Breakfast with ICT employers: What do they want to see in our graduates?

Margaret Hamilton, Angela Carbone, Christabel Gonsalvez, Margaret Jollands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In an increasingly globalised and competitive economy, there is a need to ensure that graduates have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be not only work ready for today but work ready PLUS for tomorrow. Data from the Graduate Destination Survey (2012) show that 75% of ICT students get a job once they complete their degree. Although employment outcomes are influenced by external market conditions, students, employers and other stakeholders expect universities to help students maximise their potential to find suitable work, that is, maximise their employability. Employability is achieved by developing students' technical and generic skills. The development of technical skills is difficult in the computing sector where it has been argued that the ICT fundamentals have changed so much and continue to change rapidly. This project aims to understand what employability skills ICT employers expect to see in our graduates. Data for this study was collected from ICT employers, invited to participate in an industry breakfast to discuss the employability skills they are looking for when employing graduates. A qualitative thematic analysis has been used to analyse the data, and the findings suggest that employers want ICT graduates to have effective teamwork and communication skills, with flexible and adaptive attitudes, without being arrogant. This study is part of a larger nationally funded project by the Australian Government Department of Education, aimed at developing employability skills in disciplines with low employment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015)
EditorsDaryl D'Souza, Katrina Falkner
Place of PublicationSydney NSW Australia
PublisherAustralian Computer Society Inc
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781921770425
ISBN (Print)9781921770425
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralasian Computing Education Conference 2015 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 27 Jan 201530 Jan 2015
Conference number: 17th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameConferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology Series
ISSN (Print)1445-1336


ConferenceAustralasian Computing Education Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleACE 2015
OtherACE is held in conjunction with Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW).
Internet address


  • Computer Science education
  • ICT graduate employability
  • SFIA skills framework

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