Jun 12 2018 Posted: 09:59 IST

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 14 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its award winning, innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by GradIreland.

90% of Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development graduates have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one year conversion programme in conjunction with 14 leading IT employers which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area.

Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants will therefore, pay no fees.

The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme.

The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specialisations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer.

Each student on the course will have their training content determined by their associated industry partner. On completion of the course, these students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a range of great options opening up to them for further progression either in industry or via more specialisation through a masters. 

The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, and Schneider Electric, among others.

Dr Enda Barrett, Course Director, said: “We are delighted to again offer free places on this unique programme due to funding from the Higher Education Authority and their Springboard initiative. This is a super opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from cognate disciplines such as engineering, maths, business and science. We have had huge success with graduates from these areas due to their natural problem solving capacity. By investing just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners; they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed for those with little or no knowledge of software development, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to coding and feel that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong logical reasoning or maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset. Since this programme is funded under the ICT Skills segment of Springboard, there are no limitations regarding the applicant’s current employment or social welfare status.”

He added: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The programme is highly respected among many of Irelands leading software companies many of whom specifically want to recruit graduates who have come through our unique programme. Many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.”

The programme is open to those who have a level 8 degree or alternatively those with a level 7 degree with some relevant industry work experience. Those currently completing their studies or who are currently in some form of employment are also eligible to apply.

NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie. Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable as applications will be processed and interviews held on a rolling basis. Deadline for final applications is June 30th. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Barrett at Enda.Barrett@nuigalway.ie.

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