Universities and employers link up to create postgrad IT programme

A Masters-level IT programme is being created by universities and employers to help fast-track the careers of new IT professionals, the IT sector skills council E-Skills announced today.

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A Masters-level IT programme is being created by universities and employers to help fast-track the careers of new IT professionals, the IT sector skills council E-Skills announced today.

Universities will also work with participating employers to deliver the study programme.

Karen Price, CEO of E-Skills UK, said the new qualification path was essential since “many traditional entry-level IT roles are disappearing from the UK due to offshoring and technological advances. “

Price said increasing numbers of IT professional roles in the UK were becoming concentrated on highly skilled, customer-focused areas such as project management, business analysis and solutions design.

“This means that new IT professionals must be able to progress rapidly to demanding roles without access to the kind of jobs that would help them to build their skills and experience: they have to climb a career ladder with the bottom rungs missing,” she said.

The new programme is designed to bridge this gap by enabling graduate recruits to build a strong foundation of competence in the early years of their career.


Companies backing the programme include Accenture, Aviva, BA, the BBC, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Cable and Wireless, Cisco, HP, IBM, LogicaCMG and Microsoft.

In total, all the supporting organisations employ around one in four of the UK’s IT and telecoms professionals.

Universities already involved in the programme include Cranfield University, Lancaster University Management School, Manchester Business School, the Open University and UCL.

Linda A Macaulay, professor of system design at Manchester Business School, said her university and others welcomed the opportunity “to work closely with employers to introduce a recognised, respected development programme that is totally focused on employer needs.”

She said the programme’s “innovative structure and delivery” would take a realistic and practical approach to IT professional development by “maximising learning opportunities while minimising the time spent away from work.”

The content of the programme will reflect the industry-endorsed IT Professional Competency Model (PROCOM), which builds on the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) to provide a framework for IT professional learning and qualifications.

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