About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6730-6735
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1585

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

BUILDING GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

C. Maguire, L. Matthews-Dibbins

Birmingham City University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Professional information technology certifications are increasingly being used by employers to validate the IT skills of prospective employees, with a number of recent vendor certifications mapping to specific job roles within industry. Major vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM have established globally recognised certification and training programmes in order to prepare graduates for careers within the IT sector.

University students not only need to develop skills which enable them to work successfully in industry, but they also require sufficient qualifications to make the successful transition from higher education. A vast choice of certifications are now available, and often these certifications sit outside of the established course curricula offered within universities. This paper investigates the practicalities of offering certifications and techniques that can be used to give students the best opportunity to succeed.

Educators have proposed including IT certifications within traditional higher education computing courses for many years, however, there are many challenges involved with this. In this paper, we discuss a joint staff and student initiative to offer IT certifications alongside the computing curriculum of a UK university over a period of one year. Certifications from Microsoft were integrated within modules and also offered via online learning, with students having the option to undertake the official certification exam at selected points throughout the study.

A survey of students who took part suggests that they believed that undertaking professional certifications gave them confidence and validated their technical knowledge. There may still be a confidence issue with students who lack exam technique, but there were additional benefits such as increased awareness of industry, group support and greater awareness of the importance of employability.

The outcomes of the project are positive for staff, students, vendors and employers, providing that there is appropriate support available for students and their diverse approaches to studying for such certifications.
@InProceedings{MAGUIRE2018BUI,
author = {Maguire, C. and Matthews-Dibbins, L.},
title = {BUILDING GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1585},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1585},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6730-6735}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Maguire AU - L. Matthews-Dibbins
TI - BUILDING GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1585
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 6730
EP - 6735
ER -
C. Maguire, L. Matthews-Dibbins (2018) BUILDING GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 6730-6735.
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