Epam has opened an educational laboratory at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. It will start working in the new year. Lviv IT Cluster visited the presentation and learnt what the study process will look like.
Epam is opening training labs throughout the world.
According to Head of Educational Labotatory Epam Volodymyr Verhun, choosing to work in exactly this format was among the strategic decisions of the company. One of the reasons – the fact that a university is a wide information field. If there is a lab there, students will be the first to learn about it. Students, as Volodymyr says, are the main basis for the company’s growth. Moreover, cooperation with universities enables the company to work with people who have a serious academic background (mainly, with professors and assistant lecturers) and engage them in the company’s projects.
The lab at Ivan Franko National University – is not the first of its kind in Lviv. Both UCU and Lviv Polytechnic National University already have such labs. According to Vice-Rector for Research, Teaching and Informatization Vitaliy Kukharskyy, despite the fact that the lab was opened just now, the dialogue between the university and the company has lasted for a long time already:
“We understood that there is a need for such a lab, but because of certain circumstances it wasn’t possible. I know that there was a period when the company was reviewing whether more labs should be opened in Lviv. Similarly, the university didn’t fully understand that these are the conditions we have to work with – when you need to give the lab for a half of a day or an evening to the company, and they can do whatever they want there. All of these things resulted in the fact that we haven’t done it earlier, unfortunately” – says the rector.
The lab itself consists of computers and a projector. There are 21 seats, since teaching a bigger group would be more difficult. But, of course, not the equipment, but the level of teaching provided by Epam is the most important. During the six-month study students are working with the company’s experts. After this the internship starts. In total, the teaching process lasts for a year.
It’s not an easy task to get into the lab – there 20-30 people applying for one place. At first candidates have to take a test in English and technologies, depending on which program they are applying to, then they are interviewed.
“We need smart people, – says Volodymyr about the selection criteria at the interviews. It is easier to teach a smart person. We need a candidate, who will come and say: “I don’t know anything. I’m good at Maths and I’m ready to work really hard at your courses. I’m ready to pass 2 stages or wait for a year”.
He says, that motivation – is the most important. The study process is rather complicated and intense, after the first test (in the middle of the course) not everyone will continue to study.
Both students of this and other universities as well as those who are not studying will be able to study at the lab. It’s free and after the course you have chances to get a job at Epam. In particular, 89 of the graduates are already employed at Epam. Many teachers are also studying at the labs, and then often continue to teach there.
By the way, these labs – are not the only educational direction that Epam is engaged in. The company has a number of projects: Epam actively works with Computer Science program at UCU and Internet of Things at Lviv Polytechnic National University, helps senior students to choose profession in IT, conducts motivational lectures for students (to make them realize that university education indeed has some value), provides career enhancement courses for teachers. Furthermore, Epam employees work at educational projects at Lviv IT Cluster – in particular, IT Expert and IT Future.
“We don’t want to influence the quality of education. We want to show education that we have a certain competence in studying, and we can help to improve education. In three years we have taught a 1000 of people. Why are we claiming that we have the competence? After our courses, graduates get plenty of job offers from other companies” – says Volodymyr.
Epam never says that university education is bad. Volodymyr is confident that there are certain gaps, which, however, cannot be completely filled by university.