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Whitireia and WelTec preparing graduates to fill ICT skills shortage

By Shannon Williams
Wed 29 Dec 2021

The Ministry of Immigration lists Information Communication Technology (ICT) as one of the major areas in which New Zealand is experiencing a significant skills shortage. 

Whitireia and WelTec has worked with the ICT industry to develop their Bachelor of Information Technology programme, which is preparing graduates for employment in the industry.

Dalvir Singh completed his Bachelor of Information Technology in May 2021 and months later transitioned into employment as a Junior Test Analyst at Wellington-based national IT Quality Assurance provider Qual IT.

Always a tinkerer while growing up in Chandigarh, India, Singh recalls watching the movie Iron Man as a child and being amazed at the capabilities of the computers on-screen. Ever since then, he has wanted a career in IT and software development. 

In order to gain the necessary qualifications to live his dream, Singh's Wellington-based brother convinced him to move from India to Wellington, New Zealand and gain his qualifications at Whitireia and WelTec.

WelTec and Whitireia encourages students to learn by solving real-life problems, which is why 60 per cent of the programme is practical.

This was an important aspect for Singh. 

"The practical, hands-on nature is one thing that I think sets it apart from other tertiary institutions and gets us ready for success in the real world," he says.

The programme is also heavily collaborative with industry, leading to greater employment outcomes for konga. 

Professional analysts from Qual IT lent their expertise to guest lectures and Whitireia and WelTec provided useful advice to Qual IT that helped develop their graduate employment programme. 

Singh is currently working on test techniques and studying small business requirements, and he hopes to be dealing with his first client in coming weeks. He encourages others with an interest in computers and IT to enrol and figure out what area is best for them.

"One of the things I really enjoyed was learning about different parts of the industry and working out what was best for me, the possibilities are endless," he says. 

The Bachelor of Information Technology gives konga the choice of majoring in either Software Development, Applied Data Science, Networking and infrastructure and/or Cyber Security.

Mary-Claire Proctor, head of school for IT and Business at Whitireia and WelTec, is pleased to see the graduate programme providing pathways to employment for students.

"Creating positive konga and employer outcomes by collaborating with industry is a key objective of Whitireia and WelTec, and this programme is a great example," she says.

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