The first cohort of students to complete the new cutting edge Information Technology degree at WelTec are heading out into the workforce, confident and excited about what the industry has to offer.
The IT industry has been creating an estimated 2,910 new jobs in New Zealand each year, and since Covid-19 hit, McKinsey & Company say that businesses in the Pacific region have accelerated their digitisation by 10+ years. This makes now an excellent time to get skilled up for a role in the IT industry.
Jake Hann and Tasha Vollmer-Selby are among WelTec’s 2020 graduating class, and believe the degree has set them up to succeed.
Whitireia and WelTec recently collaborated with leading industry players to rework their Bachelor of Information Technology with a focus on practical components so students are work-ready immediately post-study.
Changes to the course include new subject majors which reflect the skill specialisation that industry is after: software development, networking, data science and cybersecurity.
Tasha decided to study at WelTec after researching her options while working for a number of years in the hospitality industry.
“I knew I wanted to go back to study at some point, but after college, I realised that sitting in a classroom learning theory just didn’t work for me,” Tasha explains. “I really love gaming in my spare time and felt that WelTec’s hands-on approach would suit my learning style so I decided to dip my toes in and completed the New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials (Level 4) before committing to the full degree. I haven’t looked back.”
In 2020, 40 graduating WelTec and Whitireia students have already been offered industry internships, as the first step into an IT career.
“I started an internship at Radium in Petone the Monday after I handed in my final assignment on 13 November,” says Tasha. “I applied for the internship around the middle of my final semester, which was a bit stressful at the time, but when I got it, it was such a relief to know that I had a job to go to when I had finished studying. I am so excited to get straight into work!
Jake was offered an internship in Petone at a firm called SecuritEase, a settlement and accounting system for brokers.
“I think internships are a great way to get a foot in the door. Most of the big companies offer them as a way to see if a graduate is a good fit for the company, and we can get work experience with the opportunity of employment afterward. And I think the way we were taught at WelTec makes this easier because it has such a hands-on approach.”
Jake and Tasha have recently demonstrated their talent to academics and industry experts at the WelTec annual IT showcase. Their project was among those selected as best. It is a 3D computer game called Ember.
“For our final project we developed a first-person 3D fantasy adventure game,” explained Tasha. “The game revolves around a maze, which the users must navigate in order to escape, all while defeating enemies, solving puzzles, and collecting special items.
It is the sort of game that we like to play in our spare time so we thought it would be interesting to create our own and see what goes into it. We made so many mistakes and learned so much in the process.”
The brief from our client, WelTec tutor Waqar Khan, was to create a game that they could use as a marketing tool to attract new students to study within WelTec’s School of IT, Business, and School of English Language.”
“Hopefully it will do just that!”