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KickStart IT sets Adam on fast track to career in Quality Assurance

08 December 2020
Former St Columb's College student Adam McEntee is celebrating his first year as a Quality Assurance Tester at Learning Pool in Derry thanks to a fast track course that gave him the qualifications and experience to apply for the role in just three months.
KickStart IT is a 13-week, industry led, Software Fundamentals course that provides specialist training to enable candidates to successfully apply for IT software roles.
The course is jointly hosted by the North West Regional College and Derry City and Strabane District Council with funding from the Department for the Economy and applications are currently being sought to join its latest cohort which begins next month.
The fully funded programme offers students an IT industry recognised qualification and the training to give them a competitive edge in the local job market.
Candidates will also be offered a four-week placement with a local software company and a guaranteed job interview with participating companies.
Adam completed his A levels in 2019 and was considering his University options when he became aware of the opportunity to complete the course.
"I wasn't sure if it was for me or if it would get me where I wanted to be but I spoke to Kevin McLaughlin at NWRC and Eileen McGrinder from the Skills department at Council and they put my mind at ease," he explained.
"I did doubt myself in the early stages but I was amazed at how quickly, through Kevin's excellent teaching, I was able to grasp everything.
"The course was brilliant, it was definitely hard work and easily one of the more challenging things I've done but I learnt so much in such a short period of time that it really makes it worth it. 
"It has opened up a whole new world to me and the opportunities it has created are incredible. 
"I was sad when the course ended as the whole class gelled so well and I made some great friends, some of whom I am still in contact with."
After completing his training, Kevin was placed with Derry based MetaCompliance where he worked on automating tests.
After completing his four week placement with the cyber security specialists he was asked to remain with them over the summer before successfully applying for a Quality Assurance position within Learning Pool.
"I love my job now and I am so pleased I had the courage to apply for the IT fundamentals course and get where I am in such a short period," he added. 
"The course has had a huge impact on my life and literally 'Kick Started' my career.
"I completed industry specific exams in QA and development, gained invaluable work experience and this was made so easy with all of the technical and non-technical knowledge Kevin was able to provide us with.
"I would highly recommend it to everyone, if you want a challenge, want a career change or even just thought you would like a career in IT this course has it all.
"It is short, sharp and straight to the point, this course teaches you everything you need to know to start work in I.T. sector."
The selection process for the course is by application form, with shortlisted candidates progressing to an aptitude test to assess logical and mathematical skills, followed by an interview with representatives from NWRC and Council.
Eligible candidates must be resident in the Council area and possess a degree in any discipline or an IT qualification at HNC/D level.
Candidates must be available to commit to 29.5 hrs training per week.
The deadline for registration is Wednesday December 16th 2020. 
For further information please email [email protected] or visit www.derrystrabane.com/employement-skills.