CAO countdown: ‘ICT is a challenge for me and I love it’

Jobs abound in a sector which cannot produce enough graduates to meet demand

Khaya Khumalo: “ I’m doing web development at the moment, but my manager is planning on upskilling me”

Khaya Khumalo: “ I’m doing web development at the moment, but my manager is planning on upskilling me”

 

Khaya Khumalo (23) from Celbridge, Co Kildare has always been interested in computers “as a hobby”, but decided to take it up as a career a few years ago. The former Salesian College student applied to IT Tallaght through the CAO and was accepted.

Job opportunities abound in a sector which is struggling to produce enough graduates to meet demand.

Khumalo is currently taking part in a “Fit” programme, which involves working three days a week with the Irish Computer Society (ICS) and two days of study.

Fit is an industry-led initiative which works with Government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and community organisations.

Khumalo says the majority of the work he has been doing since he commenced the programme last October is technical and coding work. The programme also introduces “soft skills”, such as professional communications and personal development.

“For the first six months, the Government was supporting me but the ICS had agreed to support me after that. It allows me to be technical but it also develops me professionally as well,” he says.

Khumalo has been enjoying his work. “Everyone has been brilliant. I’m learning so much . . . My manager tells me I am doing very well. I’m doing web development at the moment, which is pretty diverse in itself, but my manager is planning on upskilling me. I’m hoping to learn SQL – database management – and C# programming,” he says.

“Right now, I don’t really know what to specialise in. I’m just keen to learn everything. It can be a lot if you don’t specialise, but I enjoy it, I genuinely do. It’s just a challenge for me and I love it, all of it.”