Imagination, flights of fancy seen as crucial in new digital economy

The Hi-Tech Park hosted a roundtable “IT-education and IT-industry: development strategy”. Representatives of Belarus' major IT companies and department heads of the Minsk and regional universities gathered to discuss the challenges facing the domestic IT education.

The most important things in the new digital economy are imagination and flights of fancy, the ability to come up with a new idea, to propose a new approach, create a new product that will be in demand. This is very much different from what we had yesterday and what we have today. And that is probably the main goal of the new system of IT education,” - Director of the Hi-Tech Park Vsevolod Yanchevsky noted.

The roundtable participants noted two major problems: a considerable gap between the curricula and the rapid pace of changes in the IT industry, and a shortage of teachers with the necessary technical competencies. Those were the key topics of the discussion.

According to IT companies, the universities should concentrate more on software architecture, advanced software tools and technologies. Yet, the education programs are lagging behind the needs of the market, are mainly theoretical and lack the practical focus. The priority area for Belarus' IT industry is the development of IT products. The requirements for the quality of IT staff training will be toughened in the very near future. The Hi-Tech Park will also be actively engaged in the latest IT trends: Data Science, Blockchain, new areas of artificial intelligence, and others. This means that a number of areas require special training in the sectors that are developing faster than the education system. The participants of the roundtable stressed that this problem is widespread across the globe. 

The Hi-Tech Park residents provide significant support to the education system today. A number of laboratories have been set up jointly by IT companies and universities. The IT companies host the branches of the university departments where students can test their knowledge in practice. The Hi-Tech Park Administration and the Education Ministry are implementing the Scratch programming language project in secondary schools.

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