Supercharge IT careers with built-in certifications at USC

University of the Sunshine Coast

As demand for industry-ready IT graduates grows, the University of the Sunshine Coast has embedded industry certifications into each year of its technology degrees – at no extra cost.

Students can earn while they learn by using in-demand industry certifications and badges to secure jobs and internships in the booming technology sector as they study – and graduate with high-level, job-ready professional skills.

“This is all about allowing students to supercharge their IT careers as they complete their degrees,” says USC School of Science, Technology and Engineering Deputy Dean Rania Shibl.

“We’ve embedded several industry certifications and badges from Microsoft, ITS, CISCO and EC-Council, equipping them with additional professional skills,” Dr Shibl said.

And the move has been embraced by the tech industry, with firms such as Dell, Ingram Micro, DataMC, Entag, Youi and the Urban Institute, hiring and training USC students.

USC computer science student Jeshin Chetty-Sardar, 19, is among those already working with local and global tech leaders after gaining a paid internship with Dell.

He is putting his new tech skills from a JavaScript course and Microsoft Azure AI fundamentals certification – along with knowledge from his degree where he specialises in cloud and mobile technology – to use in his coding role with Dell.

Technology leaders, such as Ingram Micro and Microsoft, say there are benefits to offering industry-relevant certifications as part of USC’s degrees.

“When Ingram Micro was introduced to USC degree program, we saw how these young minds brought new ways to creating business opportunity,” Director of Ingram Micro Cloud Trent Gomersall said.

Microsoft Future Skills Lead Yasminka Nemet says it is the first time in Australia that multiple Microsoft certifications are offered as assessments throughout an undergraduate program.

“This is reflecting a deep commitment to teaching the skills that industry needs,” she says.

Industry certifications are available within a Bachelor of Computer Science, Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology, Master of Information and Communications Technology or Master of Cyber Security and Forensics.

By the time students graduate, they could have four or more certifications, valued at around $500 each, a cost that is covered by the University.

Year 11 and 12 students completing USC’s Headstart program can also gain ITS Python certification as part of an ICT course.

Dr Shibl says the University plans to expand its certification offering by including certifications in other Schools and expanding beyond Microsoft with AWS, Google and IBM.

Image: DataMC CEO John Lowe (middle) with USC Information and Communications Technology graduates Brett Scott Filipe Martelo who both completed internships with DataMC and are now working with the data management specialist.

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