CIOs looking to pick the cream of this year's graduate crop are set to be disappointed. And talent management looks like being the major bugbear of IT shops everywhere once again.
IT enrolments are so down that even major employers will struggle to fill their graduate recruitment needs this year. It seems that the good denizens of Generation Y, arrogant in the extreme, bursting with self-confidence, but with absolutely zero sense of employer loyalty, don't want a bar of it. The irony is exquisite - the kids who find working with computers as natural as breathing have very little interest in joining the IT profession in order to work with computers.
And it's not just the continuing slide in IT enrolments, which has been dramatic, that is causing concern (NICTA CTO Dr Chris Nicol recently pointed out that in 2001 there were 50,383 commencements, compared to just 54,062 in 2005.) Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) CEO Sheryle Moon points out that the UAI required to get into a computer degree has declined dramatically. A lawyer or physiotherapist wanting to study at the University of Queensland this year needed a UAI of 98. Most IT courses required a UAI of just 75.
And in a booming job market, a significant number of school leavers are seeing no virtue in a university degree at all.
It's a situation that has most of you worried. The 2008 worldwide survey of 1500 CIOs by Gartner Executive Programs (EXP) finds Australian CIOs struggling to improve the connection between their business and its customers, on budgets expected to increase by just 1.1 per cent. And you say while improving the quality of IT services is your number one priority, attracting, developing and retaining IT personnel is your second.
"CIOs here recognize that IT needs to lift its game," Gartner EXP research director Heather Colella says, "but they're worried about having the right people to do it. Everyone is suffering from resource problems. Only 27 per cent of CIOs worldwide believe that they have the right number of skilled people to meet business needs. That is impacting IT performance, project quality and IT's support for enterprise strategies." Sadly for CIOs, this means fierce competition for hiring new staff and holding on to the staff they already have, as existing workers look around to see if they can maximize their earnings.
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