ICT Education and Entrepreneurship in Iceland
Iceland’s IT industry is growing, with both offices of major tech companies, like Dell and Microsoft, located in the country, as well as domestic companies such as Advania and Marel.
Icelandic academics such as Páll Ríkharðsson and Yngvi Bjornsson are cognizant of the importance of teaching technology skills to its young people. Youth are responding with greater interest in ICT courses, with enrollment in such programs having grown 122% in the last five years. 1,000 students are currently studying computer science in the country, with 99% of these students finding employment immediately after they graduate.
10% of the Icelandic population also pursues entrepreneurial avenues, which is a very high percentage. Universities require students to take courses in entrepreneurship. The Universities offer students the opportunity to follow this path or to work in more traditional environments during the week, as computer science courses are taught in evenings and on weekends.
They also welcome foreign students, with 25% of students coming from abroad. This is particularly important given the country’s trade agreement with China.
The government also supports this shift towards ICT innovation, and with the economy’s recovery, future foreign investment will further support this industry’s development. With elections next year, the fact that the leading political party also supports IT and entrepreneurship is also promising.
Source: Ally Millar, Computer Weekly, TechTarget