Australasian IT training provider Com Tech Education Services is offering 200 subsidised places on its newly established online degree course.
Com Tech has joined forces with Microsoft and Canberra-based Deakin University to offer a Bachelor of Computing, which it says is a first in providing a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) qualification coupled with three years' fully paid work experience and a computing degree from Deakin, via distance learning.
The part-scholarships of $2000 mean instead of paying $11,000 upfront, students pay $3000 with a further $6000 paid after their industry placement. The first six months of the course are spent in Com Tech's Auckland or Wellington classrooms completing six of the 24 units needed for the degree.
Work experience follows, with students earning around $27-28,000 a year on an entry-level job. This is combined with evening distance learning, earning 12 units (six a year), followed by several days with Com Tech for the remainder. After which graduates can seek more senior, better paying roles.
Com Tech International business development manager Martin Hale says an Australian degree is being offered instead of a New Zealand degree because Deakin is a world leader in distance education. Com Tech launched an identical course in Australia a few months ago, claiming more than 100 students nationwide. Hale says his company plans to introduce it shortly in New Delhi, Washington, Singapore and Johannesburg. Next year it plans to introduce industry courses for Cisco, Sun and IBM systems, including a developers degree.
Microsoft New Zealand marketing manager Ross Peat says the new degree will offer sought-after qualifications and experience.
"The programme will succeed because it takes a very practical, real-world look at delivering skilled and well-rounded graduates in the IT industry."