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Estonian students log virtual accounting "internships"

March 21, 2011

A Parnu, Estonia, vocational school's use of computer-simulated companies as learning tools is spreading to accounting and economic students at other schools in the country, according to national public station ETV.

Estonian finance majors are often turned away from reaping the real-world benefits of an internship because of privacy concerns, teacher Irene Janter told Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) News.

"Everyone is afraid that confidential business information might leak and young people have no real opportunity to test their skills," she explained to the news organization.

The software, used in the Parnu school since last fall, includes management tools such as start-up planning, staff hiring, procurements and bookkeeping intended to prepare students for a job at a large company.

"Their economic skills are honed very quickly as students have to consider how much to buy and borrow so that the business would end up in the black," Janter continued.

According to ERR News, the virtual program concept was taken from German and Austrian vocational schools, where it was originally implemented years ago.


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