Durham University offers software course designed by tech companies

Durham University will offer an Intel, IBM and Tata Consulting Services-endorsed software development for business degree, it was announced today.


Durham University will offer an Intel, IBM and Tata Consulting Services-endorsed software development for business degree, it was announced today.

The degree has been designed to teach graduates technical software engineering alongside business practice and employability skills.

It is hoped the new qualification will reduce the UK’s skills gap in big data, cyber and software development skills for the UK tech industry.

The software development for business course covers cutting edge topics that traditional computing courses currently do not offer, including emerging technologies, multi-platform development and open source innovation.

It will be delivered by Durham University’s school of engineering and computing science.

Technology experts from Accenture, ARM, BT, the BBC, General Dynamics, HP, John Lewis, the NHS, Oracle, SAS and Quicksilva all collaborated through the Tech Partnership, part of e-skills UK, to create course content and offer work experience placements.

Sakshi Munglani, Head of Strategic Hiring at Tata Consulting Services (TCS), said: "The combination of technical and business acumen is a skillset that is in great demand across the UK, and this degree offers graduates a solid foundation to start their careers. At TCS we’re proud to play a role in creating a degree that has outstanding employability outcomes at its core.”

The university is the seventh in Britain to be endorsed by a group of tech employers. Others offering the course include Sheffield, Surrey, Oxford Brookes, Hertfordshire, Glasgow Caledonian and the University of the West of England.

Karen Price, representing the Tech Partnership, said: “Employability rates in IT-related degree courses have been too low for too long: courses like this one that are designed by employers will ensure that young people are equipped with the skills and experience to add value as soon as they graduate.” 

Dr Steven Bradley, course director at Durham University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, said: “We are excited to be among the first universities to be endorsed by the Tech Partnership to deliver the Software Development for Business degree. Employability, quality and rigour are at the heart of what we do, and this new degree will benefit our students through even closer collaboration with industry and employers.”

The government announced that 50,000 places are open or in development for young people to train in computing, IT and STEM subjects in technical colleges or studio schools yesterday. Jaguar Land Rover, Arup, Bentley and Hitachi Rail Europe are some of the employers backing the initiative. 

Elizabeth Gooch, MBE and founder of software company eg plc recently told ComputerworldUK that outsourcing IT offshore was putting young people off careers in IT.

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