The free ICT course offering by FITech Network University continued
The Ministry of Education and Culture has granted a new extension to the FITech Network University’s ICT initiative. ICT courses at Finnish universities of technology can therefore be studied free of charge through FITech until 31 July 2025.
According to the previous funding decision, the project would have finished at the end of this year.
"The extension was requested because there is still a need for experts and competence development in the ICT sector. We see a clear demand for the ICT courses offered by FITech and the feedback has been positive," says Katri Ventus, the COO of FITech and project manager for FITech ICT.
Software Finland Association, representing the domestic software industry, commissioned a survey to its member companies this autumn, according to which 79.5% of companies in the industry is expecting their turnover to grow and 46.7% of the companies in the industry are planning to recruit. One recruitment channel is through conversion training and professional development, and this category includes also FITech's ICT courses. They allow a significantly faster transition to a job in the sector than traditional degree education.
The additional time also aims at smoothing the transition to the new national service platform, a learning tray open for all, which is currently being developed in the national Digivisio 2030 project by the Finnish higher education institutions. The extension period will allow FITech to maintain its study offering and provide uninterrupted study opportunities for adult learners before the launch of the platform.
The FITech ICT initiative coordinated by Aalto University was launched in 2019 after it had received funding of over EUR 10 million from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The aim of the initiative has been to address the national shortage of experts and competence in the ICT sector by opening a selection of university degree courses free of charge to all interested parties.
FITech's wide range of courses continues also in other initiatives
As digitalisation in the society progresses, IT skills are needed not only in ICT but also more and more in other sectors. The FITech 5G initiative brings together studies related to communications engineering, enabling experts to deepen their knowledge on different topics. The initiative was given additional time earlier this year and will run until 31 December 2025.
Two FITech initiatives are addressing the skills shortage related to green transition. FITech’s Energy Storage initiative, coordinated by the University of Vaasa, has been extended until 31 December 2024.
The FITech Hydrogen initiative, with focus on the hydrogen economy value chain, was launched in the beginning of this year and will run until 30 June 2025. The initiative is coordinated by Aalto University and funded by the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment (SECCLE).
The FITech network is also participating in a national cybersecurity education development project, led by the University of Jyväskylä. Cybersecurity education is currently offered to adult learners through the ICT and 5G initiatives.
The FITech studies will continue to be arranged during the universities’ autumn, spring and summer terms. In addition, there will be courses with a continuous application period that can be taken flexibly according to the learner’s own schedule. The study offering includes advanced courses for ICT experts as well as beginner and intermediate level studies for persons planning a career change and professionals in other fields. Some of the courses are also suitable for high school students.
FITech is a network formed by universities of technology. Its goal is to guide experts to growth sectors in Finland and respond to competence needs arising in the field of technology. The member universities of the network are Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, LUT University, University of Oulu, Tampere University, University of Turku, University of Vaasa and Åbo Akademi University. The founding members also include the Technology Industries of Finland and Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (TEK).