The job placement rate of computer science and engineering and/or institute of information technology (CSE/IIT) graduates is almost double that of overall university graduates, a 2018 Asian Development Bank tracer study has found.
The study found that the job placement rate of CSE/IIT graduates is higher than engineering graduates.
CSE/IIT graduates of nine Bangladeshi universities were participants of the study. Of them four are public, four are private and one is international.
The study assessed the employability of the graduates, and access to and quality and relevance of the CSE/IIT programmes.
77 percent of the CSE/IIT graduates secured job placements, opposed to the overall university graduates' average of 40 percent (Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies 2018 study) and engineering graduates' average of 67.7 percent, says the study.
The high job placement rate indicates a strong demand for CSE/IIT graduates who are considered the human capital backbone of the information technology and information technology-enabled services (IT/ITES) industry development in the country, the study concluded.
91.5 percent of the CSE/IIT graduates participating in the study were able to secure full-time jobs, with most of them being employed in the private sector.
Head start for IUT and BUET graduates
Of the nine universities surveyed, graduates of the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) found it easier to land jobs.
The graduates of these two institutions enjoyed a job placement rate exceeding 90 percent and were also offered a good salary.
Among the nine universities, IUT graduates had the highest mean salary of Tk51,938. No other university graduates were able to cross the Tk50,000 mark.
The wage of IUT graduates was followed by Tk46,128 of BUET and Tk44,200 of University of Dhaka graduates.
In other universities, job placement rates and wage levels varied noticeably.
The job placement rate of Jashore University of Science and Technology graduates was 57.6 percent. Their salary was Tk25,342, the lowest among the focus group.
The differences are likely related to the quality of students and teachers, and the relevance of the particular school's CSE/IIT programmes, the study said.
As the IT/ITES industry is heavily concentrated in Dhaka, graduates from institutions outside the capital face challenges.
Also, 20.6 percent of all graduates found jobs within 3 months after finishing their school while it took a year for many to be employed.
Around half of the graduates – not looking for jobs after graduation – continued further education.
Fewer women in IT/ITES jobs
The study found that female participation in IT/ITES jobs is considerably low although the industry offers white-collar work.
Of the nine universities, women enrolment in CSE/IIT programmes was around 21.5 percent during 2013 to 18.
The female job placement rate was 58.6 percent, which was 23.6 percentage points lower than that of male graduates.
Family commitments, security concerns of employers during recruitment, and social stereotypes were found to be the key reasons for the limited female participation in CSE/IIT programmes and IT/ITES jobs.
Moreover, females were paid less than their male peers. The monthly wage of female graduates was Tk34,933 while it was Tk39,513 for male employees.