Businesses have welcomed the launch of a degree course that combines technology and business training.
As reported in Computer Weekly last week, students started the BSc in IT management for business at four universities this week. The course was developed by sector skills council E-Skills UK with the backing of major companies.
Businesses need this combination of skills, rather than technical expertise on its own, according to Helen Tovey, IT competency and learning manager at Ford Motor Company. "I only wish we had something like this in my day," she said.
"Students who do well on this type of degree programme should be much more marketable to prospective employers. I think this delivers a win-win situation for all - graduates will be equipped to transition more quickly and effectively into business life, and companies will gain employees who can make a bigger contribution from day one.
"This programme offers an excellent mix of business and technology skills development, with a focus on the practical application of technology in today's business environment. Because it is delivered jointly by the education and corporate sectors, the content of the programme is very relevant and the learning experience unique."
Financial service company Norwich Union has also backed the course. HR business partner Doug Smalls said, "We were pleased to be able to work with E-Skills UK on creating a framework for an IT degree that also delivers the business and management skills we need. It shows how effective industry and employer collaboration can be."
The course is being run by the University of Greenwich, Reading University, University of Central England and Northumbria University. Eventually, E-Skills hopes 22 universities will be able to offer the course.