From YouTube tutorials to industry-recognised software development qualification

From YouTube tutorials to industry-recognised software development qualification

As a secondary student, Josh Munro was already learning how to write code at school and in his spare time.

He studied Digital Technology at Garin College in Nelson where he learned the basics of web development and design and relying on YouTube tutorials to teach himself more advanced computer programming, which he was using to build his very own web app.

After completing secondary school, Josh knew he wanted to pursue a career in information technology (IT) and web development. As a Nelson local, he was attracted to NMIT. Firstly, the courses on offer provided exactly what he was looking for to kick start his career. Secondly, he realised that living and studying in Nelson would be much more affordable than moving to a big city to attend university.

Josh traded the YouTube tutorials for the New Zealand Diploma in Web Development and Design at NMIT, an industry-recognised qualification. The one-year diploma focuses on website interface design, IT support and software development. It prepares graduates to start a career creating websites.

Josh says he made a seamless transition from secondary school to NMIT. While the workload was heavier and he had to adjust to more self-directed learning, the course was a practical introduction to tertiary education.

Josh says it was helpful to have clear direction from tutors around what to learn — a welcome change from trying to teach himself online.

“I've always wanted to do more complex stuff with web development, but in high school I had to find YouTube tutorials about how to do the things I wanted to do. I found it difficult to learn online. Now I get to actually learn properly what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Josh has decided to further his studies at NMIT with the Bachelor of Information Technology, a three-year degree programme. The diploma makes up the first year of the degree. The degree prepares graduates for a wide range of roles in the information technology industry, including networking, information systems or software and web development.

Josh says the second year of study was a considerable step-up. “It was challenging, but you can see how what you’re learning is more relevant to working in the industry.”

As part of NMIT’s commitment to practical, hands-on education, students get to work on a major project of their choosing in their final year. Josh says he is planning to expand on the web app that he was building as a secondary student, which is designed to teach children about gardening in a “fun, colourful” way.

“I’m creating an environment for children to learn. They can log on and track what they’ve done. The idea is that it’s not boring. I’m taking gardening and spicing it up a bit.”

Josh will undertake his final year of the degree programme in 2021. He says that studying at NMIT has provided him with the direction and support he needed to develop the skills to pursue a career in web and software development.

“There are all these different possibilities to start off with, but a tutor in a classroom instructs you as to what you should learn, rather than trying to figure it out for yourself.”

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