ACS Foundation spends $3m on IT scholarships for Victorian students

The ACS Foundation has awarded 222 scholarships worth more than $3 million to Victorian students in 2007 and 2008.

There are many ways to secure a job in IT while studying, and applying for an ACS Foundation scholarship is one of them.

IT scholarships provider ACS Foundation announced this week it awarded 222 scholarships worth more than $3 million to Victorian students for the 2007 and 2008 financial years.

In the last two years, students from RMIT, Monash, Swinburne, La Trobe, Deakin, and University of Ballarrat were awarded scholarships through the ACS Foundation.

“The scholarships awarded to Victorian students are helping address the skills shortages Australia’s information technology is experiencing. They provide both students and universities with the funds to nurture IT talent,” said ACS Foundation Chairman, John Debrincat.

ACS Foundation offers two types of scholarships, Grow a Graduate (GROW) and Work Integrated Learning (WIL). According to the ACS Foundation’s executive director, John Ridge, GROW is a philanthropic scholarship, aimed at encouraging students to take a specific IT course.

On the other hand, WIL which represents the bulk of scholarships offered in the last two years, offers computer science students paid internships complementing the awardees’ study.

Award winners work for a period of up to 48 weeks for donor companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Agilent and are paid between $25,000 and $28,000.

According to Ridge, those scholarships are also a way of making graduate students more attractive to employers.

“Despite all the talk of shortage of resources, there are actually a lot of people with postgraduate IT qualifications that struggle to get their first employment opportunity because they haven’t had relevant work experience,” said Ridge.

ACS Foundation has been offering those scholarships since August 2001 in all Australian states, with New South Wales and Victoria being the two biggest recipients followed by Western Australia.

Scholarship awardee Ben Van de Vusse, a final year software engineering student at RMIT, first heard about the ACS Foundation scholarship through his university.

Van de Vusse ended up spending his third year work placement working full time for Agilent, one of ACS Foundation’s partner donors.

“The scholarship was a very valuable experience. I made some good connections that helped me in my application process for a full time job”.

With only one month to go before finishing his degree, Van de Vusse already has a job lined up as an IT consultant with another firm.

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More about 3M AustraliaAgilent TechnologiesAustralian Computer SocietyIBM AustraliaMicrosoftRMIT

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