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KickStart your career in IT with 13 week fast track course

23 November 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council – in partnership with the North West Regional College, and funded by the Department of Economy – is offering a course aimed at fast tracking students into a career in the IT industry.
Kickstart IT is a 13-week, industry led, Software Fundamentals course, providing specialist training to enable candidates to successfully apply for IT software roles.
Commencing on January 4th 2021, 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. They will also be offered a four-week placement with a local software company and a guaranteed job interview with one of the participating companies.
Eileen McGrinder, Skills Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council said: "KickStart Your IT offers an ideal opportunity for candidates to retrain in an industry that has grown significantly during 2020.
"The course includes employability sessions which aim to enhance candidates' personal development and to give them the best possible chance during the job application process. They include assistance with completion of application forms, writing CVs, interview preparation, mock interview feedback and presentation skills."
Successful students will gain an ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing, a City and Guilds Diploma for Software Developers and a City and Guilds Certificate of Unit Credit in relation to SQL module.
Some past students share their experiences of the course:
Having come to a crossroads in his education journey, Adam McEntee made the decision to take a year out of university to decide what to do next. He joined the KickStart IT course with no real expectations.
"I was stuck in a rut and wanted to get on the right path to starting a career in IT. I wasn't sure if the programme was for me, or if it would get me to where I wanted to be, but Eileen and Kevin put my mind at ease and I was amazed how quickly I was able to progress.
"The course was hard work and challenging but extremely worthwhile. It equips you with everything you need to know to start work in the IT sector. I learnt so much in such a short period and having completed a four-week placement with Metacompliance, I applied for a role with Learning Pool where I've worked for over a year as a Quality Assurance Analyst.  I am so glad I had the courage to apply for the KickStart IT programme as it has really kick-started my career."
Chloe Freen began her career in nursing but quickly realised that it wasn't for her. She saw the KickStart IT programme advertised and made an enquiry. After a chat with course tutors, Eileen and Kevin she decided to apply.
"It didn't take me long to realise I had made the right decision to enrol on the course. It was challenging but extremely rewarding and provided me with all the tools I needed to follow a career in IT. I completed my four-week placement with Pramerica and am now employed by them as a Quality Assurance Associate. The KickStart IT programme has opened doors for me that I would never have thought possible and I am loving life!"
A stay at home dad for seven years, Brendan Brady was apprehensive to jump back into the world of work. He applied for the KickStart IT programme which provided him with the knowledge and skills to progress a career in the IT industry.
"The course was a perfect blend of group and one-to-one teaching. Kevin's passion for software testing and automation was infectious and his determination to champion every student, made the challenges of the course feel exciting and achievable."
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 North West Regional College and Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Eligible candidates must be resident in the Derry City and Strabane District 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 4th December 2020. For further information please email [email protected] or visit www.derrystrabane.com/employment-skills