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Aim of the project
The main research question driving the Employ IT project is how we might create better exchange between employers and cand.it candidates and students. Specifically, the aim of the project is to explore how an online user-driven platform could facilitate direct and continuous exchange between students and employers. The project will explore ways that a platform could support students in communicating their study projects, skills and competences in a way that is accessible and meaningful for recruiters.

The EmployIT platform will provide three benefits in particular:

  • For students, the platform will provide a means for continuously articulating how their educational activities provide them with skills that are applicable in industry
  • For recruiters, it will provide a means for searching for candidates and for following students that work with particular topics during their education

For universities, this platform will provide insights into what kinds of themes, competences and skills that employers search for and use this for reflection on educational programmes.

Project contribution
The project will employ a research-through-design methodology where the question of how we might create better exchanges between industry and candidates is explored through design activities and by sketching design solutions. The core feature of research-through-design is a constructive engagement with the research problem, where the designers' methods are employed to both understand the nature of the problem and to sketch possible solutions.

The EmploylT project will consist of four main activities engaging employers and students.

  1. Interviews with recruiters and employers to understand the issue of recruitment and assessing IT candidates from their point of view.
  2. Interviews and workshops with students, to explore ways for them to present their projects and competencies in a way that is relevant for employers. The project will engage students on the Digital Design- and Information Studies program at Aarhus University.
  3. Based on the knowledge from the first two activities, workshops will be arranged where recruiters, employers and students collectively explore how a platform could be designed to support continuous exchange between students and industry. Based on these workshops, a proof-of-concept of a platform will be developed.
  4. Communicating results to stakeholders at universities and in industry and exploring possibilities for project continuation.

Project domain of research
According to surveys from the Confederation of Danish Industry from 2020 and Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment from 2019, large Danish companies experience difficulties identifying, recruiting, and retaining people with IT skills. Accordingly, a 2019 survey from IT-Vest showed that unemployment among candidates from cand.it programmes from western Denmark was 27,6% for candidates up until 1 year after graduation and these rates declined by more than half for candidates 1-2 years after graduation. Among the problems causing this state of affairs is that employers are not sufficiently familiar with the various cand.it educations and the competencies they give students, and that students struggle to communicate their competencies in a manner that is compatible with the needs of industry.

Funding partner
Aarhus Research Foundation, AUFF NOVA.

Contact project lead

Christian Dindler

Associate Professor School of Communication and Culture - Department of Digital Design and Information Studies

Project Participants