There is a requirement for bringing changes in both dimensions i.e. Academia and Industry;

IT and consulting companies will create demand as per their businesses, they cannot turn their wheels around as per the curriculum’s of the academia. Similarly, the academia has to groom their students as per the latest technologies and related sciences.

In between these two comes the three base entities;

1. Teachers
2. Students
3. Business Management (Both Academia and Industry).

We need to develop a bridge amongst these three entities. An information cycle which can move and grow.
Teachers must know about the current market requirements. Students must be aware of where they can best utilize their skills in that environment and Business management from both sides must ensure that the information wheel keeps turning (FYP Exhibitions / Open House Forums are good examples)

Beside their extensive studies, the students need to be groomed as market professionals (for Pakistan). How?

There are on average 4 years in a degree program but, our whole concentration is on Final Year Projects – so why not distribute our focus on rest of the three as well?

Most of the students represent their FYP in their CV, which is to elaborate the industry that what tools and area of expertise they have as fresh graduates. But duration of FYP is mostly 1 year or even less. So why not use all 4 years as their experience and train them as per the actual market needs?

For example; we are facing problems in getting SQA professionals right from the university level, because testing and related skills are only taught in books and a very small amount is seen applied in practical form. So what to do? We can easily get an SQA professional if we include Testing Methodologies and SQA techniques as a mandatory part in our projects. Academia can decide which year is ideal for such activity – my suggestion is to start it somewhere in mid.

Beside the running curriculums of the universities I may like to suggest the following project structures (as suggestion) (and this is for Computer and Information systems).

For First Year there should be two projects. One related to Business and Human Communications and the second should be a programming project with concentration on Logic Building and basic business flow understandings. Academia can stretch this to a full one year activity with periodic breaks. At the final terms conduct a project presentation and have senior students as audience and let them ask questions. (1 month internship as groups in different companies). Here the companies are provided with pre-formatted information that what “set of skills” are to be concentrated on while the students works at their sites. For freshmen the best are documentation, presentation and initial analysis)

As the Second Year approaches the focus of projects should direct towards hardware and detailed software engineering with detailed application Analysis and Designing – Again two projects and two presentations. Same activity in present of seniors. (2 month internship as groups) with focused skills on “Networks” and “Software Architecture”.

The final year project should be a hybrid product of all previous years. Students shall be represented as critical business application developers with requirement analysis, decision support systems and system architectures. (We need to present all three years skills in one project) – have industry experts analyze their projects, pass comments and suggest improvements. (3 Month Internship, with concentration on project implementation, core hardware and network technologies and project management skills).

 

Arslan Ali is a Software Testing and Training professional; he serves his passion at OuttaBox (www.outtabox.co) as a Training Consultant for various software testing workshops, and also works as a Senior Consultant Information Solutions at Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates – a renowned software solution provided in Pakistan.

Arslan has been around ICT industry past 15 years and have diverse experience in Software Development, Quality Assurance and Business Process implementation.

You can reach him out on twitter @arslan0644.

Share Button