From education to employment

Students Test-Drive Their Potential For A Career In ICT with Erasmus+

As part of their International strategy, computing students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) had the opportunity to travel to Malta to take part in a 2-week internship programme hosted by The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) and supported by Erasmus+, a programme co-funded by the European Union and which was facilitated by the Domain Group, Malta. 

MITA is the central driver of the Maltese Government’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy, programmes and initiatives.

Short-term work placements give students the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience, and apply the knowledge and skills learned during their course; as well as a real insight into their chosen industry with an international dimension.

During the two weeks, students were paired with junior MITA staff members across three departments which included The Programme Management Department (PMD), the Infrastructure Services Department (ISD), and the eGovernment and Corporate Solutions Department (ECSD) with the aim of gaining a two-way learning experience.

Students were given hands-on tasks such as to research on accessibility, specifically in relation to the new accessibility directive mandated by the EU. The research covered what is accessibility, assessment criteria and what tools are available for assessing accessibility on mobile apps as well as web sites. 

Students had the opportunity to experience both design and structured thinking when it came to the actual development of mobile apps.  The deliverable for the task was a set of wireframes designed by the students themselves.  Furthermore, students were also tasked to provide feedback about a mobile app and provide insights into possible improvements for the future.

18 year old SERC computing student Victoria Murray from Newtownards said, “it was amazing working up close with my mentor at MITA, he explained about the different tasks he was involved in. The experience was invaluable, and I appreciate the depth and complexity of work that the staff in MITA cope with on a daily basis.

SERC lecturer Raymond Roberts who accompanied the students said, “I was very impressed with the up-to-date facilities and resources made available to the students. The workplace was very organised and the placements for students were the best I have witnessed. Each student was placed with their own mentor and were given detailed information about the methods and tasks they were involved in. I cannot praise MITA enough for the quality of training and preparations made to accommodate the students. Everyone enjoyed their experience there and gained an interesting and varied experience, as they rotated jobs every three days. This gave them the best possible experience to sample different types of tasks and work that MITA is involved with.”

SERC International Studies Manager Sharon Browne said that “International experience is invaluable in today’s interconnected world and SERC encourages staff and students to take part in opportunities for professional and personal development.  MITA provided a stimulating and worthwhile learning experience for all the students which will no doubt benefit them in their future careers.”

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