At National College of Ireland, we have a number of courses available under both Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) which are free of charge for people who are currently unemployed or for 10% of the course fee for applicants who are in employment. These initiatives address skills shortages in the workforce and so are funded by the government to improve Ireland's ability to fill job vacancies.
With our next set of Springboard+ courses in the areas of business analysis, data analytics, software development, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity and cloud computing starting next month, we spoke to some recent graduates who share their experience with us below.
Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development)
Two years ago, I decided to go back to college part-time. I knew I wanted to learn something new, something that would challenge me. A friend recommended Springboard+ to me and after a quick search, I found the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing specialising in Software Development at National College of Ireland and I knew it would suit my lifestyle.
There were definitely some challenges along the way, but the support from the college, and the people I met during the two years, made the First Class Honours that little bit sweeter. I’d urge anyone considering going back to college to take the plunge and check out NCI’s Springboard+ Courses in computing. You won’t regret it!
Online Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics
I sought out an online programme as I was working full-time and looking to upskill. I have already earned a BA and an MA from a traditional on-campus college experience in the states, so I knew this experience would be different. However, working and building relationships remotely is something that is very much a part of everyday life for many working professionals, especially those working for multinationals. In a way, the online university experience is preparing students for the real world they will work in which is very much an interconnected world built on the virtual work environment.
Studying the Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics at NCI online allowed me to juggle full-time work and business travel. Thrown into this, I had a baby halfway through my course, and I definitely would not have been able to complete my studies if I had to travel to a traditional campus for lectures. The online environment allowed me to feed the baby and listen to lectures at the same time. The best thing about studying online is that the lectures are recorded, and if I can’t make tonight’s lecture, I can watch it tomorrow. This was not an option when I was doing my undergrad where if you missed a lecture you had no idea what you missed.
Online Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development)
Having undertaken the online version of the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing specialising in Software Development through the Springboard+ initiative at NCI, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the course and could not recommend it highly enough for students looking to get quality hands-on experience in the software development area.
I had no experience in software development prior to joining this course and with the support of the lecturers at NCI, I gained the knowledge I needed to progress in my current position. The course content was well-balanced with a good mix of practical work and theory-based learning. I found the instructors for the online classes to be extremely helpful and they would always take the time to help anyone who got stuck or had questions.
Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cloud Computing
Being a software developer, I felt that joining the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cloud Computing programme at NCI was a no-brainer as cloud computing is such an integral part of modern IT and it will only become more important over time. The lecturers on the course were excellent, and the classes provided great practical experience along with laying down the theoretical foundations to gain a high-level view and deeper understanding of cloud computing. I have since moved jobs and can say that completing the programme gave me the confidence to progress to the next step in my career.
Springboard+ is a fantastic initiative and I have shared this with so many people. For me, it offered a chance to continue my studies which probably would not have been financially possible otherwise. I would highly recommend National College of Ireland as well as the Springboard+ initiative for anyone considering progressing their education in the computing field or converting from a non-ICT background into this area.
Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics
The Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics at NCI is a great platform to help you transition into a career in data analytics. My background is non-technical, so this part-time course was ideal as it is suitable for someone who has not previously studied programming or computing. As I moved through the programme, I gained skills and experience in statistical methods and technologies such as SQL which I really enjoyed.
Data analytics is one of the most innovative studies in technology and can be used to inform us about anything humans do and predict what they will do in the future. I highly recommend applying for the course at NCI through the Springboard+ website for anyone with an interest in this area.
Online Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Cybersecurity)
I studied the online version of the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Cybersecurity) at NCI recently through the Springboard+ initiative.
The course had some challenging moments, but I have to say that the standard of tutors was excellent. I was slightly worried about joining an online course but the support and feedback I received throughout my time on the course was brilliant. Springboard+ has found a unique platform as National College of Ireland produce innovative courses which are designed to help students upskill in areas where there is high demand from employers. I would definitely recommend this route and studying a computing course at NCI to any student.
Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics
The main thing for me was that the Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics is a one-year course (when you choose the blended delivery option). While it can be intense at times, I actually enjoyed that element as it ensured that you focused on what you were learning as you move through each module.
I loved the fact that if you missed a class for any reason, your notes are all available online through Moodle (the learning management system used at NCI). I also had great support from the Careers Team at the college who helped me update my CV and build my LinkedIn profile which I had never done before. After attending the Careers Fair at the college, I met with employers from several companies including Aon who I obtained an interview with based on that meeting. I succeeded in the interview and still work there today; it’s going fantastically well!
Watch Darren’s video to hear more about his experience studying at NCI.
Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.