ICT industry creates Masters programme to close skills gap

13 Jun 2011

ICT Ireland has launched a fully funded Masters in applied software technology from Dublin Institute of Technology which includes a guaranteed job in Ireland’s high-tech sector on satisfactory completion.

It is understood ICT Ireland member companies provided significant funding for the initiative aimed at closing the gap between undergraduate skill levels and the expanding needs of the sector.

The programme, the first of its kind, will accept applications from interested students from today until 30 June, with offers being made to up to 50 successful candidates from July. The programme is fully funded and also includes provision for the payment of an allowance to students for the duration of the course.

The programme is supported by Skillnets Ltd through its Training Networks Programme, which is funded from the National Training Fund of the Department of Education and Skills.

The ideal candidates are those who have recently graduated with honours degrees in computing and software engineering disciplines, but candidates with qualifications in mathematics and science-related subjects will also be considered.

Launching the new Masters programme, Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn said: “This programme has many benefits for the successful applicants. Not only will they achieve an MSc and additional technical training, but work experience, an allowance for the duration of the programme or ability to retain social welfare payments, and then at the end of their studies, a job as a software engineer with a leading ICT company awaits them. It’s a win-win situation.”

The candidates will be offered a full-time, permanent contract of employment on satisfactory completion of the programme, with LM Ericsson sponsoring the first cohort of 25 participants.

The Ericsson product development unit in Athlone specialises in the provision of operations support systems (OSS) to telecom operators using advanced data and event management and visualisation techniques. A number of other companies are due to come on board as the programme develops later this year.

More than 2,000 ICT jobs announced so far this year

“This programme has been developed to address the growing demand for software engineers in Ireland," Paul Sweetman, ICT Ireland director, explained.

“Companies such as LM Ericsson are taking a proactive approach to meet these needs. We are excited to see the success of the programme in its first year and build on that success by expanding to include new companies next year. Ireland has a vibrant technology sector with a promising future for graduates.

“Over 2,000 jobs have been announced since the start of the year and we expect this trend to continue to grow.”

Eimear Cusack, head of HR and organisation for Ericsson in Ireland, said: “We are very pleased to support and participate in this initiative. Ericsson has a growing need for highly qualified engineers in our R&D operations in Ireland and candidates can look forward to a rewarding career in a high-technology environment with global reach.”

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and Siliconrepublic.com has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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