Proficiency in English in higher education is quite essential. The importance of language skills is particularly emphasized in the field of information and communication technologies. I think this is good news for today’s youth, because the teaching of English in Finland is of high quality and is taught through primary school, upper secondary school and universities. It is rare to meet a young person who would not master the language today. The fact that many study materials in ICT-study field are in English helps to maintain language skills. As well in search for information, you can find significantly more results from foreign language sources. In addition, many of the companies in information technology industry operate internationally, and fluent language skills in the labor market are a huge benefit.
As many who have browsed job advertisements in our field of study have inevitably noticed, companies requirements for the applicant usually include a certain wish list. An applicant should be a recent graduate, have at least 5 years of work experience, speak four different languages fluently and be an expert in a particular field. Such announcements will certainly cut out a large portion of applicants, but the problem with over-the-top (almost unattainable) expectations is that students in our industry will be left without summer jobs and internships.
The same assumptions often apply to trainees. You should have completed a minimum of 2 years of studies, have at least 120 credits or some notable work experience. A few lucky ones may have relations that usually lead to their first job or internship. But what about the rest of the applicants who only have evidence of a positive attitude and overflowing motivation? No matter how capable, eager and quick you are to learn, and even if you write an excellent application letter, opportunities will not be given without concrete proof of your expertise.
To take or not to take a trainee
Understandably, companies want to play it safe because the competition for internships is fierce and a trainee incurs costs for the company. However, there is a lack of IT professionals and open job ads seem to be everywhere. On the other hand, even higher education only gives you the very basic skills, and truth is you only learn the job by doing it. I can’t help but wonder, why are the opportunities for on-the-job learning not evenly offered? No matter how much the experts are needed, one motivated intern probably won’t cause too much damage. Vice versa, I strongly believe that every student and trainee brings fresh knowledge and skills with them, that companies could benefit from. Be it coding, communication or fluent English.
Quora, Inc. (n.d.). Jos tietotekniikka on kysytty ala, miksi on niin vaikeaa saada harjoittelupaikka?.
Teksti: Eerika Hukkanen, tuleva biotalousinsinööri
>> Koulutuksen kotisivu: https://www.hamk.fi/amk-tutkinto/biotalous-insinoori-amk/