Students starting an innovative IT degree have had the first of a series of inspirational business lectures by industry thought-leaders.
The Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB) BSc (Hons) is a partnership between four universities and e-skills UK, with the aim of creating a business-focussed IT course.
Employers including BT, Computer Associates, Ford, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Norwich Union will be involved in the degree courses, offering input on content as well as keynote business lectures.
Karen Price CEO of e-skills UK said: "The changing IT skills landscape means that the IT professionals and managers of the future need more than ever to bridge the gap between business and IT. They require a combination of business, project, and interpersonal skills as well as technical competencies.
"These degrees will help high-achieving students fast-track into exciting careers in IT or business, and will help employers who need new recruits to contribute to the business more quickly."
Employment in the IT industry is forecast to grow at five to eight times the average UK employment growth over the next 10 years.
The first business lecture, on the topic of ‘Technology-led Business Change’, was delivered this week at The University of Greenwich, by IBM Distinguished Engineer and Member of IBM Academy of Technology Chris Winter.
Winter commented: “For IBM it wasn’t simply about contributing to the discussion around the degree, it was important that we had a key role in ensuring it was delivered on the ground level. As a company, we want to recruit the business leaders of the future and that means re-evaluating traditional concepts of educating IT managers.”
The ITMB degree is running at The University of Greenwich, The University of Reading, The University of Central England in Birmingham and Northumbria University. It is hoped that it will expand to 22 universities and 1,000 students by 2008.