A Tracer Study of ICT Graduate Students at Mzuzu University, Malawi
Governments the world over are increasingly challenging universities to produce human resources with the right skills sets and knowledge required to drive their economies in this twenty-first century. It therefore becomes important for universities to produce graduates that bring tangible and meaningful contributions to the economies. Graduate tracer studies are hailed to be one of the ways in which universities can respond and reposition themselves to the actual needs of the industry. It is against this background that this study was conducted to establish the relevance of the Department of Information and Communication Technology at Mzuzu University to the Malawian economy by systematically investigating occupations of its former students after graduating from the University. The study adopted a quantitative design by distributing an online-based questionnaire with predominantly closed-ended questions. The study focused on three key objectives: to identify key employing sectors of ICT graduates, to gauge the relevance of the ICT programme to its former students’ jobs and businesses, and to establish the level of satisfaction of the ICT curriculum from the perspectives of former ICT graduates. The key findings from the study are that the ICT programme is relevant to the industry. However, some respondents were of the view that the curriculum should be strengthened by revising it through an addition of courses such as Mobile Application Development, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, and LINUX Administration to keep abreast with the ever-changing ICT trends and job requirements. The study strongly recommends the need for regular reviews of the curriculum so that it is continually responding to and matches the needs of the industry.