Integrating industry professional program into ICT education curriculum
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The current crisis in Information Communications Technology (ICT) skills shortage is generally attributed to falling enrolments since 2001. The number of student enrolments in ICT degrees offered by universities has been decreasing globally over the last few years. Whilst the industry and government stakeholders play a vital role in addressing the ICT skills shortage, universities play an equally important role in ensuring the alignment of ICT course curriculum with the industry. This paper describes the development of an industry professional or practicum program with a two-fold aim: (i) to attract students and to de-mystify that IT is not an interesting career and (ii) to prepare and train students to be multi-disciplinary (ie Business and IT) ready graduates to meet the employability needs of industry. This paper recounts the experiences of four students who undertook a 16 week industry placement in an IS/IT organisation. This practice based paper also reports on the experiences of the program from its inception using different perspectives: student, language skills specialist, course coordinator, lecturer, the Administrative Manager and industry. The paper concludes with eight lessons learned for institutions considering offering such program.
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