These key questions of what to teach IT professionals and how, what competencies they have to possess today were discussed at the round table, which was held on October 10 at the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics.
The event was attended by the heads of BSUIR and HTP, representatives of the largest employers of HTP and specialized faculties and departments of BSUIR.
Rector of BSUIR Vadim Bogush in his opening speech noted: "I am grateful to the HTP administration for their active work in terms of organizing the interaction of IT customers with universities. We are well aware that the task of training IT specialists by universities cannot be effectively addressed without this kind of interaction. And it’s great that we have experience and examples of creating specialised courses, improving the training of students in cooperation with IT companies".
In 2018, more than 600 BSUIR graduates were employed in the Hi-Tech Park. About 500 students of this university are currently undergoing internships and are already working in HTP residents.
During the round table discussion, the HTP residents gave their assessment of the current situation in the field of IT education and shared their thoughts on what to do in order to improve it.
It was noted that the IT industry in Belarus has already been formed. Most companies face the future with confidence, conduct strategic planning, and therefore are ready to pay great attention to education and training. Of course, in the labor market experts with specialized training and in-depth knowledge of a technology are in great demand. At the same time, in pursuit of the number and in-depth specialization of IT universities graduates the competitive edge of Belarusian higher education institutions doesn’t have to be lost. And among the competitive advantages there is a systematic approach, fundamentality and a wide range of knowledge which our university graduates possess.
The participants of the round table critically evaluated the approaches used in secondary schools. Schoolchildren are focused on passing tests, they are afraid to make mistakes. For the education of a future engineer it is necessary not only to give knowledge in schools and control its mastering, but to support ingenuity and creativity. Only it this way it will be much easier in universities to instill engineering culture in students. Fortunately, BSUIR has managed to do that. The HTP companies expressed their gratitude to the country's leading IT university for the high level of engineering staff training.
Considerable attention at the event was paid to technologies and personnel needs of specific specialties. It was noted that starting from the third year of study at the university, students start working in IT companies, thanks to which they are engaged in IT projects and master the essentials of work in the industry. Residents of the HTP mentioned that during the first years of training it is advisable to strengthen the formation of the so-called soft skills. This will help students work more effectively in teams. Also more attention should be paid to colloquial English.
There were also issues of practical training by BSUIR students in HTP resident companies discussed, as well as the timing of the preliminary allocation of university graduates in the company.
A separate topic of discussion was the integration of competencies and expertise of residents in the curriculum of the university. The participants of the event supported the proposal of BSUIR regarding the development of tailor-made courses for IT companies and their further introduction into the educational process.
Summarizing the round table discussion, Alexander Martinkevich, Deputy Director of the HTP Administration, pointed out: “It is necessary to work out a reasonable balance between the universality of knowledge, its fundamental nature and practice-oriented approach towards the needs of the real sector of the economy. Today’s meeting helped the interested parties to agree on the steps being taken.With the Park growing and rapidly changing IT, this is extremely important".
The HTP Administration thanks the representatives of "EPAM Systems", "IBA IT Park", "NetKrekerBel", "Leverx International", "ISsoft Solutions", "SAMSolutions", "Itransition", "TechArt Group", "Synesis", "Exadel", "LWO"," Godel Technologies Europe" for active participation in the round table discussion.