ITB LEARN and WORK Programme : Earn money while getting an in-demand qualification

After the highly regarded success of last year’s inaugural Learn+Work Programme, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown’s (ITB) Department of Informatics has opened its doors to recruit a new wave of students looking to access career opportunities in the ICT sector.

Growing demand for skills in the ICT sector, and the increasing interest in technology programmes amongst school leavers and mature students, led to ITB’s establishment of the Learn+Work Programme in Networking Technologies last year, a full time course combining blocks of academic study with blocks of paid industry work placement. This work experience gives learners the opportunity to apply their learning, be coached by industry experts and develop the work-ready skills to gain employment upon graduation. Following completion, students are awarded a Higher Certificate in Science in Computing and Networking Technologies.

The networking technologies course was designed in partnership with Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet to provide students with in-company placement, which accounts for approximately 50% of the course, accompanied by academic studies which provide the up to date technical and communication skills that are in high demand within the ICT sector, including modules on computer systems, server administration and networks as well as the knowledge required to achieve highly valued industry certified awards such as CompTIA, Linux, Cisco, Microsoft and VMware, which are also be facilitated through ITB.

Students like Emmet Quinn (23) from Raheny receive exposure to experienced and_R2I3990 creative mindsets, whilst making valuable connections with innovative companies such as Fleet Connect, based in Blanchardstown Corporate Park who provide Wi-Fi and technology solutions for public transport. According to Mr. Quinn, the paid work experience was a real clincher in applying for the course, helping him to keep his independence and focus on his studies, which other courses might not have provided. “The lack of fees allows me much more time to focus on my studies and puts me at a great advantage in terms of having the time to work on assignments and certifications. The certifications themselves are also massively beneficial to my professional development, and for future job applications,” commented Mr. Quinn.

“In today’s climate, people need to do more than run a cable or connect a router. A new recruit needs to possess excellent communication skills, be adept at solving problems, take ownership of their job and be able to react to situations swiftly and confidently. This is why we joined ITB’s Learn+Work programme. We believe it’s a win-win situation because students get the opportunity to grow, learn and build a portfolio, while we get to avail of the best staff in the business,” said Patrick Cotter, CEO of Fleet Connect, where Emmet Quinn is currently undertaking his work experience.
“The businesses we partner with tell us that they see the course as a low-risk recruitment opportunity; using the placement period as a method of assessing prospective employees for future vacancies,” said Mark Keyes, Work Placement Coordinator, ITB.

“And of course this goes both ways, with students developing a very real impression of the IT industry, as well as a ‘taster’ of potential employers and workplaces” he continued.

The programme prepares candidates for careers in Networking, Data Centre and Cloud based disciplines, with roles including: Desktop service and support, Network Operation Centre Engineer, Information Security Engineer, Systems Administrator, Cisco Network Engineer, Helpdesk Engineer, Field Service Engineer and Pre-Sales Engineer.

Interested applicants can apply directly to www.itb.ie/learnandwork for an aptitude test and interview.

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