Online computer course was a stepping stone to a Kilkenny man’s dream career


A Co Kilkenny man who started his dream career with an innovative online computer conversion course from the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) recommends a return to school for any adult keen on a career change.

To help adults interested in making a fresh start in January, WIT is hosting a Springboard & Part-time Winter Open Virtual Opening Night on Tuesday, November 23, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to coincide with its opening hours. January part-time course for applications.

One of the courses currently being applied for is a fully online IT conversion course run by WIT that helps fill vacancies in the tech industry.

The two-year fully online part-time graduate degree in Computer Science is heavily subsidized by Springboard +, making it an attractive option for people looking to change careers. Participation is free for those returning to work and the course is 90% funded for those who are already employed.

Former St Kieran’s College student Richard Whitney, originally from Stoneyford, who completed the two-year program in 2020, has a long-standing interest in technology.

“After I finished my studies, I enrolled in a computer course at WIT. Unfortunately, due to life and family circumstances, I was unable to complete the course. I had hoped to resume my studies, but over the years it became more and more difficult to return to school and the likelihood of continuing my studies seemed slim.

“I really wanted to change careers and felt that a position in IT would be perfect for me. I already knew I liked IT from the time I spent on my previous course. I started to look at the options available to me and found that the computer HDip offered by WIT was a perfect fit for my needs. Classes and learning materials are delivered entirely online, which allowed me to continue working full time while taking the course. I was particularly drawn to the six month internship at the end of the course, as I felt it would be the best way to enter the IT industry.

He completed the six-month internship at CGM Inc, a Waterford-based software development company, and was fortunate to be offered a permanent position upon completion.

“CGM has been a great company with which I started my career as a developer. They had already hired other HDip computer science graduates so they knew how to best use my software development skills. Recently, I started a position at Pexlify, a growing software development company based in Dublin. Every day brings exciting challenges as I work on projects for multinational companies such as Allianz and Volkswagen. The skills I acquired through HDip in IT allowed me to pursue the career of my dreams.

Course leader Eamonn de Leastar explains that the course is designed to enable graduates in disciplines other than IT to acquire the skills, expertise and practical experience necessary to become a software developer, while by keeping their current “daily work”.

“Programming is a wonderfully creative field with a wide range of opportunities. Our course is an intensive yet rewarding experience that allows participants to develop themselves as software developers in 24 months. There are currently several hundred thousand ICT vacancies in Europe – and demand continues to grow. The course was created with a strong industry contribution in 2011 and went fully online in 2018. No prior computer knowledge is assumed.

Part-time and postgraduate options available in January at WIT include traditional part-time courses for personal and professional development and specialist programs for education, science and engineering professionals, attracting students from across the country as well as the region. In addition, there is a selection of Springboard programs. (Springboard + is co-funded by the Irish government and the European Social Fund under the ESF or Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020 program.)

Interested applicants can find out more at www.wit.ie/parttime.

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