Eight new majors within the UCOL Bachelor of Information and Communications (BICT) are set to take off in 2019, which will greatly benefit both students and employers. The new majors include: Business & Systems Analysis, Data Management and Analytics, Security, Project Management, Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Administration, and Web & Mobile Development.
The UCOL BICT degree is already well established and is continuing to grow in student numbers. This reflects information technology (IT) being both a key focus area and a growing need within the current and future workforce. The introduction of these majors really provides a clear focus for students and recognises their areas of specialisation within the ICT profession for future employers.
Graduates of UCOL’s BICT degree are already highly sought after by employers, and are well prepared for the workforce through the requirement to complete a significant work-based project or internship within industry in the final semester of their degree. “The support we get from the local ICT industry is excellent, with industry projects and internships providing both excellent learning for our students and real benefits for those organisation” said UCOL Executive Dean of Humanities and Business, Dean Rankin.
Local business owner, Mark Easton from Nodero
, says that having a BICT degree is important to the growth of local companies and the future of local students. He says it’s “good to have students around, they can network while studying and this gives them the opportunity to gain internships while studying, something that is not as easy to do when studying extramurally”.
“What I like about UCOL is it’s focused on getting a job, UCOL is really good at that practical, ‘getting-your-hands-dirty’ side.”
Mark said that having an IT qualification from a tertiary institute makes candidates stand out and that they arrive on the job with skills that employers are looking for, this is especially important for the IT sector.
“Anyone can learn at home in their room,” he said “but students working together developing group skills, interactive skills and social skills is so important. It betters them for the professional environment.”
When talking about majors Mark was of the opinion that “it makes a difference if a company is looking to fill a particular role,” and that in the interview process this “can help steer the conversation into finding someone that fits the company.”
“If they know where they want to go it establishes them, especially in bigger cities.”
UCOL’s Head of School, Business and ICT, Leanna Burnett, is very enthusiastic about the development of the degree majors and what this means for students and continued innovation for the programme.
“The work within the IT industry is extremely varied and it is difficult for new graduates to sometimes decide where their career path should be and how to clearly demonstrate to future employers their areas of expertise. The majors provide students with a focussed pathway through their ICT degree that will lead to specific career outcomes. The structure of the majors have also been designed so that double majors are highly achievable within the degree, which further increases the career options open for our graduates.”