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Number of New Zealand ICT graduates climbs

Number of New Zealand ICT graduates expected to climb

A big increase is expected in the number of students graduating with tertiary qualifications in information and communications technology (ICT) over the next five years, significantly enhancing New Zealand’s skill base in this sector.

That is the key finding of a study carried out by Investment New Zealand, New Zealand’s investment promotion agency, of projected ICT graduate numbers for the five years from 2003 to 2007.

Paul Gestro, Investment New Zealand’s Investment Manager ICT, says the projections are good news for New Zealand’s ICT sector.

“There is growing interest from overseas ICT companies in establishing businesses in New Zealand and this survey demonstrates the pool of people available here with the right skills,” Mr Gestro says.

A total of 24 tertiary institutions were surveyed, including New Zealand’s eight universities. They were asked to identify ICT-related qualifications being offered at the three-year undergraduate, four-year undergraduate and post-graduate level, the actual numbers that graduated in 2002 and projections of graduate numbers over the next five years.

The findings show that 3,818 students graduated in 2002 with ICT-related qualifications and this number is projected to climb by 32% to 5,045 graduates in 2007.

Mr Gestro says Investment New Zealand is working with a range of overseas companies looking set up in a country that offers a competitive business environment, supported by modern infrastructure and a talented and innovative workforce.

“The graduate projections are one element of the total investment business case that we prepare to encourage multinationals to consider a New Zealand arm to their operations.

“New Zealand graduates are a particular drawcard. They are seen as clever and capable, with a unique approach to problem solving.”

Investment New Zealand works closely with New Zealand’s tertiary institutions, regularly taking potential investors to see what is being done in the technology parks and business incubator centres attached to universities.

The survey findings have been given to all participating institutions and will be made available to other agencies and businesses on request to Investment New Zealand.

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