How Passion and an ICT Conversion Course can enable a career transition to Technology

by John Mulhall, Graduate Software Developer and former Management Professional with over 15 Years Commercial Experience. See more by him here

As a late newcomer to ICT from Process Management, my marvel at its wonders is just another sign that it was the right move for me! Needless to say, if I didn’t have boundless enthusiasm for making such a move, the above marvel may have gone down in flames to a point described by Emo Philips when he said “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing”. So… “Debs” my MacBook Pro can machine cycle much easier now given the positive outcome of my course, which has introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities in ICT!

For those looking to transition to ICT, a clear vision is required of what drives them, how capable they are along with their direction in life? Does it point to Software Development (the coder), Infrastructure (the fixer) or maybe Big Data (the numbers lover)??? It’s a tough question for those outside of ICT but thinking of it in terms of how one approaches problems and how one may fix them certainly helps! Was it a case of a slap dash, boom bash and hope it’s a good enough process or did you gather requirements, analyse the problem, develop and execute a solution to completion? If it’s the latter and you got a thrill out of the achievement in completing it, then ICT just maybe the place for you!

The strategic need for more ICT professionals was embraced in Ireland with a larger resourcing collaboration between Government, Academia and Industry. The fruits of their labour resulted in a programme called Springboard+ http://springboardcourses.ie/ where unemployed and employed alike could chart a government funded path to a professionally accredited ICT career. Cool eh??

I studied at Dublin Business School and am set to receive a 1st class honour (internally moderated results) in my ICT course with externally moderated results been released towards the end of September 2017 for Graduation November 6th. My course is based upon a condensed learning model transforming the Student into a Software Development Professional in under a year.

The fact that one needs to give the course 120% of their time, fully committing themselves to a successful outcome and constantly pushing their knowledge boundaries in software should not deter those who are truly devoted to their area and passionate about working in it! The condensed learning model is indeed difficult (think 3 year ordinary degree in 1 year)! It tests your patience, commitment and resolve to the max BUT if you are able and dedicated, you will succeed!

So, considering the above, are you:

Clear about what area of technology you want to get into and passionate about your reasons for becoming an accredited ICT Professional?

Able to take a year (two years for part time) in a condensed learning model that will test your physical and mental ability to learn large amounts of information over lectures that average 5 hours a day (full time) with study on top of that?

Unwavering in your passion exploring software as you go with view to getting a deeper understanding of it?

Disciplined enough to organise your life where you can devote all your time to the course and the transition to ICT?

Willing to invest your time and energy into creating a new career in ICT?

If so, then the condensed learning demands will be right up your alley and will expedite a career change to ICT that truly separates the ‘talkers’ from the ‘doers!’ Such a ‘can do’ attitude is exactly what the industry wants and they will make you prove that you are the guy or gal for them! The need to build a personal portfolio ranks equally in my view to the need for academic qualifications; so when doing college projects, make sure they are tip top and ready for showcasing to potential employers!

On the job search post course, it’s a long road and becoming disheartened is understandable! What helps is remembering what you now do is where you belong! I have applied for exactly 100 jobs since the course finished for me on June 28th (2017). Whilst I have generated interest from a few companies, the urgency on developing more advanced applications and software for my Github portfolio is very apparent! My days are honestly spent job hunting and having fun exploring more advanced features of the .NET and Java stacks with applications for my software portfolio on Github as the output!

The whole idea of Springboard+ is for students to get transitioned to ICT and to get working in it! It’s a titan effort BUT if the passion is there, so are the rewards starting with doing what you love! Do note the money and opportunities come later but continuous learning will stay with you for the balance of your career in ICT! It’s a warm feeling knowing that each day regardless of whether it’s good day or bad; you will spend it doing what you love making each day a software filled adventure!


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