Attracting students towards an ICT career
Article by Jason Zammit, MITA Human Resources Executive
The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) has participated as an Apprenticeship Sponsor at the MCAST EXPO 2016 in collaboration with the College’s Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning Department.
MITA’s participation as part of the three-day event was aimed at guiding students, who are currently studying ICT at MCAST’s Foundation, Technical and University Colleges, of the learning experiences and career opportunities the Agency has to offer.
Prospective students who are aspiring to join MCAST and embarking towards an ICT career, were guided about the Agency’s operations and mission, in delivering and implementing various assigned programmes as set out in the Digital Malta National ICT Strategy 2014 – 2020.
Students were also briefed about the Agency’s support towards ICT programmes in Government to enhance public service delivery and simultaneously providing the infrastructure required to execute ICT services to Government. Students were also explained the reason of MITA’s presence at the event since as an Agency its mission is to also disseminate further use of ICT in society and the economy by promoting and delivering programmes to enhance ICT education and the use of ICT as a learning tool.
In order for the Agency to deliver and maintain the Digital Malta National ICT Strategy 2014 – 2020, the take-up of more students within the ICT Career is pivotal in ensuring that the Agency is reinforced and equipped with the best trained and competent human resources. Students visiting the Agency’s exhibition stand were asked about their career ambitions and enquiring interests of specialisations offered by MCAST such as Software Development, Networking and Computer Systems, End user support and Multi-Media courses.
The Agency’s human resources team also guided visiting students about the various mechanisms it offers, such as the Apprenticeship scheme catering for students studying a particular specialisation under the Advanced Diploma in ICT at Level 4, job shadowing programmes for students embarking at ICT foundation level, student placement programmes, internships and research support for students studying ICT at degree level. These learning mechanisms help students to gain the necessary experience, which blend effectively within the specialisations offered by MCAST’s well renowned home grown curriculum that is relevant, updated and linked to the Agency’s technological and other ICT industry requirements.
Testimonials by the Agency’s team members who had studied with MCAST and had embarked on an Apprenticeship shared their experiences working in Software, Networking and Service Management areas. Experiences were also shared about the learning and continuous development opportunities the Agency offers, ensuring that employees are kept abreast and updated with the latest technological ICT Industry Certifications and the enhancement of personal development and career progression opportunities.
Emphasis was also made on the importance of students embarking on vocational work exposure blended with academic studies, which besides helping them to achieve technological expertise; it can also teach them elements of job skills and work ethics. Such work-based experience gained through apprenticeships and internships are much valued by prospective employers who expect an amount of work-based learning experience. This is considered as a valuable asset as part of the recruitment and selection process, providing a competitive advantage to students applying for a full-time job.
Students were also guided and advised on academic career choices and how they can relate their ICT career ambitions towards specialisations offered by MCAST and roles within the Agency.
The MCAST EXPO 2016 was a valuable opportunity for students to understand the academic portfolio offered to both current and prospective students and link these to their academic and career ambitions.
Students are free to visit the MITA website on www.mita.gov.mt and subscribe to receive updates to work-based learning and career opportunities offered by the Agency.