[LINK] Business 'vital' to training
Tue, 04 Sep 2001 09:36:50 +1000
Business 'vital' to training
04 September 2001
AUSTRALIAN universities should produce technocrats - trained in both
business and technical knowledge - if the IT skills gap is to be bridged,
an industry expert has warned.
Microsoft Australia's first academic liaison evangelist, Rajat Kumar, said
universities should adapt curriculums to equip graduates with
qualifications and capabilities.
Australia had to produce more technocrats who understood and successfully
applied IT to real-world business challenges, rather than technicians who
just wrote code, he said.
"If an individual can understand a business situation and create the
solution, they are considerably more valuable and important than a mere
developer who sits at the end of a chain and is given instructions on what
to code without understanding the business outcome they are working to
achieve," he said.
Mr Kumar said the dotcom crash and the economic slowdown meant the value of
IT professionals was under more scrutiny.
"Technology is not the business model, business is at the core and
technology provides the support platform," he said.
Businesses "need people who understand that model".
Students should also take care that technical skills they acquired were
demonstrably relevant to industry, he said.
"They should do this because the need to derive competitive advantage from
IT drives business to acquire leading edge technology that will provide
them with extraordinary technical challenges."
Mr Kumar said part of his role was to help create an "engagement model"
between business and academia.
"We want to work with the academics to bring it to some sort of convergence
so we can be partners to a student's career," he said.
Mr Kumar denied the initiative would be used to allow business to drive
"We are here to support them and urge them to supplement their courses with
some of the technologies and business software and platforms out there
today," said Mr Kumar, who is currently studying for a masters degree in
physics and applied mathematics.
The Microsoft engagement model would focus on students, faculty and
research, he said.
"We are in discussions with some of our industry partners so this
engagement model not only represents Microsoft but its partners and some of
Mr Kumar's role involves creating awareness of Microsoft's .NET platform
and its business relevance among academics and researchers.
Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is
what you get when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when
-- Pete Seeger