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Spread of universities fails to create 'concentration of talent': O'Callahan

Stephen Bell | Nov. 16, 2011
In this Q and A interview Rob O'Callahan, head of Mozilla's New Zealand office, tells Stephen Bell why he moved back to Auckland and explains why he thinks the fact New Zealand universities are so spread out prevents a "critical mass" of talented people working in the same field.

It's an economic problem. The students demand the kind of skills for the jobs that are out there, so universities don't teach the low-level stuff. It's a chicken-and-egg situation. That makes it hard for [companies like Mozilla] to grow here and to employ a lot of the people who do apply to us.

We have found some excellent people, but they tend to be self-taught. People we've hired here have typically learned skills on their own. If we had one leading computer-science university in New Zealand, there would be an opportunity to teach those skills.

The other universities could take care of the 'IT-department' kind of skillset.



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