IT industry veterans may bemoan the fact that companies do not train their staff as rigorously as they did one or two decades ago, but the AIIA said the issue is more about tertiary education.
AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association) chief executive officer, Suzanne Campbell, clarifies that there is training happening in businesses, but the issue is that there is no “cohesive perspective” on it.
“Similarly, we don’t have a cohesive perspective on internship or traineeship,” she said.
What the AIIA does have is only data points which are “not filling up the whole constellation.”
Campbell identifies the training and the transition through the education cycle, from primary to high, and then to TAFE or university, as being “problematic” for the IT industry.
“There are lots of breaks in that journey,” she said.
There are a lot of things that have happened over the last 30 years that have contributed to the situation we find ourselves today, where
The AIIA has found that the number of people entering university programs focused ICT are not at the same levels as they were ten years ago.
In fact, Campbell admitted that there is a 55 per cent decline year on year in candidature at university level for ICT.
“The value chain being disrupted is a really big problem for us,” she said.
“We need to fix this in a lot of places.”
High school level
Intel A/NZ general manager, Kate Burleigh, suggests looking at the high school system to increase applications by students for ICT courses at university.
“We need to look at how to get kids more interested in taking up ICT subjects at that level,” she said.
Burleigh admits a step like that would require the government to collaborate better with the private sector, as well as “educators doing a better job at selling the value of ICT to students.”
“When you look at the consumerisation of IT, kids love it,” she said.
“But it is a bit shattering when you realise how little they know about how much is running it in the background.”
The interest by students into Australian ICT may have already been lost, but Burleigh said the industry does not want this situation to be permanent.
“Otherwise, we will miss out on the innovation that can come from it in the future,”
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.