IT Park at Babesa

Plenty of IT graduates but limited jobs available

Statistics show that each year there is an increasing number of IT graduates and lesser jobs to go around.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, the IT job vacancy in government agencies has reached a saturation point.

This is main reason why one of the biggest groups of graduates seeking employment in the private sector are IT graduates.

A few years ago IT was seen as the next big think especially with an IT Park coming up in Thimphu and various call centers starting and so many students went for IT courses. However, Bhutan’s IT revolution did not take off, the IT Park is struggling and the call centers have mainly shut down. The result is glut of IT graduates with not enough jobs.

Even the available vacancies in the government, corporate and private sectors are mainly filled up.

As per the Labour Force Survey 2014, a total of 1,491 IT professionals are working in various sectors.

There are 347 working in government agency, 509 in ICT registered company and 635 in other organizations, like banks, non-ICT corporations and autonomous agencies, and other non-registered ICT companies, which makes the total of 1491. And the number of unemployed ICT professionals (university graduates) stands at 429 and there are 140 diploma graduates.

This year, a total of 108 IT graduates, excluding the diploma graduates, appeared for the Royal Civil Service (RCSC) examination. Only 67 have got through the preliminary exam. They will then compete for only four seats in the main upcoming RCSC exam. The search for a suitable IT job is even harder for those holding diploma certificates.

According to an IT graduate, Tashi Phuntsho, “I had to wait in vain for a course-related job, so I have decided to join any kind of job, even if it is apart from my course. And perhaps some of my batchmates also took a total twist in their profession.”

The success of institutions, like Sherubtse College, Jigme Namgyal Polytechnic, College of Science and Technology (CST), etc., in churning out IT professional is commendable.

Sherubtse College has the highest intake for Bachelor in Computer Application (BCA) so far, with an average intake of sixty students per year.

Jigme Namgyel Polytechnic has introduced two new IT related courses within the past three years, Diploma in Computer Hardware and Networking and Diploma in Electronic and Communication, with average intake of 25 to 30 in each course every year.

College of Science and Technology (CST) offers Bachelor in IT Engineering with an average of 30 students in each batch, and similarly the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) offers Diploma in Information Management, and so does the privately-owned Rigsum Institute of Management. There are also many IT graduates passing out from various colleges in India and abroad.

The pressure on the government is being felt now more than ever. Therefore, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), Ministry of Labour of Human Resources (MoLHR) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) have taken up a joint project to develop the ICT industry and develop the private sector.

According to the Dean for Research and Industrial Linkage, Jigme Namgyel Polytechnic, Norbu Tshering, a tracer study was carried out, considering the market scenario and demand each year. “Computer hardware and networking graduates are not pure IT… they are more of computer engineer, capable of both hardware as well as software,” he pointed out.

He pointed out that the reason for the unavailability of jobs is due to the lack of advertisement as it has just been three year since the adaptation of the courses.

Similarly, there used to be no BCA in Royal Thimphu College (RTC), but with the establishment of continuing education, the course was introduced and currently there are about 16 BCA students

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