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Enhancing the labour market prospects of ICT students in a developing country

Khalid S. Rabayah (Faculty of Information Technology, Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine)
Badie Sartawi (Computer Science Department, Alquds University, Jerusalem)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 25 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present the evaluation results of a training initiative, undertaken in Palestine, that targeted fresh graduates in information and communication technology (ICT) disciplines. It describes the implementation and results of a practical training model where industry and academia cooperate jointly to develop, upgrade and enhance students' qualifications prior to their entrance into the labour market.


This paper presents the short‐term results, one to two years from completion, of a newly implemented technology training program which targeted more than 450 students throughout West‐Bank and Gaza Strip. The researchers traced the trainees' endeavours and behaviours through their pursuit of jobs utilizing focus group meetings, individual interviews with stakeholders, and semi‐structured interviews, as well as questionnaires, surveys, observations of on‐going activities and interviewing staff, graduates and students.


The training program attempted to promote practical training and develop entrepreneurial capabilities. The vast majority of the surveyed trainees felt that they gained valuable knowledge and experience in their field of specialization, and believed that the training was critical to their successful job search. They clearly agreed that the practical training they received via the training program was a necessary supplement to their theoretical technical education in university ICT programs.

Practical implication

The initiative involves the establishment of ICT Centers of Excellence in close proximity to Palestinian universities, which annually graduate large numbers of ICT students. The program serves multiple purposes in that it enables the ICT training centres, the Centers of Excellence, to generate revenues while also providing a needed service within the community, to equip fresh graduates with state‐of‐the‐art technical skills, thus increasing the chance of fresh graduates being hired into positions related to their university degrees, and shortening their job search.


The model and program, presented in this paper describes a modern training framework, where students receive practical training through a third party institute that works in cooperation with universities and industry. The model, when adopted, relieves universities from the pressure of constantly modifying their curricula to comply with the ever‐changing needs of the technology market, allowing them to pursue their stated goal of providing their students with a theoretical technical education. The training program also helps the market to differentiate the large number of ICT students and graduates from one another, based not only on area of study but also on concrete skill sets.



Rabayah, K.S. and Sartawi, B. (2008), "Enhancing the labour market prospects of ICT students in a developing country", Education + Training, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 244-259.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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