Expectations of industry regarding the ICT competencies of HEI graduates
The scarcity of information and communication technology (ICT) skills is a global issue. Organisations expect the implementation of new technologies to be supported by a competent ICT workforce with up-to-date ICT skills sets. The attainment of suitable ICT skills has become a problematic task that requires intervention. Industry holds higher education institutions (HEIs) accountable for not providing suitable and applicable ICT graduate skillsets. The ICT industry frequently changes, resulting in new career requirements and new career opportunities that are regularly introduced. Therefore, ICT graduates entering the industry are required to have developed sufficient knowledge and skills. This phenomenological study reports on the findings of exploring competencies required of ICT graduates with a view to develop an ICT skills framework for ICT graduates at HEIs in South Africa. In this study, the integration of international ICT skills frameworks and the expectations of industry regarding ICT graduates are investigated through literature and research results. The study also focuses on the nature and scope of the present ICT skills frameworks, as well as the status concerning an ICT skills framework in South Africa. Knowledge regarding technology quickly becomes obsolete and therefore ICT graduates should have acquired the necessary skills to keep abreast of advances in technology. Current literature and the results of this study suggest that an ICT skills framework should incorporate not only technical skills but also; "additional critical-cross field outcomes." The development of the ICT skills framework is therefore developed in accordance to the classification of skills. Such a framework should not only consist of technical oriented skills, but also personal skills that are known as critical cross field outcomes in the educational paradigm. The proposed ICT skills framework could empower ICT graduates, HEIs and the ICT profession.