ISTM students gain industry context from SAP

Monday, 2 December 2013  Features

Graduates today face a huge challenge, with unprecedented employment competition for the top jobs," said Duncan Williamson, Vice President and Head of SAP Education, SAP Asia Pacific Japan. "When applying for your first job you can quickly find yourself at a disadvantage when going up against hundreds of other candidates who have a huge amount of real-world experience. Students now need to gain an edge beyond just their degree and look at what differentiates them from the competition to make sure they stand out from the crowd."

Duncan Williamson was recently invited to give a guest lecture to undergraduate students within the School of Informat​ion Systems Technology and Management (ISTM) at the Australian School of Business. Before the lecture, Duncan met with the ISTM students at the computer laboratories to discuss graduate prospects and opportunities in the ICT industry.

He explained that knowledge of the real world and practical skills are what employers look for in graduates to ensure they are hiring the right candidates. He noted that students should take advantage of as many opportunities as they can to network with industry executives, such as SAP industry leaders, as these can benefit students in providing them with rare access and insights into the industry as well as the market needs and opportunities.

ISTM is a partner of the global SAP University Alliances program and runs an Enterprise Systems course using SAP software as a learning platform. "SAP University Alliances help students broaden their skillsets and become more competitive," Williamson said. "Employment competition is incredibly high, so to have a job you have to be able to offer something more than a degree. For instance, holding certification in SAP solutions can be a key differentiator when applying for a job, providing not only theoretical experience but also practical SAP skills that enable you to stand out from the crowd."

He added, "SAP software is very different to when it first launched. It took some time to develop the interface into something that organisations and those people within the organisation enjoyed using. The technology itself is one thing, but what is essential to consider is how people interact with that technology and making developments accordingly. Now, every SAP user has a custom interface designed around human factors. As a graduate, if you can understand how people interact with computers and apply that understanding to your work, you are far more employable."

The School of Information Systems Technology and Management is running a number of these guest lecture sessions, which connect students with industry - and which also enable organisations to see which students they might like to recruit.

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Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 4704