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Computer Science strengthens student employability

Posted on 09/05/2011

Lars Lindstedt from Microsoft in discussion with Professor Johnstone

The Department of Computer Science at Royal Holloway, University of London has teamed up with a range of leading employers to help shape its courses to ensure they are relevant in today's IT industry and maximise student employability.

The new Industrial Advisory Board's inaugural meeting was chaired by Professor Adrian Johnstone and discussed opportunities to further develop the industrial relevance of the department's activities right from programming through to theoretical foundations of computing.

The industrial board members, who were greeted by the Principal Professor Paul Layzell, have been selected to represent a wide range of employers, including software giants Microsoft and CSC; Goldman Sachs from the financial services industry; international machine vision system vendor Cognex; midsize information management product company Kalido; innovative games company Qubesoft, and leading edge web development SME Pentatonix.

The board was given a tour of the department and found out more about its teaching curriculum and research strategy. Subsequent discussions provided valuable feedback on the skills and personal qualities that distinguish successful computer science graduates and ideas on how these can be developed and encouraged within the framework of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Professor Gregory Gutin, Head of the department, said: "I am very grateful to Industry members of the board for finding time in their very busy schedule to participate in the meeting. The board members have found all courses we teach very useful for graduates' careers. Interestingly, this included the mainly theoretical subjects, which we always regarded as very important for any university degree in Computer Science but not necessarily needed in the work place.”

Tim Corrigan, Director of Pentatonix Ltd, commented: “I was very impressed by the efforts the department has put in to keep the course up to date, relevant to industry and compelling for the students whilst also retaining the important academic elements. Overall I think the curriculum at Royal Holloway is excellent and addresses a lot of the skills needed in industry.”

The coordinators of the board are Dr Kostas Stathis from Computer Science and Mr David Wells from Research and Enterprise. The board is scheduled to meet again in September.



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