With Australia’s ICT industry on a massive incline in recent years – on top of endless growth and innovation in the global technological landscape – the prominence of IT in education comes at no surprise.
In fact, enrolments into IT have increased by over 50% since the late 2000s (according to Deloitte’s Digital Pulse 2019 report). This has resulted in over 36,000 enrolments and nearly 6,000 degree completions in 2017 alone.
For beginning professionals looking to build their skills in IT, a diploma course can brush you up on the basic concepts – while equipping you with the work-ready skills to pursue entry-level roles in the field. With multiple sub-sector in the industry, however, which Diploma of IT course should you pursue?
Below, we explore the most popular diploma options in IT – and how you can start your educational journey today.
The benefits of a diploma over a degree
Those weighing out their training options may be faced with the choice of pursuing a diploma course or formal degree. Your decision ultimately depends on your specific career and educational goals – though diplomas have been proven to hold countless advantages over a traditional university degree, leading to a rising trend of Australians opting for the former rather than the latter.
Since diploma courses (and other types of vocational training) educate their students on more practical, rather than theoretical, skills; graduates are able to enter the workforce and pursue their desired roles with greater, “work-ready” preparation.
Research indicates that those who complete a VET course (diploma or otherwise) have a higher employment rate than those who graduate from a university degree – with 78% of former students employed after their training.
To top that off, VET graduates earn a median full-time income of $56,000 – higher than the median salary of $54,000 among Bachelor’s degree graduates.
Not only can a diploma be completed in a much shorter timeframe than a degree program; their training can also be delivered flexibly, with plenty of training providers (such as the Australian Institute of ICT) offering such educational opportunities online.
With IT being a primarily digitally-based industry, one can easily complete their diploma through the wide selection of online options available – and from the comfort of their own home, at that.
Choosing the right IT diploma for you
Now that we’ve laid the benefits of pursuing a diploma program, which sector of IT should you pursue?
Three of the Australia’s fastest-growing, most lucrative ICT fields include website development and cyber security. Both are valued at over a billion in revenue per annum (with cyber security hitting a high of $3.9 billion in 2018) – are both set to experience extreme growth in employment in the coming years.
Of course, aspiring professionals can also choose to pursue a general IT diploma – one diving into the broad, fundamental aspects and tasks of the field.
We dive into these three educational pathways below. What you ultimately choose to pursue should match your interests and career objectives as an IT professional.
A Diploma of Information Technology can be a starting point for determining your individual specialty down the road.
General IT diplomas typically train you in the basic knowledge and skills of key industry areas – including administration and management; security and networking; and the implementation of systems and software.
These programs will equip you with the practical skills to tackle and solve real-world IT problems, helping you have a feel of an IT-based workplace setting. Among other tasks, you’ll learn to design, build, and test servers; manage projects and develop workplace policies; and maintain and manage network security (these subjects may vary depending on your course provider).
Those who complete a Diploma of Information Technology can typically go on to pursue roles such as an ICT Systems Administrator, and ICT System Manager, and an ICT Project Manager.
According to findings by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the country will need an additional 100,000 ICT workers by 2024 to keep up with skills demands; thus, training in general IT can help in “future-proofing” your career options.
Those looking to pursue a more creative aspect of the industry can look no further than website development.
A Diploma of Website Development can help you build the skills to craft visually engaging, dynamically functional, and flexible websites for both desktop and mobile use. Through the training these courses offer, graduates are commonly well-prepared to pursue independent contractor or freelancing opportunities – or take part in a collaborative team environment.
Students will acquire valuable training in multiple key areas of website-building; including the complex development of cascading style sheets (CSS), designing and managing databases, implementing tools for safe and regulated transactions, and the application of new and emerging (web-based) technological trends.
Those who graduate from a Diploma of Website Development can seek out career opportunities as a programmer, front-end web developer, and web application developer.
Job Outlook shows that employment is set to experience extreme growth in the coming years, from 15,000 workers in 2028 to 18,000 by 2023. With higher-than-average weekly earnings ($1,596 per week compared to the all-jobs average of $1,460) and plenty of room for growth, this program can set aspiring professionals on a path towards a fulfilling and profitable job future.
Finally, we have cyber security.
As one of the fastest-growing sectors of the IT industry, efforts to push educational avenues for cyber security have been a prominent trend in recent years. The ever-rising threat of cybercrime and increasing sophistication of hacker methods have called for great demands in skill, with the country currently suffering a talent shortage of 2,300 workers in the field.
With a Diploma of Cyber Security, students can train in the skills required to effectively identify, manage, and assess risks and emerging threats within a business’ digital systems and software. Individuals will learn to develop strategies for improving and maintaining security, as well as craft incident response plans in the case of a successful breach.
Getting certified in cyber security allows you to pursue specialised roles such as a cyber security analyst, an ethical hacker, or a penetration tester. With rapid growth in the industry (versus the low number of available skills in the job market) graduates will likely find plentiful job opportunities with higher-than-average salaries.
Enter the growing world of IT today
So, thinking of joining the IT landscape?
The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) offers in-depth diploma courses and certifications across all three of these thriving areas in IT. Students will effectively dive into the fundamentals and specialised skills of these sectors – graduating with nationally-recognised qualifications to grab attention among potential employers.
Best of all, each program is delivered completely online – helping you tailor your studies around your personal needs and schedule.
Start your educational journey in one of Australia’s leading industries, and enquire with us on a course today.