Pizza with university ICT students: What do students' expect employers want from them?

Angela Carbone, Margaret Hamilton

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Improving the employability of graduates has been a nominated priority area for successive Australian Governments. While there has been extensive research into what industry requires of graduates in the workplace, little research is available about students' perceptions of graduate employability and how they feel it should be addressed in the curriculum. This paper draws of the findings from a nationally commissioned Australian study involving multiple institutions and multiple disciplines, aimed at aligning the employability skills expectations of employers, professional bodies, academic staff, graduates and students. The focus of this paper however is around ICT students' perceptions of graduate employability and the exploration of ways in which employability skills can be developed in graduates in the discipline of ICT. As a subset of the broader commissioned study, we ran focus groups with three cohorts of information, communication and technology (ICT) students from two Australian universities. Our key research areas investigated students' perceptions of the skills ICT employers are looking for, and ways to improve ICT students' employability. In addition, insights into students' feelings of their preparedness for work between the three focus groups cohorts are provided. The research questions were analysed thematically with a qualitative open coding approach based on themes drawn from the Fullen and Scott (2014) employability framework. Overall, while students realized the importance of discipline knowledge and technical skills, other generic skills were also acknowledged. The participants also had ideas in terms of how employability skills should be enhanced.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18th Australasian Computing Education Conference, ACE 2016, held in conjunction with the Australasian Computer Science Week Multiconference (ACSW 2016)
Subtitle of host publicationCanberra, ACT, Australia; 2-5 February 2016
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340427
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
EventAustralasian Computing Education Conference 2016 - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 2 Feb 20165 Feb 2016
Conference number: 18th

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery


ConferenceAustralasian Computing Education Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleACE 2016
OtherACE is held in conjunction with Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW).
Internet address


  • Computer science education
  • ICT graduate employability

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