New National Software Academy for Cardiff

The new software engineering degree programme will offer graduates much needed ‘on the job’ experience

Cardiff University and the Welsh Government has launched a ‘National Software Academy’ to train and educate the next generation of software engineers in Wales.

Run in partnership with the Alacrity Foundation in Newport, the three-year degree programme (BSc Applied Software Engineering) has been set up by the School of Computer Science & Informatics to address the current unmet demand for skilled software engineers in Wales.

The degree, which will be delivered at ‘Platfform’, home of the Welsh Government’s new digital innovation company in Newport, will also form a key part of the Welsh Government’s initiative to regenerate Newport by providing strong links with industry and to the wider Cardiff region.

Economy, Science and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills are vitally important to the Welsh economy and this programme fully supports our vision of attracting and building capability in this area.”

Market research undertaken by Welsh Government predicts that industries in Wales demand 2,700 qualified software engineers each year. The supply of skilled graduates from universities is low, which means the demand is currently not being met.

Software engineering graduates are also perceived by industry to be lacking in a number of essential skills to make them ready for the workplace once they leave university.

To tackle these issues, students enrolled onto the ‘National Software Academy’ will work on ‘real life’ projects throughout their studies under the mentorship of experienced software engineers from industry.

Professor Karen Holford, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, said: “When we talk to our partners in business and industry they tell us that they need more graduates leaving university with the right skills for the 21st century workplace. They need graduates with more ‘on the job’ experience and interaction with businesses throughout their studies.”

Professor Simon Gibson, Chairman of the Alacrity Foundation, stated: “From our experience, it became clear that the academic community urgently needed to produce a new curriculum with a much tighter awareness of the needs of employers.

“Through a strong partnership with Cardiff University, the Alacrity Foundation has assisted in creating a course aligned with the enormous opportunities that continue to emerge from the world of computing and networking.”