Education critical to meet IT industry needs

CPIT’s Alison Young aims to produce the best computing graduates in New Zealand.

The new head of the school of computing at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) aims to tackle current issues facing New Zealand’s ICT industry through education. “My goal is to be able to produce the best computing graduates in New Zealand and to do this we need to ensure our qualifications can adapt to changes in technology, and this often happens very quickly. Our programmes also need to be flexible so that they adhere to industry demands and remain interesting to our students,” says Alison Young, in a press statement.

“We desperately need to rebuild the infrastructure of our IT industry,” Young says. “As it stands, we can’t educate enough people to keep the current infrastructure going. The only way to do this is to re-evaluate our qualifications and to let people know about the various employment opportunities that a career in IT offers, both in New Zealand and overseas.”

Prior to joining CPIT, Young was Head of Computing and Associate Professor at Unitec in Auckland. At Unitec, she implemented two postgraduate programmes - the Master of Computing and Doctor of Computing.

Young is also an international keynote speaker, the vice chair of the international ACM Special Interest group on Computer Science Education, a member of the international ACM Educational Council and a fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society and National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications.

CPIT is one of the largest ICT-using organisations in New Zealand, ranking number 44 in this year’s MIS100 publication.