Here's a thing; the degree with the highest amount of unemployment is computer studies. In a bit of a sop to the idea that media studies represents the acme of uselessness, a recent survey has found that 17 percent of computer science graduates are still unemployed six months after graduation.

Of course, this is just a snapshot of the situation - this not an indication that computer science graduates will constantly struggle to find work - but it's an indicator that not all is healthy. This is, after all, a period when businesses depend more than ever on IT and where IT functionality is integrated much more with business needs. Competent IT professionals should be in high demand.

And here's the problem, just how competent are computer science graduates? Or rather, are they being given the grounding that's required?

In some respect, this is an argument that has been going on for years: the constant refrain of the graduates that they cant find jobs without experience, while the employers moan that the graduates need further training to be useful in a commercial setting - it was a regular subject for debate in the IT press back in the 80s (and probably before).

The other problem with this snapshot is that it tells us little about whether some courses are worse than others for unemployment. Are some universities doing it right.

I wonder whether this time is different though. We're going through a transformation within IT as the use of virtualisation, server rationalisation and cloud computing all come to the fore.

Just the other day, I got an email from a student looking for a course where he could study cloud computing but had had no joy - educational institutes didn't seem to be able to offer what he was looking for. There are courses at UK universitities that offer cloud computing (which does suggest that he was not particularly adept at using Google) but they're by no means universal.

The other aspect of computer science is whether enough practical content is taught. I've listened to the complaints of many interviewers of the years, all of whom decry the standards of some of the graduates.

Again, this is a traditional complaint but when we have a world that is changing as quickly as it is, shouldn't university departments be more forward thinking? Should they be moving to closer links with business? Should the BCS, now that's got over its own little hiccup, get more involved?

There's certainly a paradox that in a world more and more dominated by IT, the graduates who are struggling to get work are the IT people - it would probably take a Swift or Borges to deal with the satirical possibilities of that one.