Bridging the gap for IT students between university and employment
A recent event held by MyKindaFuture and leading IT graduate employer, FDM Group, demonstrated the need for young people to be given practical work experience placements throughout their academic journey to ensure they succeed in business when they leave university.
Key themes from the event, attended by leading employers and universities, included the need to increase the numbers of placements available to IT students at university and also making them accessible from their first year onwards. Academics believe this will enable them to further instill in students the connection between the subjects they are taught and how they can be applied in an eclectic range of careers once they leave university.
Employers also would like to see more of an emphasis on the teaching of soft skills throughout the student’s university journey, not just technical skills. This helps young people understand how team working, communication, presentation skills and others, are key components of any job and once they enter employment these skills can help them thrive and progress more quickly.
The need for role models to be present on campus and meet students face-to-face was discussed. Alumni who work in IT and industry professionals could be used more effectively to inspire them about future careers and the skills needed to succeed in them.
A regular review of the curriculum between IT industry professionals and academics to ensure it is as relevant as possible and reflecting the needs of business was a concept that was debated. Additionally, ensuring data protection and risk management was covered within teaching and employer pre-boarding was seen as an important area for all groups.
A key outtake of the event was to set-up an on-going IT Network where academics and employers can meet in a regular forum to learn more about requirements on both sides to ensure students unlock the best opportunities available to them within the IT industry.
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