With low unemployment rates and high demand across a variety of regions and vertical markets, the IT job market is among the most robust in Europe in 2015. Topping the list of must-have IT professionals for companies wanting to build new products or develop proprietary internal systems, are software developers and software engineers. However, the current supply of the educational system does not match either the quality or the quantity of the outstripping growth of the ICT sector requirements. An additional concern from the quality aspect is the lack of qualified teachers for software development courses. In order to address these issues, European University Cyprus participates in a consortium of vocational schools, employers and educational staff, who will be brought together to develop a training course aimed at educating students in becoming junior software developers. At its outset, the program will focus on identifying the true educational and organizational needs of the software engineering market, as well as on establishing the theoretical and methodological foundation in software development with respect to VET school graduates. Based on these findings, a course accompanied with a handbook of learning material and resources, will be designed and timely delivered to selected teaching personnel. The project will develop common learning materials for an EQF level 4 VET school software development course to guarantee the best possible teaching quality and learning outcomes of the study program. The next step will be to train VET teachers, with the aim of complementing their skills and knowledge on the topic and of familiarizing them with the current labour market needs. The training program will be developed in close collaboration with employers, working specialists, and will additionally include an apprenticeship. The project deliverables will be the product of joint effort between (i) European University Cyprus; (ii) CEIPES, a center for the promotion of education and development based in Italy; and (iii) BCS Koolitus, an Esthonian ICT training and consulting company.
JOBIT: Innovative teaching methodologies and courseware for software development Vocational Education and Training (VET) to reduce skills gap in IT