ICT graduates have the best employment outcomes compared to other areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), but diversity in ICT enrolments is still far below that of other fields, according to a report released this week by the OECD.
The Education at a glance 2017 report reveals gender diversity in ICT enrolments is strongly skewed, with just 19% of women entering tertiary study in ICT compared to 50% in natural science, 24% in engineering, 63% in arts and humanities and 54% in business and law.
STEM graduates benefit from high employment rates, and ICT graduates can expect an employment rate that is 7 percentage points higher than those graduating from arts and humanities.
The education report covers 35 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, including Australia.
Diversity in ICT enrolments is the lowest of all enrolment areas: close to three out of four engineering students and four out of five ICT students are men, the report found. Yet employment rates for ICT careers is one of the highest: 88% for information and communication technology (ICT) graduates compared to an average of 84% across all fields.
Tuition costs for ICT enrolments is also comparably lower: Engineering, manufacturing, construction, social sciences, journalism and information together with health and welfare tend to have the highest tuition fees, while education and information and communication technologies (ICT) tend to have the lowest for the countries with available data, the report shows.
“In general across countries with available data, STEM disciplines are less attractive to students than other fields of study, with an average 16% of new entrants selecting engineering, manufacturing and construction; 6% for natural sciences, mathematics and statistics; and 5% for information and communication technologies (ICT).”
“The field of information and communication technologies (ICT) in particular attracts less than 5% of new entrants, the smallest share to a eld of study, yet yields the highest employment rate on average across OECD countries – even exceeding 90% in about a third of them – signalling a shortage of supply,” the report found.
Meet some of the many women shifting the balance in ICT careers in these Careers with Code profiles, or find what areas of ICT study suits your personalist in our code quiz. If you’re looking for ICT study options in Australia and New Zealand, head to the degree finder.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs