 17%
Communications 14%
Architecture 13%
Engineering 13%
Creative arts 13%
Business studies 11%
Maths 10%
Languages 9%
Biological science 9%
Law 6%
Education 5%
Medicine 0%


Recent computer science graduate unemployment rate 2005 to 2008.

2007/2008 – 14%

2006/2007 – 10%

2005/2006  – 11%


Computer Science was the largest unemployed group out of all subject categories in each year of the report.

Obviously the recession has had a major impact on recruitment opportunities for computer science graduates.