The 21-year-old, who joined the Magpies' youth set-up from Derry City in 2009, made his Premier League debut in last sunday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester United.
Pardew has put the Northern Irishman's first-team breakthrough down to hard work and commitment, stating that all young footballers could learn a lesson from Ferguson.
"In today's age, to come through an Academy and play against one of the top clubs in the country just goes to show you that there is a route," Pardew told the club's official website.
"You need to be good enough, you need to work and be committed, and Fergie has done that.
"Now his career can start building from that platform and that's what all young players in this region should try and aim to do if they want to be a footballer."
Ferguson has won four caps for his country.