A Wagga man who switched from running a small business to IT in his
mid-30s has urged others to consider enrolling in a trailblazing TAFE
NSW computing course that has a remarkable 100 per cent jobs strike rate.
In 2015, father-of-three Tim Pankhurst took a dramatic career detour
from owning a small business in Wagga to enrolling in the Information
Technology Pathway Program, a partnership between TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga
and Charles Sturt University (CSU).
The course has been running for more than a decade and, incredibly,
every single graduate has landed a job in the IT industry, many before
they even graduated.
For Mr Pankhurst, the collegiate and practical approach to learning
offered by TAFE NSW helped immensely.
“I thought I knew a bit about computers but I had no idea how
in-depth this would be ... it really sets you up for a career in the
industry,” Mr Pankhurst said. “It was such a hands-on learning
experience and you can’t really get that anywhere else. The job
outcomes are great and I would urge anyone who is interested in
computing, and wondering what they’re going to do for a career, to
consider giving it a go.”
Upon graduating, Mr Pankhurst was offered a job at Wagga IT firm PDK
as a Service and Delivery Manager. PDK has hired a host of TAFE NSW
graduates in recent years.
The fully integrated pathway program enables students to gain credit
towards a Bachelor of Information Technology from CSU for their TAFE
NSW studies, which include a Certificate III in Network
Administration, a Certificate IV in IT Networking, a Diploma of
Information Technology and an Advanced Diploma of Network Security.
Two-thirds of the credits towards the bachelor are earned at TAFE NSW
and the program has an intense focus on hands-on, industry relevant training.
According to the Federal Government’s Job Outlook data, computer
network professionals earn an average of more than $1800 a week and
the growth prospects for the job remain strong.
TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga IT Head Teacher George Holt said the pathways
program’s focus on job-ready skills had seen it forge a formidable
reputation in the industry.
“Because the program is fully project-based, it prepares students for
real-life scenarios in the workplace and it’s as grounded in the
workplace environment as it can possibly be,” Mr Holt said.
“We are very fortunate in this region to have so many progressive IT
businesses and we have fantastic relationships with them. So much so,
that businesses often donate equipment for students to use and we
regularly field calls from employers looking for us to promote jobs.
“It’s such a dynamic industry and there are lots of jobs around,
especially for our graduates.”
To find out more about studying computing at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01
or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications
– Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.