NRI Papers
No. 143 June 1, 2009
  Education Programs for Developing Geek-Suits
— Research on the Development of IT-Business Professionals in India, the US and Finland —
 
Taiichi INOUE, Atsushi KIMURA, Shintaro KOBAYASHI,
Mitsuyuki KATAKAME and Ryosuke SUZUKI
   The key to full, efficient use of information technology (IT) for businesses and society is the development of human resources who comprehend both IT and business, who are known as "geek-suits." The educational systems in Japan are not designed to facilitate the development of geek-suits.
   In India, where Nomura Research Institute (NRI) conducted surveys and research on the education programs for developing geek-suits, young people full of the hungry spirit are taking on the challenges of entering universities and special training schools with the aim of becoming IT professionals. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are positioned as the symbolic target of such competition. While the primary objective of IITs is to develop top-notch "geeks," the institutes also provide students with opportunities to meet their graduates and leaders in the political and financial realms to cultivate basic "suit" knowledge.
   In the United States, there are close relationships between IT and business within companies. Universities provide measures as part of their regular curricula to instill students with a sense of business such as through enabling them to adopt double majors and/or minors as well as through effective internship programs where students work at companies for a relatively long period. Universities in the US also offer enhanced programs to mid-level managers and executives of businesses to nurture geek-suit knowledge and expertise.
   In Finland, IT and design are considered important factors in developing a company's competitive edge. In order to develop world-class geek-suits, universities have been promoting interdisciplinary research through their mergers as well as facilitating joint research projects between students and companies at industrial clusters.
   In Japan, the university should be used more effectively. University students should be provided with opportunities to meet geeks and geek-suits who are at the forefront of business activities, as well as to have them become aware of the existence of competitors in other countries. Education programs providing a greater number of points of contact with the business world are essential in Japan.
Contents
I Problems Seen in Japan's IT Personnel
II India— ierce Competition and Selection
III The United States— One Chooses One's Own Career Path
IV Finland— Integration of IT, Business and Design by Merging Universities
V Building the Mechanisms of Developing Geek-Suits in Japan

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