Information Technology (IT) is, by and far, the fastest growing industry in the world. Not only that but if you blink for a microsecond longer than normal, everything will have changed — or that's what it feels like anyway.
While Melbourne is often touted as the Australian technology hub and is home to over 50 per cent of our top IT companies, nearly three-quarters of the country's tech start-ups are based in New South Wales and salaries for Sydney IT Professionals are among the highest in the country. Information and communication technology (ICT) is not going away any time soon and in a relatively short duration, it has been embraced in a big way, both in Australia and the international arena.
For those of us in our (ahem) 50s, the technology of today is a sometimes scary world away from the clunky Apple II computer, dot matrix printer, floppy disk and Nintendo 'Game & Watch' handheld game. Not to mention spending the day poring over the microfiche reader, or flicking through the endless library catalogue cards and noting down the call numbers of reference books you hoped hadn't already been borrowed so you could then handwrite your science assignment.
The point is that whether you want to carve a career as an IT Professional, need a solid grounding in computer skills to do your job, or simply want to keep up with what your kids are doing, you're probably going to be looking for IT courses in Sydney at some point.
Let's have a look at what's available to suit your needs.
Get some IT on your CV
When the new Australian Curriculum was being designed, Australian schools were just beginning to embrace IT as a 'tool to study'. These days, Technologies is a mandated curriculum area for all students from Foundation to Year 10 and incorporates two study strands, Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. In addition, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability is one of the General Capabilities, meaning ICT skills must be incorporated into all subject areas in all years.
Australian Curriculum outcomes are designed to support students in learning the fundamental skills they need to pursue their chosen career or to enrol in more advanced courses at college and university.
While the compulsory education years will give you the fundamentals, it's not going to cut it on your CV. Even if you're not seeking a career in the IT industry, most employers are going to be looking at your ICT skills. If you want to stand out amongst all the other job candidates or get the edge for that promotion you've been after, relevant and current IT on your CV is the way to go.
What to Look for in an IT Class
Competition for jobs is at an all-time high, so don't settle for any old degree or diploma at the first education institution or online course you can find. When you're ready to start building your career, you're going to want a competitive edge, so search for course providers who offer:
- hands-on experience and training
- a focus on communication skills
- proven knowledge of the latest software
- experienced teachers with documented, current technical skills
- flexibility in study methods, including online and face-to-face course options
- recognised certification and accreditation.
The other important thing to consider is your own personal learning style. Ask yourself how you prefer to learn — online, one-on-one, in a small group or as part of a large class? Do you learn more effectively through modelling and guided practice, or through theoretical understanding?
What level of support do you think you might need? If English is not your first language, or if you have a learning disability, you may require additional support.
If large group courses don't suit your learning and study style, or if you just need some extra support, you may want to consider engaging a private tutor, such as one of the many tutors available through Superprof.
All of these considerations are important to make the most of the ICT education opportunities you have and to maximise your learning potential.
Something for Everyone: A Selection of the Variety of IT Classes Sydney Offers
When you're looking for the perfect IT courses Sydney offers the full range — from super-advanced to the absolute basics.
The University of Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including:
- Bachelor of Advanced Computing
- Master of Information Technology Management
- Graduate Certificate in Computing
- Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Management.
Western Sydney University is the only Sydney university to offer the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (Games Design & Simulation), a unique degree featuring hands-on experience in technology parks and innovation centres. They also offer courses such as:
- Diploma in ICT
- Bachelor of Information Systems
- Bachelor of Data Science
- Graduate Diploma in Advanced Networking
- Master of Artificial Intelligence
- a range of international and advanced courses.
University of Technology Sydney degrees emphasise technical and practical experience. They offer a vast range of undergraduate and postgraduate training and development courses in:
- computer science
- games, graphics and multimedia
- IT management and leadership
- networking and security
- systems design
- software development.
Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Courses
In general, a course of study at a TAFE institution is more practical and hands-on.
TAFE NSW offers courses online and at a range of locations throughout the state, including Sydney. Their ICT focused coursework includes bachelor, advanced diploma, diploma and certificate courses in:
- IT security
- IT strategy and management
- IT project management
- IT support and digital media
- creative product development
- web development.
TAFE NSW also offers short courses in cybersecurity, digital skills and programming.
Kent Institute specialises in education for students wanting to follow a career path in business or information technology. They offer a Bachelor of Information Technology, as well as a small range of Vocational (VET) courses at certificate, diploma and advanced diploma levels.
Sydney Community College provides innovative adult education programs with a goal to support students to gain practical and theoretical skills for both business and recreation. Their ICT programs include:
- coding and programming
- digital marketing
- Adobe courses
- computer essentials.
IT Route provides classroom-based or online short courses based on industry requirements and focusing on:
- cloud computing.
Logitrain is an Australian owned and operated training business who specialise in 'technology training for IT jobs'. They offer a wide range of certificate courses, including Google, cloud, Microsoft, software testing, project management and cybersecurity.
In addition to their classroom-based and online IT classes in Sydney, Logitrain will also provide in-house, corporate and private group training tailored to your needs.
If you're not looking to return to study, even for the duration of a short course, and only want to brush up your skills or learn a specific program, then you may benefit from investigating opportunities in the following:
- Community Courses
Community groups and evening colleges will often run cheap (or even free) classes in all manner of subjects, including ICT. These groups are usually filled with like-minded people who simply love sharing their skills and learning from others. Informal courses, run for perhaps 6 weeks or a term, will usually target a specific skill set.
- Private Tuition
Senior secondary and university students frequently offer private tutoring as a way of earning extra cash. Keep an eye out on community and school noticeboards and you're sure to find students who can work with you to help you learn specific skills. The greatest benefit is that these students will have the most up-to-date knowledge.
There are also a large number of tutoring companies, some of which offer private lessons in IT subjects. Tutors registered on the Superprof platform will work with you one-on-one, either in person or online, tailoring lessons to meet your needs.
- Free Online Courses
These are easy to find with a simple Google search. YouTube is a great place to start but you could also browse listings under 'free online IT courses Sydney' or 'free online computer courses Australia'. These sorts of classes can be perfect if you're just dabbling in some new skills or want a bit of a taste before enrolling in something more formal.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
~ Bill Gates ~
Love it or hate it, IT is here to stay. If you ignore it, you'll be left behind. Best to embrace it and utilise it in a way that suits you, your aspirations and your lifestyle.