The information technology and information technology-enabled services (IT/ITES) industries require skilled human resources to unlock their potential. This will provide the foundation for take-off, which, for now, is falling short. As envisioned in Digital Bangladesh, the IT/ITES industries can adopt the latest technologies across different industries and should grow hand in hand with other drivers of growth.
Access to quality higher education must rise to develop future industry leaders in IT/ITES. While the gross enrollment rate of tertiary education in Bangladesh has more than doubled from 7.7% in 2007 to 17.6% in 2017, this is still below the lower-middle-income country average of 24%. Demand for higher education in Bangladesh will surely increase as the economy expands; thus, the question now is what higher education fields should Bangladesh prioritize for investment. The IT/ITES industries need skilled graduates who can work up to global standards.
This tracer study, which aims to improve the labor market outcomes of tertiary graduates of computer science and engineering and/or institutes of information technology in Bangladesh, will help in the preparation of a new higher education project in the country to be funded by ADB, the Improving Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project. While that project selected only four universities, this tracer study covered an additional five universities in Dhaka. I hope that the study findings will prove informative and improve computer science and engineering and/or institutes of information technology beyond the nine universities included.