Labour market expectation of Nigerian computer science / Information Communication Technology (ICT) graduates
AbstractThe National Universities Commission (NUC) is the regulating agency of Nigerian Universities. It is empowered among other things to establish Minimum Academic Standards (MAS) for Nigerian Universities as well as to accredit their degrees. In 1989, the commission produced the MAS for all undergraduate programmes in Nigerian Universities. In order to meet labour market expectation, the World Bank in 2000AD commissioned a study on “Labour Market prospects of University Graduates in Nigeria”. The objective of the study is to assess the effect of Nigerian Universities' curricula on the performance of Computer Science graduates. This paper looks into the strength and weaknesses of Computer Science graduates in Nigeria with a view to assess if they meet the labour market expectation. It also x-rays the women performance in Computer Science. Finally, the paper proposes method of bridging the gap between the achieved and intended curriculum in Computer Science. One hundred and fifty (150) questionnaires were distributed to supervisors and key players who worked directly with the Computer Science/ICT graduates and were in position to know their strength, deficiencies/weaknesses and skill gap. One hundred and eight (108) questionnaires were duly filled and returned. The opinion of these supervisors and key players were analyzed using variables such as competence, creativity, innovation, rational judgement, leadership and learning ability. From the study, it may be inferred that employers rate computer science graduates above average in overall performance showing adequate theoretical curriculum. Some major weaknesses were reported in their technical, practical skills and entrepreneurial skills. However, if the curriculum can address the major weaknesses especially practical and technical skills, Nigerian Computer Science students will easily compete globally.
keywords: national universities commission, minimum academic standards, labour market expectation
The Information Technologist Vol. 3(1) 2006: 1-7