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A shortage of IT and computing professionals means that graduates with the right qualifications are being cherry picked for prominent roles in the industry.
“Most of our students find it very easy to get jobs,” says Graham Bidois, Programme Manager of Computing and Information Sciences at AUT University, Manukau Campus. “Often top employers come into the University to headhunt our students. There is certainly great demand for them, and I can’t see that changing any time soon.”
The Government has earmarked IT as a future growth industry with a shortage of workers. The Department of Labour estimates that between 2005 and 2010 the number of IT professionals grew by about 25%, with more than 7,200 new employees entering the industry. Several economists predict that number needs to almost double by 2017.
As a result, many IT and computing related jobs feature on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list, meaning that the Government is looking to foreign workers to fill the skills shortage here.
“Because of this skills shortage, we’ve found that our graduates need to hit the ground running,” says Bidois. “On our Bachelor of Computing and Information Sciences (BCIS), we focus on practical work experience throughout the degree, culminating in a year-long project for a client or work placement in the final year.”
Aaron Small, a BCIS student at AUT University Manukau says the contemporary nature of the course is critical to getting a job: “I took the course knowing that it would present all the options. What I really like is that what we are learning relates back to the world as it is today and the technology we are studying is modern and in-line with current technological advancements.”
“Being contemporary and using our research to anticipate the needs of industry is very important to us,” agrees Bidois. “Getting the right qualification can put graduates one step ahead of the rest; able to command attractive roles and salaries.”
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