A recent Australian ICT graduate survey indicates that 70 per cent of respondents wish they had done more hands-on work experience while studying, highlighting the importance employers place on practical industry experience.
Funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Wollongong, 700 fresh-faced graduates from 21 universities contributed to the survey.
Overall, there was a resounding call from graduates to see improved work-integrated learning throughout ICT degrees offered by Australian universities.
President of the Australian Council of Deans of ICT, Peter Cole, said that many universities will have to make considerable changes to meet the needs requested by the graduates.
“There is no better way of learning the requirements of the workplace than actually being there and doing it," he said.
It is an opinion shared by ACS Foundation chairman, John Debrincat and the Australia and New Zealand general manager of Indian outsourcing giant Tata Consulting Services, Varun Kapur, who recently told deleates at the Australian Computer Society’s Young IT Professionals Conference that universities aren’t doing enough real-world industry training of students .
“An important message that needs to be sent to current students is the value that prospective employers attribute to relevant work experience," Debrincat said.
“Many undergraduates have a sense of urgency about finishing their time at University. They don’t recognise how relevant work experience will actually accelerate their careers and help ensure a more satisfying start,” he said.