Despite the fastest increase in UK technology sector business for over four years, the computer science graduates who are fundamental to this growth show the highest level of unemployment of all students six months after leaving university. This NCUB report seeks to understand this apparent paradox, to make sense of supply and demand, and to make recommendations for future research and policy.

The findings include a lack of student demand for the traditional sandwich course which results in low take-up rates. Students also drop out of placement years because they do not recognise the benefits, or they want to reach paid graduate employment as soon as possible. The employer to placement ratio is 1.3 students per company, which also puts a high burden on university administrations. There is also a significant tension between growing the quantity and diversity of placements, whilst retaining quality.