Conversion courses in technology

Conversion courses offer graduates the opportunity to change direction from their undergraduate studies to focus on a new area entirely. Such a degree can be a great springboard to a more vocational or specialised area.

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Conversion are typically one-year
taught courses and are
available in most subject
areas, but there is often a particular
focus on technology, with most of
the major third level institutions
offering conversion courses in some
area of technology.

Conversion courses can be taken
as the first step towards a
postgraduate degree or standalone
qualifications and are highly valued
by employers. If you feel you didn’t
reach full potential at
undergraduate level, a conversion
course can offer a chance to redress
the balance.

Given the high rate of graduate
employment in the area, it’s not
surprising many graduates consider
a conversion programme in
information technology.

Courses typically last for one
year and offer a solid grounding in
the theory and practice of computer
science.

Many colleges offer cross-departmental
programmes such as
the higher diploma in applied
science (applied computing
technology) at University College
Cork and the higher diploma in
information technology at the
National University of Ireland,
Maynooth.

Students who wish to move into
IT in a particular subsector of the
industry may wish to explore the
UCD taught master’s programme in
computer science by negotiated
learning.

This flexible programme helps
students to customise their learning
to their individual student needs and
their prior learning experiences.
As well as data science, cloud
computing, software engineering,
forensics and security, artificial
intelligence and cognitive science,
students can choose a range of
tailored modules to aid their
specialisation such as app design,
data mining, recommender systems
or computer graphics.

DCU runs a very successful
graduate diploma in IT which is a
one-year conversion course.
The entry requirement is a 2.1
degree in any discipline and the
course attracts people from all walks
of life.

A postgraduate conversion course
in IT can fast-track you on to a
master’s, such as UCC’s MSc in
interactive media or an MSc in data
analytics at Dublin Institute of
Technology.

For employers, they accept that
conversion courses provide an
alternative pipeline of much needed
talent, but some would still view a
graduate coming from a four-year
degree in the same discipline as
someone coming from a one year
conversion course.

Also, it is worth
remembering that when employers
talk about skills shortages in IT, they
are not talking about all areas of IT, so
doing your research about what
skills are particularly in demand
(programming and development in
particular) and choose a conversion
course that focuses on these areas,
or at least incorporates significant
elements of these areas.

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