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HDip in computing ( Maynooth University)

  • 15-06-2022 8:34pm
    Registered Users Posts: 28 arelyn

    Hello guys

    I recently secured a place in the Springboard course at Maynooth University and I would like to ask a few questions preferably from current and previous students of the program as well as individuals with knowledge about conversion programs like this

    1. The course seems to be intensive but I would like to know the quality of the program and should I put in the right effort, will it provide a well-structured career transition into IT

    2. I am currently in a dead-end full-time employment but can easily switch to part-time. I will like to know if this program is flexible enough to combine with part-time employment mostly at weekends

    3. I have been studying python which I enjoyed so much and planning to pick up java in the next couple of weeks having read through the program overview notes which is java oriented. I will like to know how popular java is in the job market

    4. The University is part of NUI but seems to be often overlooked in discussions...I will like to know the implication of this with employers and in the job market

    Many thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭ Silverdream

    I did a similar HDip in Computing at GMIT, I looked at the modules and it's much the same if even a bit less content. So to answer your questions

    1. Course is really only a basic Introduction to computing, at the end of it you are really only on the same level as the start of 3rd year in any Computer Science degree. So yes it is a start but it won't give you a transition into IT unless you have pull into a job. Most Jobs you have any hope of applying for will have candidates who have as high as Masters in CS even though you could do the job you'd be at a disadvantage and overlooked.
    2. I doubt it, these course are usually continuous assessments which means lots of project work. So maybe it's doable but you'll have no life at end of term, if you have family then forget it.
    3. Java is only one language, you really need a suite of languages, and java is not that widespread in the workplace, it tends to be used in backend server software and you need to be at Java professional level. Anyways you'll find a lot of so called "IT" jobs are nothing more than basic database admin or some form of admin roles. Also many companies use there own systems that you need to be trained on after.
    4. Doesn't make any difference to employers, they just want candidates with experience and most are unwilling to give you a chance to get any experience so you'll have to create your own portfolio of projects and a Website to boot.

    Sorry to be a bit of a downer on the course but I know from experience, I really Aced the course, done really well at Java yet when I went to do the Java associate course I was still months behind, it took me another 12 months to complete the Java Associate and Professional certifications. Then after all that I still couldn't get in anywhere, I'd do the aptitude tests, Ace them, do the Interviews, know everything about all these companies etc only to be told no each time. Eventually got feedback from one decent HR guy who more or less told me that without experience I was always going to be second to someone with a Degree or Masters and that contrary to all the spoof that there is a shortage of IT workers, there's no shortage of over qualified entry level applicants. I eventually done one of those FIT apprenticeships, It was a real step backwards but it got me in the door of a really good company and got loads of experience.

    My advice is either to do a full time 4 year proper College Degree or at the very least a 3 year level 7 in Computer Science OR do one of the FIT apprenticeships (Google FIT apprenticeships) With the apprenticeships you'll get paid while you learn for the 2 years and get experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 156 ✭✭ mtb_sends

    @arelyn, Unfortunately @Silverdream is pretty much spot on. A full time 4 year degree is the best option.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,999 ✭✭✭ Ficheall


    The 4yr degree takes four years - the diploma takes a year/two half years?

    An employer will take a 1yr qualification plus three years' experience/some sort of portfolio over a degree any day.

    I get the impression Silverdream did the diploma a bit longer ago so quite possibly a different story then, but if it was the same one I did (ended Dec 2020, computer science with data analytics?) the java content was minimal, less than a third of one module.

    If you'd like the "student lifestyle experience" for four years and wouldn't have to pay degree fees, then the degree seems a fine choice.

    If you're disciplined, absolutely everything you learn in these courses can be learned online in significantly less time, and allowing you to focus on stuff you're interested in and to ignore any filler modules.

    The piece of paper is still important for getting your first foot in the door, but the couple of extra years with the less shiny piece of paper are more than worth it, imho.

    Plus, if you decide it's not actually for you, you can leave after a year or two with something to show for it, instead of waiting the four years.

    The apprenticeships do sound like a good idea though. Getting paid to learn is great.

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭ BurnsCarpenter

    Does the course involve some work experience? I did a hdip conversion course some time back and it worked out really well for me. But a key part was the work experience at the end. That's a great opportunity to get your foot in the door somewhere and try to impress them. Tech companies can struggle to attract and retain staff so they might be inclined to keep you on if you are good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,999 ✭✭✭ Ficheall

    The main reason I went for the diploma was the promise of a placement.

    The college doesn't sort it for you though, you have to organise it yourself. The alternatives are a project (which they obviously aren't going to spend a lot of time on because they've ~150 students to churn through) or "recognition of prior learning", which is just a letter from a previous boss basically attesting that you are not a danger to people you work with.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,363 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    I haven't done this course. But they are usually very intensive.