Sulaimani, Iraq - May 26, 2011 - The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani hosted its first IT career day to introduce AUIS students to the professional opportunities available in the IT sector and to question leaders in IT-related industries about the future of the field. About 60 students attended the panel discussion where students, AUIS IT professors, and three representatives from IT companies in the Kurdistan region discussed many facets of the IT industry that will impact AUIS students.
“The career day was a great opportunity to speak with our potential future employers and learn what they are looking for in employees,” said Mahdi Abdullah, an Information Systems and Technology major from Rania. “They seem to be looking for IT professionals who have not only the technical skill set but also the communication skills to advance their companies. This is what AUIS is preparing us for.”
During the 90-minute long session, AUIS IT professors Hemin Latif, David Cook, Roger Geyer, and Jim Owens, joined three local business leaders to discuss the skills needed by companies who are seeking IT professionals. Alan Awilkadir, CEO of AVA Group, Martin Frank, CEO of IQ Networks, and Essam Badawe, IT application manager of Bazyan Cement Plant, all discussed their need for IT workers who are adaptable and continue to learn about new technology and develop new skills as the industry evolves. Interestingly, none of the three business leaders studied IT as an undergraduate and emphasized their need for professionals with experience in the IT field, not just an academic background.
The professors and business leaders also discussed the future of the IT sector in the Kurdistan region. All agreed that now is the perfect time to become involved in IT, as the region’s economy is prospering and businesses, particularly those in the oil industry, will soon be looking for IT professionals.
“For a while now, we have been looking to start a conversation with businesses and government about what kind of future our students can expect once they graduate,” said Geyer, one of the career day’s main organizers. “This conversation has now begun with our most important stakeholders and I hope it can continue and expand in the future.”
AUIS offers Information Systems and Technology as an undergraduate major, along with four other programs. For more information, please visit www.auis.edu.iq.