Case Study I Improving career readiness of ICT graduates

Improving career readiness of ICT graduates

Co-presented by: Ericsson and Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet

Industry: Information and Communication Technology

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Size: +250 employees


  • Provision of industry-specific skills in the ICT sector
  • Career readiness of new ICT graduates
  • Need for companies to fill specific ICT professional vacancies


Jointly designed by Ericsson and Athlone Technological University of the Shannon, the Master’s in Applied Software Engineering offers students a free, one-year, full-time programme fully covering the software development lifecycle. It includes a three-month paid internship and a permanent job as a software engineer at Ericsson upon successful completion.

The wannabe software engineers develop technical, profession-related, and soft skills as they work in teams on assignments that mirror the type of activities and projects they will experience in their future roles at Ericsson. Students have direct contact with the company staff who provides real insights into the organisation’s work and the technologies they use. Eventually, fresh graduates are qualified to take a software engineer role and able to be productive from day one on the job.

It all started with Ericsson calling on Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet to identify the company’s needs and define relevant key areas to form the curriculum, including its hands-on components like the internship. A tender was launched to find an academic partner. Then, the winning institution, Athlone Institute of Technology, and Ericsson jointly designed the content of the yearly programme, ensuring it complies with Master’s level (EQF 8) academic requirements and is relevant for the company. As technology and practices change, the programme can be updated.


From 2011 to 2020, 532 students participated in the programme. Among them, 359 have been hired by Ericsson.

In 2021, there was an intake of 42 students who are currently participating in the programme and will graduate in 2022.

Key benefits:

  • A complete programme for learners: academic qualification, paid internship, permanent job upon successful completion.
  • Students experience Ericsson’s work environment while Ericsson can evaluate how they operate in the workplace and ensure they are fit for the role.
  • The intake of graduates from this programme has a strong grounding in applied software development which is directly relevant to Ericsson’s product and technology.
  • Being based in central Ireland, it is advantageous for Ericsson to partner up with a local HEI to implement this programme and attract potential students in the locality without having them relocate to another country.

Key resources:

  • One working month to advertise, liaise with the educational institutions, and process the applications of students.
  • Company’s financial support to students (i.e., bursary and paid internship).
  • In-kind investment from the company’s staff to support students during their internships (i.e., 758 hours annually).
  • Initial cost for the creation of the academic programme for the educational institution and company.