This week's ITP update
Here's this week's quick update on some of the things we've been up to, from ITP CEO Paul Matthews.
Do we need new Cyber Security and Testing qualifications?
Helping improve the educational pathways to our industry is one of ITP's key focuses. As you may know, we and NZQA's National Qualifications Services are the co-developers of all NZQA-approved computing and IT qualifications in New Zealand at levels 1-6 (Diplomas and Certificates). Following a comprehensive review, we worked with the sector to completely replace all existing qualifications with a landscape of 14 new industry-aligned quals.
Given recent growth in these areas, we've been asked to consider whether a Level 6 Diploma in Cyber Security, and separately a Level 6 Diploma in Software Testing, should be developed and added to the landscape. Once added and approved by NZQA, these could then be offered by any Institute of Technology, Polytechnic or Private Training Establishment (subject to approved Programmes of Study being developed).
We recently met with NZQA as well as the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's National Cyber Policy Office and providers such as Unitec, and we've agreed to proceed to a Needs Analysis consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to determine whether (1) there is a demand for qualifications in these areas and (2) if so, at what NZQA level they should be. If the answer to the first question is yes and the second falls within the scope, we will proceed with developing these qualifications.
As the first step in the consultation, we're intending to run a couple of short "round-table" discussions with employers in the security and testing spaces to explore these issues. If you employ people in either of these areas and are happy to give up an hour or two of your time, drop me a note and we'll send you an invite shortly.
Don't worry if you can't participate in this stage though - we'll also run a more formal and wider consultation after - more details later.
Incredible student projects
It was great to attend the final year computing project showcase at Weltec last night, and see first-hand the sorts of outstanding projects IT students are tackling. I'll also be over in Nelson tonight attending a similar event at Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT).
From Police dispatcher training simulators to database configuration evaluation tools, the projects students undertake these days are as diverse as they are interesting. It was also brilliant to hear that many/most of the students graduating soon already have jobs secured in industry.
These sessions always bring home how important it is to have a capstone, or practical, project at the end of computing degrees to bring all of the theory together, and despite occasional commentary saying otherwise, it's great to see that these types of practical experience-building projects, as well as internships, are a feature of most good computing and IT degree programmes across New Zealand. Our students - and indeed our businesses - are better because of it.
Welcome new ITP Corporate Partners
Alongside thousands of individual members, ITP has an active Partner Programme for companies, tertiary providers, govt agencies and others who want to support our professional community and the work we do, while also getting some great benefits for staff.
Is your company one of ITP's 120 Corporate or Educational Partners, supporting the tech sector's professional community? Take a look at the full list here. And if you're interested in joining, check out the ITP website or drop us a note.
Become a TechHub Partner
And lastly, as mentioned last week we've commenced the call for partners for TechHub and would love for you to consider being a part of this hugely successful programme.
TechHub (previously known as ICT-Connect) organises hundreds of school visits a year, for passionate IT people to talk about what a future career in IT really means. TechHub also runs the TechHub CREST Challenge, a 1.5-term project in schools, provides heaps of info about tech careers, and much more.
TechHub is funded by industry (with us contributing significantly as well) and only works because a broad group of companies and others contribute. The programme has been operating for 4 years and has proven results, so please do consider being a part of it.
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