Arts graduates sought to fill IT positions

Scholarship placements waiting to be filled

Arts and business students may be the new IT professionals, according to offshore outsourcer Satyam and The Australian Computer Society Foundation (ACS), which have been forced to fish for university graduates outside IT to fill an ambitious scholarship program.

The program launched last May with hopes of placing 100 post-graduate and under-graduate university students, sourced by the ACS Foundation, in industry-based training within Satyam.

Candidates travel to Hyderabad, India and begin a two month broad IT education program and then select focus topics including business intelligence, server architectures, or SAP or Microsoft specializations.

They return to Australia to work for about four months in a local Satyam office, after which they receive recognized certifications in their nominated fields.

ACS Foundation executive director, John Ridge, said the program's first round of successful intakes, sourced through May to June, fell short of the 25 seats it hoped to fill, with 12 out of 70 applicants entering the program.

"There were initially two intake rounds [and] some successful candidates dropped out because there was too long a gap between the intakes and when they left [for Hyderabad] to start the program," Ridge said.

"We learned from this [and] we will source candidates from other degrees outside of IT that have aptitude and a good attitude.

"People in business degrees may pass on IT because they haven't done an IT degree but they could be working with IT anyway, so they could be well-suited to the tech industry."

Potential IT professionals could even be sourced from Communications and English degrees, accroding to Satyam Australian and New Zealand country manager Deepak Nangia.

"We want to identify the future leaders of IT and these [leaders] need skills in finance, cash flow, communication and keeping abreast of technology," Nangia said.

The program offers a leadership program for IT professionals with more than three years' experience which aims to develop these skills in co-operation with United States-based Howard University.

Students in the leadership program are placed in charge of one of Satyam's 1500 business units which Nangia said is split up to better manage the company.

Nangia said Australian students make up about 25 percent of the global 300 candidates, which come from South America, Hungary, South Africa, and Egypt.

The training campus, headed by former Booze-Allen Hamilton executive Edward Cohen, is built on 140 acres and boasts a tennis court, golf course and gymnasium.