Academia

Academia

Connecting lecturers teaching the future employees of the industry, to the industry.

Academia

By supporting dynamic dialogue between academia and industry on current and future industry practice, we ensure that the needs of the digital industry are met. In such a vibrant, challenging and fast-paced industry it is critical that businesses, colleges and universities work together to ensure that students have the skills required by the industry. Recognised as a huge growth area for the Scottish economy, the digital technology industry offers students fantastic opportunities and a rewarding, varied career.


How we can support you

We offer a range of Industry Current Practice events for college and university lecturers teaching computing skills. Each session features a leading industry spokesperson sharing current best practice, new trends and developments. You will hear firsthand from industry employers about the skills they require, both soft and technical.

Hear their experience of employing graduates and new talent in the industry. Collectively, what can we improve? What more can we offer and develop within our students?

With such rapid changes in the industry, this is an opportunity to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the latest developments within industry, to ensure that the quality and relevance of courses are maintained and enhanced, where appropriate.

Andreas Schoter, Lecturer at Forth Valley College – stated, “This has certainly given me material that I will be integrating into my delivery next year. When I teach the basics of software testing I will also be including some additional discussion of security issues… It also gives me a framework for analysing the security requirements of an application.”

Chi Onyekaba, Lecturer, University of Dundee – stated, “The importance of keeping up with industry practices cannot be overstated. I made some changes to my teaching content to include discussions and a research essay about how DevOps practices are employed in industry. I believe this has been beneficial to my students as it has enabled them to understand better what goes on in industry.”

Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos, Research Postgraduate Student, University of Edinburgh – stated, “The Building Secure Software session helped me identify key points that students must understand in order to create secure software without bugs or vulnerabilities.”

Working Groups

A number of short life working groups are tackling key challenges identified by the DSP’s academic and industry advisory groups.


Group 1 – Short duration industry current practice events for lecturers

Your opportunity to shape and influence future development sessions for lecturers.

The goal for this working group is to develop current practice events for lecturers, identify opportunities to improve delivery and determine how future development sessions should be delivered.


Group 2 – Longer-term opportunities for lecturers to engage with industry

This group is exploring opportunities to organise site visits and internships for lecturers and has recently introduced a new, Scotland wide programme to forge closer links between academia and industry.  The Critical Friend Programme matches an individual within a company to a lecturer, or course leader, over a period of twelve months, in order to discuss curriculum developments and teaching practices.


Group 3 – Curriculum development

Group 3 is trialling a new, collaborative software development project which enables college and university students to work together on live industry projects, using industry tools.  This project aims to increase the employability of students by engaging them in a live project which replicates industry practices in software development.  It is hoped that this multi-site, cross year and cross experience level project will help prepare students in a more realistic way for the software development process in industry.

Other work in this area includes, a recent curriculum development weekend to produce workable learning materials for two, key units within the HNC in Cyber Security.  The teaching and learning resources, produced during the weekend, will be rolled out to colleges across Scotland shortly.


Group 4 – The creation of a Scotland-wide computing careers adviser network.

This group addresses the identified gap in Computing Careers and Guidance.  It is investigating ways to support careers advisers within colleges and universities with better careers-related labour market information and intelligence relating to industry’s skills requirements.


Group 5 – Supporting students to make an effective transition in to the world of work.

The goal for working group 5 is ensuring students know their worth, for example by recognising the value and transferability of their skills and qualifications. Students studying Computer Science don’t always understand the nuances in job adverts or how to apply their transferable skills. We are working to identify the best way to fill these gaps and increase student confidence.

Our mission for 2019

For 2019 we’re focussing on the following four priorities

  1. Continuing professional development (CPD) for lecturers.
  2. Curriculum development.
  3. Support for students.
  4. Careers and employability.

The Digital Skills Partnership is beginning to make a real difference, with new partnerships being formed between colleges and universities, and between academia and industry. Industry is already committing resources and support in a variety of ways n a variety of ways.

Join us in developing the next generation of digital technology talent.

To find out more about the Digital Skills Partnership and how we can support you in your teaching, contact Lesley Broadwood, Project Development Manager by email: Lesley.broadwood@scotlandis.com

Some of our members…