John Ridge also said that the reputation Australian enterprise has developed for offshoring entry level IT roles is damaging the nation’s ability to attract more people into the profession.
According to Mr Ridge local organisations; “Can’t continue to take away entry level jobs,” by moving these tasks offshore, without there being significant implications in terms of the number of students signing up for ICT courses.
Already there has been a 40 per cent decrease in the number of ICT enrolments already over the last decade he said.
Mr Ridge also cited research conducted by the University of Wollongong which found that 42.3 per cent of people who signed up for ICT courses at university dropped out of those courses, with many reporting that they were not content with their subjects, their course content or the way it was taught. Mr Ridge said that employers had also told him that university IT courses often did not equip graduates with the skills that industry sought.
While Mr Ridge said industry and Government were not being aggressive enough about encouraging young people to consider a computing degree and career in ICT, he warned that the problem began in schools.
“There is a big problem in the way IT is taught in schools,” he said. Although he believed all schoolchildren should be equipped with a degree of IT literacy, he did not believe schools were the appropriate venue to prepare children for an ICT career.