With the changing demands of the information technology (IT) industry, SAIT plans to modernize and streamline it’s IT programs with several large changes, all set to be put in place in the next couple of years to keep up with industry demands.
Amos Ngai, the academic chair for the school of Advanced Digital Technology at SAIT, elaborated, saying that SAIT has several changes planned as of now; however the largest change they are working towards is the folding of three out of the four majors into one, leaving only software development and the new stream.
Ngai said, “We see upwards of 90 per cent of our graduates from our networking, telecommunications, and hardware getting the same jobs, and just requiring a little bit of learning on the job depending on the major, so we see no reason to not fold the programs together to cover the gaps.”
This new major is also set to be much more rounded than any of the courses in the past, allowing graduates of this diploma to more easily slot into a variety of roles across the IT industry.
The rounded approach that SAIT plans to take for the course is specifically aimed to aid at the junior level of employment within the industry.
Haider Al-Saidi, the associate dean for the School of Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) at SAIT, additionally stated, “The IT diploma program hasn’t been majorly updated for almost 16 years now so I think its the right time to take a second look at the program.”
However, both Ngai and Al-Saidi pointed out that none of the graduates who are currently in the courses that are set to be merged should worry about the course changes.
“The mergers are less to remove content from the courses, and more to incorporate new cutting edge ideas, such as machine learning, 5G maintenance, and automation,” Al-Saidi said.
Rohan Imrie, a student within the telecommunications major, expressed some concerns over the “outdated” aspects of many of his courses.
“Much of the stuff we’re learning about is out of date. I kind of feel like when I get out into the workforce I’m going to have to rely on learning a lot, which isn’t bad, but the time at SAIT could be used better,” Imrie said.
Ngai said that some courses, such as telecommunications, lagged behind industry slightly; however, said he didn’t feel as though the students would struggle to find employment.
“A good way to think about it would be to see the courses as of now as an iPhone 11, and the new courses an iPhone 13. Both are great quality, one just has slightly more functionality. It won’t stop you from getting a job,” Ngai said.
A good way to think about it would be to see the courses as of now as an iPhone 11, and the new courses an iPhone 13. Both are great quality, one just has slightly more functionality. It won’t stop you from getting a job. – Amos Ngai
Both Ngai and Al-Saidi also pointed out that graduates shouldn’t struggle overall in the industry, stating that there simply aren’t enough workers to fill the spots right now.
“It’s a great time to get into the field, an abundance of jobs in almost every tech space,” Ngai said.