Trends in graduate recruitment in IT and Communications

Discover the latest employment trends in this dynamic and fast-growing sector

The buoyant and growing IT and Communications sector is set to continue to increase its graduate recruitment in 2015 with 86% of companies saying they expect to hire even more graduates in the next campaign.

This in an industry where 86% of those surveyed took on 11 or more graduates in the last campaign reflecting an “increased focus on the recruitment of graduates”, according to the Graduate Recruitment and Employability Survey (2013-14), conducted by AHECS.

“From our perspective we are intending on focusing greatly on the recruitment of graduates over the next few years with a view to growing our graduate and undergraduate numbers significantly so that 30% of all new joiners will come from the graduate market”, said one leading employer.

All of the employers surveyed hire graduates from the IT, Commerce and Business Studies field, while Engineering, Law, Arts and Humanities and Science fields also provide personnel too.

Degree and Academic Results

The IT and Communications sector puts a heavier emphasis than many others on the relevance of degree and overall academic results in its ‘important criteria’ for short-listing candidates.

Work placements are also highly valued by employers while 43% identified extra-curricular involvement as a key consideration in the shortlisting process.

In terms of skills, IT and Communications employers are looking for teamwork and communication skills, while a positive attitude comes in third most-important. Concerns have been raised by employers that graduates are lacking in skills like business and commercial awareness and self-management skills.


In terms of specific recommendations, employers urged future graduates to attend local events that are relevant to their area of interest, things like Chambers of Commerce events, conferences/talks, open evenings in local companies and ensure they learn how to network and build a network base, which will ensure a strong knowledge of current business and economic trends.

Another popular suggestion by employers was for graduates to seek out a mentor in the IT and Communications industry, who could not only deal with necessary questions, but also help them keep up to date with what’s happening in the sector.

Also, students in university should take full advantage of internship positions during the summer, even if it’s unpaid in a start-up. The more experience they get, the more real estate they have when it comes to going for a graduate position.

Amongst other advice offered was getting involved in clubs and societies at leadership level, undertaking voluntary and charity work and ensuring they develop skills necessary for full-time employment, which are not addressed academically, for example presentation skills and communications training.

Download the AHECS Graduate Recruitment and Employability Survey 2013 here