The ICT Skills Plan and the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing Graduate Conversion Programme: an Example of Government, Third Level and Industry Engaging to Address a Specific Skills Deficit in the Irish Economy
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The past 15 years have been ones of rapid change not only in the ever growing impact of ICT on everyday life but also locally in terms of talent development and delivery for ICT graduates. One of the critical issues identified for Ireland and indeed internationally, has been a shortage of Level 8 Graduates in Computing and Computer Science. Enterprise Ireland, Forfás, the HEA, the IDA, Industry bodies such as ICT Ireland, The Irish Computer Society, Engineers Ireland and IBEC as well as government departments recognised the criticality of supply of talented graduates to Ireland’s ICT sector and took measures to correct the situation culminating in the 2014-2018 ICT Skills plan. A key response measure aimed at addressing the ICT Skills shortages was the funding of a call in late 2011 for graduate conversion programmes aimed at converting numerate graduates from disciplines other than computing who worked in declining sectors of the economy into graduates with ICT Skills sufficient to take up graduate level roles in the ICT sector. This paper discusses the formation of an Institute of Technology based consortium, including DIT, ITB and IT Tallaght to respond to the call for graduate conversion programmes. Discussed is the range of industry partners included in the consortium, their contribution to the development of the programme and their subsequent engagement with the programme. Also discussed are the very positive outputs from the first cycles from the programme including the employment successes and the actual range of roles obtained by graduates of the programme. Included in the paper are feedback and learning from each of industry, Institutes and student participants.
Feeney, F. (2015). The ICT Skills Plan and the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing Graduate Conversion Programme: an Example of Government, Third Level and Industry Engaging to Address a Specific Skills Deficit in the Irish Economy. Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2015, pp.456-466.