New BSc at GMIT aims to address ICT industry skills gap
L-R: Michael Gill (head of the Department of IT, Business & Social Studies), Noreen Henry, Dr Mark Garavan, Michael Carmody (GMIT president), Sharon Boyle (programme chair), Janine McGinn, Michael Hannon (GMIT registrar), and Egbert Polski (lecturer)

New BSc at GMIT aims to address ICT industry skills gap

29 Nov 2012

A new BSc honours degree programme launched by the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) hopes to produce graduates that will continue on to careers in digital employment both nationally and internationally.

Come September 2013, GMIT plans to address the mismatch between in-demand ICT industry skills and what is being taught at third-level institutions with a new Level 8 course that merges sociology and technology.

The BSc in digital media and society will be taught on GMIT’s Mayo campus in Castlebar. The full-time four-year course has been designed by IT, business and social studies lecturers from the college in consultation with companies and organisations, such as Google, the Irish Internet Association, Intel’s Digital Health Group and local enterprise development divisions of the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce and Mayo County Council.

“A diverse and contextualised programme such as this will suit positions to come,” said Karen Stolberg from Google’s EU headquarters in Dublin. Stolberg, who was part of the industry review team, also commended the programme for its focus on practical and experiential content.

Addressing industry needs

“We have been working closely with representatives of leading international companies that are at the cutting edge of the digital revolution and they have given us important feedback on industry needs,” said GMIT lecturer and programme chair Sharon Boyle.

“The biggest challenge the industry faces is keeping up to date with trends in technologies and industry. Fostering innovation in the programme and in students is also identified as being very important. Our new programme offers modules that will address those needs,” she added.

Students will also be given the opportunity to learn or improve a language while on this course, addressing another skills gap recognised in this country.

GMIT claims this is the only third-level honours degree programme exploring how individuals, society and technology interact. Graduates are expected to be prepared to take on positions as digital designers, social media managers, assistive technologists, web quality auditors, digital strategists, digital marketing analysts, SEO copywriters, community managers, web designers or web developers.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com. She joined in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs news. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly persnickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen. When she hasn’t got her nose stuck in her laptop, you’ll find her in the kitchen, at the cinema, or on the dancefloor.

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