This afternoon Dan Nuroo from DWS Consulting and myself participated in the graduation exercise for a number of University Students involved in the Australian Computer Society’s Professional Year Program. Prior to the students receiving their graduation certificates, the ACS conducts an exercise with the students. The aim of this is for the students to demonstrate to the ACS their ability to design and present a capability statement. Students are divided into groups and requested to develop a group capability statement; a selection criteria is provided. The students are given 1 hour to develop their presentation, 10 minutes for the presentation and 15 mins of questions and answers, and feedback.
Dan and I were part of a panel to hear and assess the presentations. There was 19 students and if the quality of the presentations conducted today is anything to go by I feel that the IT industry will be in good hands. The students only had an hour to create and deliver a team based presentation. Given the time constraints and information available to them, each group came up with unique and quality presentations. It can be a daunting task to stand up and present in front of a crowd, however the students today took to the task head on and demonstrated their passion for IT and also for Business.
Below are some of the comments I wrote down earlier today as I listened to the presentations:
- Demonstrated business knowledge: “how to achieve targets”
- Methodical and clear presentation and overview of the topic
- Demonstrates Value Add: Monitor Project Time and Cost
- Technical skills are not everything, IT requires a number of other social/soft skills
- Presenters related their presentations back to the criteria
- Confident talking to an audience, if this presenter is not in sales, he should consider it as a career path.
- Good use of technology to share information via blogs (I may be biased in this as I am an avid blogger myself).
We often hear about the declining interest and enrolment in IT university courses by students, however from what I have seen today I feel that the people who are studying IT – truly are passionate about our industry. Not only did the students today have some core technical skills needed to be successful, but many of the students demonstrated strong business skills as well that will surely help them in their career.
I think this course is a great idea for students – it prepares students for life after university and gets them ready for the working world. They are taught on topics like ethics and business professionalism and they do internships which is an invaluable experience. This gives students a competitive advantage in their job search. I would like to thank Liane Taylor from the ACS for inviting me to participate in this event today, it was great to see the enthusiasm of the students today..