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Insights Into Tertiary Engagement from Summer of Tech

Guest Post from Summer of Tech. 09 September 2022, 11:46 am

The fabulous team at Summer of Tech recently shared insights on what students have been going through this year and what they are seeing coming down the pipeline for intern and graduate recruitment. They have kindly allowed us to repost their blog here.

Disclaimer - The insights shared here are anecdotal, based on the Summer of Tech team’s engagement with a slice of the Aotearoa tertiary student population. We are reporting generalisations and trends. There will be many exceptions and different experiences by institution, region, and individuals. 

Our goal is to share insights to help our employers, partners and stakeholders understand what we’re seeing in August 2022, and how we might work together to support better learning and employment outcomes for Aotearoa’s emerging tech talent.

It’s tough…

  • Enrolments are down
  • Online/hybrid education delivery has been challenging
  • Engagement is down
  • The Cost of Living means more part-time work (and less time for anything else)
  • Capacity for “extra” activities is low

We can help with…

  • Having empathy for the candidate’s situation
  • Clear, fair communication throughout the recruitment process
  • Hiring on potential, now more than ever before
  • Investing in growing your team (and Aotearoa’s tech talent pipeline)

Things are hard for students

  • COVID, lockdowns and the Flu have affected student learning outcomes. Many tests and projects have had to be reassessed because students missed deadlines due to illness and absence. They have not been able or willing to attend in-person labs.
  • Cost of Living and the hot job market are major drivers of the lower enrolment numbers. The Cost of Living is severely affecting students. Many students are working part-time, and we are aware of students withdrawing from study to get “higher” paying jobs eg. security guard firms are actively recruiting.
Things are hard for tertiary institutions
  • Student enrollments are down by 10-15% this year at all the major tertiary institutions we’ve talked to.

  • Student engagement is low, and there are concerns about the quality of education the students receive in this environment.

  • Student attendance at in-person lectures is below 50%.

  • Delivering “hybrid” (online/offline) education content has challenged most institutions. They lack the skills and resources to deliver an optimal hybrid learning experience.

  • Institutions have had limited resources to adapt, as they have had to make resourcing and budget cuts due to the drop in overseas student enrolments.

  • Student support resources have been stretched due to budget cuts. Requests for help are at an all-time high.

Summer of Tech’s 2022 candidate pool 

Student registration numbers and engagement across Summer of Tech events are lower this year. We shared some details in this blog on the lowdown on low engagement back in July.

  • Students are prioritising their time very carefully. This is admirable and understandable, and we support their focus on studying during the year! We are also stoked to report a late rush of student registrations, profiles, CVs and portfolios coming together, and a lot of thought and effort going into how to impress employers.

Graph showing Summer of Tech’s available students across time per year, with 2022 numbers tracking 80-85% of previous years up until late July, we are now close to 95% of our 2021 candidate numbers, just over 1,700.

  • The overall quality of profiles and CVs are good. Around 40% of students have embraced using our CV template which we introduced earlier this year. 

  • We have seen lower attendance at bootcamps (free workshops for students), and a higher number of no-shows. Fewer students are attending events “live”, preferring to watch later online. 

  • We have a good number of graduates with some paid experience.

  • We are seeing some very engaged students that have been taking advantage of the variety of a broader range of Summer of Tech bootcamps this year. 

  • We have delivered bootcamps across all major technical and job skills topics, thanks to our team of 123 industry volunteers. We have an increased focus on Cloud (AWS and Google Cloud) and working in a tech team (Pair / Mob programming, Agile)

bar chart showing Summer of Tech bootcamps by type and attendance, January to August 2022. 3 Design bootcamps with 82 attendees, 11 Career clinics with 692, 16 code bootcamps with 701, 19 career bootcamps with 883 attendees

Bar chart showing Summer of Tech bootcamps (free workshops for students) delivered between January-August 2022. We’ve run 3 design bootcamps with 82 attendees, 11 career clinics with volunteers giving 1:1 feedback to 692 attendees, 16 code bootcamps with 701 attendees, and 19 career bootcamps with 883 attendees.


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