Career Readiness

ExcITEd Core Project

Career Readiness

The project works to strengthen and develop the connection between the education we give our students and the professional day they go to when they graduate from us.

The graduates must be perceived as attractive by employers. Desired traits of a candidate include technical skills and professional knowledge as well as social skills and the ability to function well in teams. The desired competence of candidates in IT is partly defined in empirically based national and international standards, but there is nevertheless a need to go deeper into different types of study programs and job requirements in order to adapt the studies to the challenges of the future. These challenges are related, among other things, to digitalisation and sustainability.

In addition to the fact that the graduated candidates must be perceived as attractive by the employers, it is important that the students themselves build up a good and reflected understanding of their competence during the course of study. This helps them in making good choices both during their studies and in their future careers. Career Readiness is therefore about both the student and employer perspectives on competence and work relevance.

Partners in industry and the public sector contribute in many ways to the IT education. They provide input into the development of the university's study program and topics from the employer's perspective. They contribute summer jobs for students and student project assignments related to real IT issues in industry and the public sector. Industry / public sector employees hold guest lectures and seminars at the university and welcome students on business visits. Companies offer internships in for students and staff. Collaboration takes place both through formalized networks and through more informal, personal networks. The Career Readiness project wants to strengthen the collaboration between the university and the future employers of our students.

Activities

There are several ongoing studies in the Career Reaciness project.

We look at the industry that traditionally hires our candidates, where we examine their perspectives on how attractive our candidates are to hiring. Several fields of study are considered: bachelor of computer science, operation of computer systems and master's programs from the Gløshaugen campus. The surveys are based on interviews with employers. We have also looked at the online bachelor's program in information processing, where students are resident across the country and most are already in work, which affects their opportunities in a job context. An ongoing study looks at a newly created study in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity and focuses on the students' identity and affiliation and how this affects their relationship with the future working life. Data collection related to these surveys is mainly conducted through surveys and interviews with employers as well as current and former students. The survey of the relevance of the study programs has resulted in input to decision-makers on what works well and poorly, and concrete measures at the subject and study program level.

Another study deals with the introduction and use of e-portfolio in IT education. E-portfolio is a means of reflecting on one's own learning and in this way enhancing one's learning. Working with an e-portfolio makes students more aware of their own competence and makes them better able to explain it, for example to potential employers. The study in the project is based on empirical studies where e-portfolio is introduced in one of our own study programs. We are looking specifically at how to achieve a successful introduction of e-portfolio through a combination of suitable tools and the involvement of professional teachers.

The job market in Norway for graduates from IT education has been very good in recent years. A good indicator of this is how easy it is to get relevant summer jobs, which is a key recruitment arena for employers. We started a survey of this in 2018, a survey that looks at when in the course of the course students receive relevant summer jobs and what factors are related to a student getting a relevant job offer. 

Excited is involved in events involving collaboration between candidates and working life, such as the Festival & Action at Northern University, which has been a successful meeting place for several years. Through evaluation and improvement of the events, we develop knowledge about what is needed to create good meeting places between students, professional teachers and working life.

We participate in a collaboration with business and academia on what IT education must contain to enable the candidates to best meet the challenges of the future in sustainability. This is a type of problem where IT has a central role and where there are great demands on the candidates' competence

Further Activities

Work on mapping the work relevance of various study programs continues and will culminate in overall results on how we can create high work relevance in our studies.

Work on the e-portfolio continues and will culminate in insights and guidelines for the successful introduction and use of e-portfolio in study programs in IT, with emphasis on the students' reflection, learning and insight into their own development of competence.

The study of summer jobs, as an indicator of the job market for IT graduates more generally, continues by repeating the survey in 2021 to see developments over time. We then wish to repeat the survey approximately every other year.

Based on the research we have done and the need for relevant guest lecturers, we will continue our efforts to support professional teachers in getting good and relevant guest lecturers from the industry into teaching. We will see this in the context of other types of cooperation with external parties.

In the area of ​​sustainability in the IT education, Excited will be a driving force in the academic environment nationally and an active participant internationally. We will contribute to an active discussion in this area, including through events where academia and business meet. We will also contribute to professional development work related to the integration of sustainability into study programs at our own educational institutions and use this as a basis for research with value for other educational institutions.

Our goals for the Career Readiness project are:

  • that the graduates of the IT programs have the necessary competence for the jobs that await IT in the coming years
  • that students make the right career choices along the way
  • that the university has a sustainable and mutually enriching

Outcome

We will strengthen the education-work connection. Gap analysis between the job market's expectations and current learning outcomes will be used to guide program and course development. Student-industry connection will ensure a smoother transition from education to work for students. 

Project Team

Project Team

person-portlet

Birgit Rognebakke Krogstie
Associate Professor
birgit.r.krogstie@ntnu.no
+47-73412581
Gunhild Marie Lundberg
Associate Professor
gunhild.lundberg@ntnu.no
Hege Annette Olstad
PhD Candidate
hege.a.olstad@ntnu.no
+47-45200965

Partners

Partners