Blogs (Media Centre)

Personal Trainer turned IT guru with TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW graduate and Port Macquarie local David O’Hara began his career as a personal trainer and professional lifeguard before making the switch to a career in IT with the help of TAFE NSW.

Almost 70 per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 are willing to change their career path to ensure they get a job, while about 6 million Australians have considered a job or career shift during the past 12 months, new research shows.

David studied a Certificate IV in Information Technology at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie before launching Techknow, an IT business in partnership with TAFE NSW Diploma graduate John Rogers. The pair now employ another TAFE NSW student studying a Certificate IV in Networking.

With many local organisations rearranging their businesses to leverage technology, demand for skilled ICT professionals is surging and David’s business is at the forefront of this digital revolution.

The Australian Information Industry Association identifies this acceleration in digital transformation in response to COVID-19, and says the pandemic is expected to have lasting impacts on the economy and our use of digital technology. The major areas of transformation include working from home, e-health services, e-commerce, online learning and digital government services. These sectors require skilled ICT professionals setting up, managing and maintaining their systems.

David said that was one of the main drawcards to the field of ICT. “The technology sphere is forever changing and growing. It’s great to know that IT professionals will always be in demand. The work is really interesting, I enjoy being challenged and helping customers.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Technology Louise McCormack said TAFE NSW is a leading provider of training for the ICT sector with students learning skills applied to current and beta technology from cloud-based technology to mobile, and big data analytics to social technologies.

“The number of ICT professionals in Australia currently stands at 84,800 and is likely to reach 101,100 by 2025.”

“Regional areas are fast becoming home to some of the most innovative tech employees in Australia and TAFE NSW is ensuring more professionals have the skills to adapt to the rapidly expanding sector,” Ms McCormack said.

For more information about ICT related courses at TAFE NSW or via TAFE Digital, visit  or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,