Factors that determine the acceptance of a job offer by the entry–level information technology graduate from the North West Province
The unemployment rate has become a major concern for policy makers in South Africa and therefore the National Plan for Higher Education states that higher education training providers should produce more graduates to address this problem. This resulted in a labour force that has grown rapidly and has become younger and more educated. It would therefore be expected that graduates with a post–matric tertiary qualification would be in high demand, resulting in a low graduate unemployment rate. The reality is that the unemployment rate among graduates has increased. This is not only a concern for the policymakers of South Africa but also for a private higher education training provider situated in the North West Province, specialising in information technology (IT) qualifications (and whose students and alumni participated in this study as part of the study population). The majority of the IT jobs available to their students are in the Gauteng province which means their graduates often need to relocate. As for all other entry level graduates they also have to make choices – when to decline or accept a job offer. This study determines what the expectations of these entry level IT graduates are and the factors that might influence their decision to accept or decline a job offer. For the training provider it is important to know what the challenges are that their graduates encounter. The factors contributing to unemployment among these IT graduates were also investigated.