It is a challenge to determine whether the ICT graduates meet the expectations of employers. Estonia has once again found an innovative solution by asking employers to contribute to shaping education.
In 2012, two important programs for Estonian technology education were launched – in addition to the ProgeTiger programme to create interest in technology the IT Academy programme to promote higher education in ICT, inspired by the shortage of ICT professionals, which in turn puts pressure on the higher education system.
The IT Academy is a cooperation programme of the Estonian state, universities, vocational schools and information and communication technology (ICT) companies designed to raise the quality of ICT-related education, develop research in the field and ensure the necessary labour resources.
“The IT Academy programme is one of a kind,” explains Signe Ambre, the Programme Manager. “Together with all the parties, we have set collective objectives that consider the needs of entrepreneurs and state on the one hand, and the abilities of the universities and vocational education institutions on the other.“
The results are excellent, as every ninth student in Estonia chooses to study ICT at the bachelor’s and applied higher education level, which she confirms to be optimal. Moreover, the share of those who choose ICT at the master’s level has grown even faster in the last 10 years: every seventh student who enters master’s studies chooses to study ICT.
The IT Academy is coordinated by the Education and Youth Board of Estonia.