Archive for February 5, 2010

Role for Universities: Supporting training in down economic times

Last year’s economic downturn had a significant impact on the technology sector: not only did many long-time software engineers find themselves out of work, but they also found themselves out of the upskilling loop, while those still in employment found that funding for training courses had dried up in many organisations.

Following a successful series of courses teaching the foundations of the Java programming language last year, University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Computer Science and Informatics is embarking on a second round, and this time the low-cost course is aimed both at job seekers and those finding themselves on short time.

“The idea is to offer training to companies that have no training budgets because of economic woes,” explains Prof John Murphy, a senior lecturer at the school.

via Brewing up Java skills for the knowledge economy – R&D.

I find this idea so interesting for several reasons.

  • Here’s a University teaching non-degree courses for the direct economic impact on its community.
  • Here’s the economy (industry, job-seekers) relying on the shared resource of the University to do things that they can’t do themselves under economic conditions.
  • Here’s a University-as-economic-entity offering a loss-leader.  The article goes on to say that several people who took the courses last year are in Masters programs this year.  Offering courses free or at a discount to gain market share is so Internet-age!

February 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm 3 comments

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