Masters in Applied Software Technology - Plus a Permanent Job
9th June 2011
The ICT Ireland Skillnet in association with Dublin Institute of Technology has launched a unique, one-year, full-time, intensive Masters degree which will be free to students and guarantee them a job in Ireland on satisfactory completion. Screening and selection of up to 50 candidates will take place during June 2011 and places will be offered in July for a start in late Sepetember. The programme is supported by Skillnets Ltd through its Training Networks Programme which is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.
As well as the opportunity to gain an MSc (with additional technical training) students will also obtain unrivalled work experience in top class companies and receive an allowance for the duration of the programme (or alternatively will be able to retain any social welfare allowance they are already receiving). On satisfactory completion participants will take up a full-time and permanent position as a Software Engineer with a leading ICT company.
The first group of candidates will be sponsored by LM Ericsson whose Product Development Unit in Athlone specialises in the provision of Operations Support Systems (OSS) to Telecom Operators using advanced Data and Event Management and Visualization techniques. Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers.
Benefits, the Student will….
- Obtain a Masters in Applied Software Technology (the first of its kind in Ireland) through a one-year intensive full time course involving a combination of tuition and work experience.
- Obtain Additional Certification in industry-recognised and accredited networking and software engineering tools and technologies.
- Obtain Full Time Permanent Employment in a world class technology company. At the start of the programme students will sign a contract for employment in the sponsoring company subject to satisfactory completion of the course and the awarding of their MSc.
- Pay No Fees. The programme is free to students who are selected. Funding is being provided by Skillnets and the participating companies in a major initiative to attract and enable Irish graduates to enter and work in the ICT sector in Ireland.
- Receive an Allowance. The sponsoring company will pay students an allowance during the year-long programme (alternatively, if they are receiving unemployment or related payments they will continue to do so).
Students must have at least a 2.1 Honours Primary Degree in a relevant cognate discipline. This category includes (but is not limited to) Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Data Networking etc. but qualified applicants from any discipline with significant content in Maths, Problem Solving, Logic and Critical Thinking will receive positive consideration. Each application will be considered on its individual merits.
Applicants must complete a Provisional Application Form and after a quick initial assessment, selected applicants will be asked to complete the Full Application Form. Selected applicants will then be invited for to take part in an assessment and interview process in the sponsoring company and successful applicants will then be awarded a place on the programme. The Provisional Application Form is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be accepted throughout June 2011 with a continuous screening and selection of candidates during that month. Initial offers will be issued in mid and again in late July 2011.
The content of the programme has been developed by the Dublin Institute of Technology in association with the ICT Ireland Skillnet and in consultation with participating companies.
Outline content is as follows:
The programme offers an integrated approach to delivering end to end software development skills. From computing fundamentals and software design to implementation and testing, the entire lifecycle of software development is covered. It focuses on the practical problem-solving skills required for computer programmers. Programme participants will also gain an integrated and critical knowledge of the skills and particular technologies widely used in the industry today.
Programme learning outcomes
Knowledge: On successful completion of the programme the learner will:
- Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the theory and practice of software development, both in the context of specific functional areas and in regard to the integration of advanced information technology tools and techniques
- Acquire the specialist knowledge to design, develop, deploy and maintain to appropriate levels information technology solutions in an application environment.
Know-How and Skills
- On successful completion of the programme the learner will:
- Have a specific knowledge of current theory related to software development, information technology networks and information technology security as they impact on the application environment.
- Acquire sufficient knowledge to expertly employ current tools and techniques for software development and to work as part of a team in a dynamic and Agile development environment.
On successful completion of the programme the learner will:
- Be able to propose and defend technology solutions based on industry best practice nationally and internationally.
- Be competent at the appropriate level to design, deliver and implement specific software based systems and solutions.
- Be an effective communicator in a range of written, oral and visual media.
- Have developed the capacity for self-directed learning so as to facilitate further academic and professional development in a lifelong learning context.
- Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of information technology solutions in the field and to contribute to the enhancement of standards of professional practice at the appropriate level.
The underlying philosophy is to provide a diverse and challenging range of learning experiences in which programme participants explore an appropriate body of knowledge. Delivery methods include lectures (including guest lectures based on case studies from participating companies, and specialist knowledge lectures), laboratory classes (to provide practical experience of programming, database technologies, networking etc ), tutorials (including student presentations, discussion and problem solving), practical assignments (including programming, networking practicals and database assignments), and self-study (including technology-aided learning, practical individual and group projects and problem-based learning).
Action learning is a particularly important feature of the programme learning strategy. Students will learn by doing when completing module assignments and in-company project work. Such learning experiences develop abilities to think critically and rationally, to apply knowledge in solving problems, to skillfully work in and lead groups and to acquire the capacity to act responsibly and ethically. It also allows for the participant to undertake assignments during the programme that will be of value to their organisation.
The Department of Management Information Systems at DIT intends to supply a dedicated lab for exclusive use by MSc students. This approach ensures that the group have unlimited access to the hardware and software required for such a technically intensive course.
The structure of the programme is dictated by the hours required for a level 9 programme, along with the requirement of work based placement and project work. Formal lectures are supplemented by practical laboratory classes. Individual and group-based exercises and assignments make up part of the continuous assessment that accompanies the majority of modules. These interactive exercises will serve to reinforce some of the learning modules.
- Technology Fundamentals
- Scripting Languages
- Web Technologies
- Distributed Systems & Security
- Application Programming
- Computer Networks
- Software Design and Testing
- Project and Team Management
Work based sections include:
- In-company Work Placement
- Supervised in-company Application Development Project
The programme includes the delivery of content to support students in obtaining Certification in technical qualifications such as Sun Certified Java Programmer, C++, Dot Net, or equivalent, and a certification in IP Networking at the CCNA level or equivalent. These courses will require tutorials, laboratory based practicals and programming exercises. Exams for these certified courses will take place externally in appointed exam centres.
Need for the Programme
There continues to be a shortage of suitably qualified and “work ready” Irish graduates to fill available posts in Irish based companies who have a requirement for software developers, data systems and network systems personnel. Ireland is now the world’s second largest exporter of software programmes.
ICT Ireland in a survey of member companies in January 2011 identified over 1,250 new job vacancies in the technology sector this year. The high-tech sector continues to grow, with 1,555 jobs now announced in 2011.
The ICT sector in Ireland is a thriving and growing industry with 9 of the top 10 global ICT companies maintaining a presence in Ireland. The economic contribution of the sector is substantial with the ICT industry currently responsible for approximately 25% of Ireland’s total turnover, representing one third of Ireland’s exports by value. The ICT sector employ’s over 75,000 people. In the ten months to October 2010, 2,500 new jobs were announced in the ICT sector. This was on foot of a net employment growth rate of 6% in 2009. There are currently 5,400 ICT enterprises in Ireland, while 233 ICT companies in Ireland are foreign owned.
The programme rationale is therefore to provide a totally unique programme in an Irish context which takes an innovative approach to meeting current employment needs of the ICT sector quickly from two strategic perspectives:
- Provide high-level intensive educational and work experience and real jobs for those graduating in 2011 (or in recent years) in computer and non-computer degrees (but with disciplines that contain significant levels of mathematics and science) and who have a desire to live and work Ireland and are motivated to pursue a career in the ICT sector.
- Provide educational and job opportunities for existing unemployed graduates or other highly experienced unemployed individuals who are not computer graduates but have degrees/qualifications in related disciplines or particular aptitudes in the area of computer systems, or software development.
The programme is made possible through funding from participating companies and the Department of Education and Skills through Skillnets Ltd. The following are working together to provide the programme: