The pervasive use of computers has resulted in an ongoing need for a wide range of highly skilled human capacity in ICT disciplines. The field is subject to rapid technological changes and therefore requires professionals who are well-educated, who keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and who can engage future trends and developments in the field.
The purpose of this Diploma qualification is to provide a career-focussed, professional qualification featuring industry-referenced knowledge and skills transfer, technological competencies, critical cross-field skills as well as attitudinal development. The programme deals with the conceptualisation, design, development, implementation and testing of computer software applications to meet the enormous commercial and social demand for such products. Students are prepared for careers in Computer Programming and Systems Analysis & Design but will gain exposure to a wide range of related topics. The diploma graduate will be knowledgeable and competent in the discourse and practice of the ICT discipline and have specialist knowledge of the Applications Development sub-discipline of ICT. The curriculum features a range of professional and personal development initiatives relevant to the ICT industry and the promotion of lifelong learning skills. Qualifying students will therefore be proficient in the general discourse of ICT but have specialised knowledge and skills that are focussed on Applications Development. The programme is designed to promote initiative and responsibility in an academic and/or professional context to respond to the local, regional and national, community and industry needs.
Diploma graduates in ICT specialising in Applications Development are able to:
- Create and modify general computer applications software or specialised utility programs for stand-alone and distributed environments including the web environment,
- Analyse user needs and produce a suitable specification for a system, covering a medium sized business problem,
- Develop computer programs to demonstrate the ability to store, locate and retrieve information from different data sources, and
- Deploy a suitable, secure software solution based on a given scenario demonstrating an understanding of systems architectures.
ICT practitioners are generally required to collaborate in teams to accomplish a common goal by integrating personal initiative and group cooperation around ICT projects. The course therefore also focuses on the development of professional communication skills which prepares students to work both independently and as part of a team. Strong emphasis is placed on creative problem solving and structured project management approaches.
The dynamic nature of the ICT industry demands that practitioners remain aware of developments and continuously update their skills. Practitioners must be au fait with the best practices and benchmark standards of the ICT industry. The programme therefore focuses on developing the lifelong learning skills of students.
Security of information has become a key concern in the modern business environment. As future ICT practitioners, students will therefore be exposed to uncompromising approaches in the ethical practice of their profession.
Applicants to the Diploma in ICT qualification must have a Matric with reasonably strong First Language (and English) and Mathematics or Mathematics Literacy marks. It is highly recommended that applicants should also have Computer Applications Technology (CAT) or Information Technology (IT) as subjects in their Matric curriculum. The specific minimum admissions requirements are available from the SPU website.
An exciting career awaits those who successfully complete the Diploma in ICT specialised in Applications Development qualification. A world without ICT and software application is unimaginable! Applications Development manifests in every facet of life – mobile phone apps, ATMs & banking, mining, television, medical equipment, agriculture, finance & accounting, education, geographical information systems, film & video, motorcars and aeroplanes, toys, social media & the internet… The list is endless.
In South Africa and across the globe, ICT is regarded as a “scarce skill” and opportunity awaits those who have the right knowledge, skills and attitude. Good luck!