Since the skills deficit in the IT industry became apparent during the 1990s, many IT companies, as well as traditional educational institutions, have started to fill the void with various IT programs. The IT programs vary in style and content, from traditional university degrees and courses to lessons that are provided by collaborative consortia in which IT vendors are teamed with education providers. An example of the latter is the ComTech/Deakin University/Microsoft, "earn-as-you-learn" Bachelor of Computing (Networking Technologies) degree.
Microsoft runs an internship program each year that targets university students in their next-to-last year, or recent graduates. The internships range from public relations, finance and marketing to consulting and technical, and all depend on which skills the company needs at the time. Internships are for 12 months and offer a graduate salary of $35,000. The graduates have a mentor to assist them in their role.
Further training is also required. For example, the three interns in product support this year will be expected to gain the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) by the end of the 12 months. After 12 months, the interns are offered positions with Microsoft partners or clients.
"The Intern program gives young people a great head start, not only from a skills/training perspective, but also because they get valuable real life experience that seems to help 'leap frog' them into better positions," said Lorrin Maughan, Microsoft Australia recruitment manager.
Maughan recruits around 15 interns each year and looks for students with a well-rounded background as well as solid grades.
The Sony Foundation Australia in conjunction with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) and Sydney University has awarded three scholarships this year in the interactive technology and the science and technology areas of study.
The scholarships are open to all students enrolled in the Academy, selection being based on tutors' reports and two panel interviews conducted by leading interactive technology industry experts. This year Damon Raynor, as the winner of the Interactive Technology scholarship, will travel to London to spend two weeks at the Sony Computer Entertainment development studios.
Two science and technology scholarships have been awarded to Sydney University students Diana Sarcasmo and Stephen Tilley. Worth $30,000 each, the scholarships will cover all of their fees for their final year of study. Criteria for the scholarships include creativity, production, editing and presentation.
Novell runs the TransITions Program designed for people from different industries who are looking for a career change. The recruits undergo an intensive eight-week program and then work with Novell or one of its partners. They rotate through different facets of the Novell operations such as tech support, help desk, network administration and customer service.
Adrian Heng graduated from the 2000 program and is currently working in the Customer Communication Centre. Heng gained the Netware Microsoft Certified Professional on the NT Server 4.0 qualification and improved his business skills last year.
ComTech's IT Intensive is a career transition program designed for people seeking a career change, as well as school leavers, and provides IT skills, training and job placement. At the completion of IT Intensive, students will have finished the first six units of the ComTech/Deakin University/Microsoft Bachelor of Computing (Networking Technologies).
ComTech has partnered with the ACT Department of Education and Community Services to provide eight IT Intensive scholarships for ACT students to enable them to break into the IT industry when they leave school. Additionally, ComTech provides eight scholarships to students on the Smith Family 'Learning For Life'.
Spherion is working closely with the NSW Institute of Sport to provide opportunities for athletes to train for a career as corporate trainers. Spherion recognises that athletes have accumulated a lot of experience in areas including time management and goal setting.
Phone: Paul Taylor (02) 9955 1822
IBM Global Services
Phone: Jill Moore (02) 9354 7709
(In conjunction with ANU)
Phone: (08) 8464 2300
(With University of South Australia)
Post graduate program for IT professionals
SAS Institute Australia
(With Wollongong University)
Phone: Tony May (02) 9325 5208