By Adam Harris CTC Research Fellow
Having completed our preliminary research into the general trends of engineering and computer science graduation, we are now preparing to transition into the data collection phase of our project. Over the next few weeks, we will examine several perspectives of the perceived paucity of qualified technology employees in the state by reaching out to Connecticut’s employers, recent college graduates, and universities.
We initiated our data gathering process through the distribution of an online survey to the HR Directors of 61 technology-oriented firms. These questions are focused on the methods that companies utilize in their search for labor. Through this set of questions, we hope to build an understanding of how businesses connect with potential employees and whether these firms are constrained by an inadequate supply of highly-skilled workers.
To understand the viewpoint on other side of the employment story, with the help of Connecticut’s universities, we are also seeking to survey recent engineering and computer science graduates. Our goal is to identify the job-search methods and resources that they employ most frequently. In addition, we hope to discover whether these alumni were retained in Connecticut for employment and what factors contributed to their decisions to accept employment either in-state or out-of-state.
Finally, we will begin meeting with the deans of Connecticut’s engineering and computer science schools over the next week. In these interviews, we will discuss the career-readiness of these programs’ graduates, how these schools adapt their programs to keep up to date with the ever-changing technological landscape, and how the universities keep track of their alumni after graduation.
By gleaning information from all of these sources, we hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of technology employment in Connecticut. Our findings will eventually be the basis of a policy paper suggesting how the results of this research might be used to increase graduate retention in Connecticut and better connect employers with highly-skilled technology personnel in our state.