Responding To The Shadbolt Review Of Employability Of Computer Science Graduates
The Shadbolt review of employability of computer Science graduates set out ways in which computer science schools need to adapt to improve the employability of their graduates. Despite the huge demand for competent graduates in this field the unemployment rates for new graduates are currently higher than other physical science graduates. While the review emphasizes that the technical competence of the graduates is high it was very critical of the soft skills possessed by these students. How should computer schools respond to these needs? This paper highlights some ways in which one leading research university in the UK has chosen to respond to these criticisms. Firstly there have been the introduction of a recognized year in industry. Secondly there is now a way for students to get credit for shorter term (10 week) internships. In both these cases the involvement of the Careers Service of the University has been vital. The particular focus of the current paper is the developments of the second year group project. This project has always given opportunities for industrial involvement in the assessment process but now has more formal industrial involvement in the projects both from the point of view of setting projects scopes but also involvement in project supervision. This has also allowed for more real world processes to be included including an Expression of Interest and stage with formal pitches and more rigorous use of planning tools, code repositories and so on. The system has demonstrated to be highly successful and has led to increased numbers of students engaging in short term internships.
Keywords - Shadbolt review, software engineering education, real world opportunities.