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Too few jobs for too many
Md. Kamruzzaman

          When the demand for computer graduates is rising rapidly in the global job market, the interest of Bangladeshi students to study computer science is on the gradual wane due to the limited job opportunities.
Only two years back, the most competitive and sought-after subject in all public and private universities was computer science and engineering.
Then students rushed to enroll into this subject in the hope of a high-flying future career, as they believed that a degree in this field of education would lead them to the gateway of material safety.
But only in the span of few years, this overwhelming preference of most students and their guardians have gone through a rapid change and has now shifted to BBA and MBA.
Investigation showed that every year 120 students complete their graduation from Computer Science and Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
But more than 95 per cent of these students fail to secure suitable jobs within the country. As a result, IT graduates rush abroad in search of livelihoods, while most among the remaining 5.0 per cent chose teaching careers in private universities of the country.
After the establishment of Ahsanullah Science and Technology University a total of 800 students completed their graduation from the Computer Science and Engineering Department.
Besides, from 2005 onwards, 200 students are expected to graduate from this subject from this university.
But most graduates from this university have gone abroad or entered into teaching professions, while only a few of them have found employment in some national and multi-national companies.
Besides, about 600 students complete their graduations in Computer Science and Engineering Department from 10 institutions supervised by the British Council every year with the career prospects and retention level remaining the same.
Study revealed that all the 51 private universities of the country have computer science departments. On an average, more than 2500 students complete their graduation from this discipline annually.
Unfortunately, however, most graduates find a different reality awaiting them once they enter into the job market and their initial dreams are usually shattered.
Most of the country's insurance companies, banks and other national and multi-national companies very often appoint non-graduates for their IT divisions and computer sections.
For example, there are 10 computer programmers in Delta Life Insurance Company, but only two have completed their graduations in Computer Science, sources said.
Meanwhile, there are three computer programmers in Pragati Life Insurance, but none of them have completed their graduations.
Most IT graduates are theoretically very sound, but a good number among them are practically weak, alleged another employer of a private company.
Most of the non-government national and multinational companies lay emphasis on practical knowledge while appointing new people.
AFM Jakaria, IT in charge, Pragati Life Insurance Company, said 95 percent of country's public and private universities have failed to provide proper education, creating hundreds of practically unskilled graduates every year.
He added that most private universities do not have sufficient collection of books, adequate and qualified teachers and rich laboratories.
Mahtab Uddin, a Computer Science and Engineering Department student of BUET said that most of the country's industries and institutions are labour intensive and manually operated and only a few of them are computerised.
As a result, the computer graduates have little job opportunities in our country, he added.
Vice Chancellor of Ahsanullah Science and Technology University MH Khan said the computer science students of our country have already shown great skills in abroad. If the government offers them proper opportunities and creates job facilities for them, they must do well within the country as well.
Chairman of Computer Science Department of Dhaka University Hafiz Muhammad Hasan Babu said the relationships between the educational institutions and the job-oriented projects of our country were very weak.
This, he argued, left the IT graduates jobless and practically weak as they do not get sufficient internship offers during the study period.


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