Ensuring that graduates are ‘work-ready’ and ‘employable’ is becoming an increasingly important consideration for universities. The latest research study by the Edge Foundation examines the National Software Academy (NSA) at Cardiff University based in Newport, Wales, as a model of higher education delivery. The report explores how the NSA has built employer engagement in the development and delivery of curriculum to make it timely and relevant to the workplace, and delivers teaching that ensures graduates leave “work- ready”.
The NSA was set up to address the skills shortages in the local and national technology sector, where employers had expressed concern about the lack of graduates with the skills needed to contribute in the sector. Right from the outset, employers were able to offer their expert viewpoint about what their employees needed to know and be able to do when they joined the workplace. Industry experts were involved in the initial design of the course and they continue to have input into the curriculum content to ensure that it is kept up to date with software development and technology, given the pace of change in this sector.