The Irish Computer Society (ICS) and Dublin City University have announced details of a new partnership that will enable experienced ICT professionals without formal third-level qualifications to apply for direct entry to postgraduate study at the university.
From September, ICT professionals with a minimum of four years’ industrial experience in the ICT sector and who demonstrate continuous career development, can apply for entry to DCU’s Graduate Diploma in Information Technology programme. In addition, graduates of the ICS’s European Certification for Informatics Professionals (EUCIP) programme, who hold a minimum of three years’ relevant industry experience, are eligible to apply.
The Graduate Diploma in Information Technology programme is offered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis. Funding from the Higher Education Authority means that EU students pay a significantly reduced fee, currently in the region of €1,600 per annum. In addition, graduates who achieve an overall distinction may progress to DCU’s part-time MSc in Information Technology programme. IT professionals could therefore obtain a master’s-level qualification after just three years of part-time study.
Jim Friars, CEO of the ICS, believes that the new ICT Professional Entry Route will help to formally recognise the skills and knowledge of Ireland’s IT workers: “The ICS believes that this direct entry path will benefit significantly the many ICT professionals who do not yet hold formal computing qualifications. This important initiative will facilitate EUCIP graduates and those with significant industry experience in gaining accelerated entry to postgraduate study at Dublin City University.”
The Graduate Diploma in Information Technology is a long-running and highly regarded qualification that, until now, has only been available to holders of honours degrees in disciplines other than computing. Key topics addressed on the programme include computer architecture, software engineering, networks and internets, database design, algorithms and data structures, user interface development, internet programming, information systems frameworks and e-commerce infrastructure.
Dr Stephen Blott, head of DCU School of Computing, believes that the course’s strong practical focus will enable IT professionals to put their newly acquired skills to use in their organisations: “The Government’s National Skills Strategy has identified the need to upskill over 500,000 people by 2020 if Ireland is to achieve a knowledge-based, innovation-driven workforce. This new initiative will benefit employers by providing access to quality postgraduate training for their employees, the learning and practical skills from which they can apply directly to their current and future IT job roles.”
By Niall Byrne