In a significant development aimed at revitalizing IT education nationwide and nurturing a skilled IT workforce, the Ministry of IT and Telecom is set to introduce a standardized quality test for IT students across Pakistan. Collaborating with key stakeholders such as the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Pakistan IT Industry Association (P@SHA), and the National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEA), the Ministry plans to conduct a centralized test through the Virtual University on January 7th, 2024.
This standardized quality test is expected to establish a benchmark for IT students, focusing on those enrolled in the 7th semester of public and private universities and affiliated colleges specializing in IT, computing, and related disciplines. Following extensive consultations, the Ministry emphasizes the initiative’s significance in bridging the gap between academia and industry needs, addressing the current issue where a significant number of IT graduates lack immediate employability due to a lack of industry-relevant skills and experience.
To streamline the process, the Virtual University has launched an online portal for interested students to apply for the test. Successful candidates not only gain industry recognition but also get the chance to participate in the Industry Placement Program. Under this program, 25,000 qualified students will be placed in the industry during their last semester, providing hands-on experience with the latest technologies. Additionally, those selected for this co-op program will receive an exemption of up to 6 credit hours in their 8th semester, recognizing the practical experience gained during industry placement.
The overarching goal of this academia-industry collaboration is to equip IT graduates with the essential skills and experience, ensuring a higher employability rate in both local and international job markets. The Ministry’s initiative reflects a strategic vision to enhance the quality of the IT workforce and strengthen the bonds between academia and industry.