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Lots more virtualisation, cloud, added to TAFE courses

Students will learn reading data, writing cloud strategies, ‘rithmetic of VDI

The essential guide to IT transformation

Several new subjects on virtualisation and cloud computing will shortly be added to ICA 11, Australia’s national curriculum for vocational education and training in information and communications technology.

ICA 11 defines the curriculum used for courses taught at colleges of technical and further education (TAFEs, a tier of non-university tertiary education akin to the UK's Polytechnics and Community Colleges in the USA) and other non-university tertiary institutions. The new units have been designed so that students emerge with the qualification and also an industry certification, a dual achievement made possible by a curriculum that allows each institution to teach concepts and apply them to a specific product. Institutions with competence in VMware will therefore, for example, be able to teach a unit with that company's tools.

The new units and the courses in which they will be taught are outlined in the table below.

Courses with new units Names of new units
Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology Identify and evaluate characteristics of cloud computing solutions and services
Certificate IV in Information Technology
Certificate IV in Information Technology Support
Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking
Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology
Identify and use current virtualisation technologies
Select cloud storage strategies for an enterprise
Diploma of Information Technology
Diploma of Information Technology Systems Administration
Diploma of Information Technology Networking
Diploma of Database Design and Development
Configure and manage advanced enterprise virtual computing environment
Monitor and troubleshoot enterprise virtual computing environment
Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
Advanced Diploma of Network Security
Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Technology
Design and configure enterprise desktop virtualisation
Manage security controls for cloud service deployment
Vocational Graduate Certificate in Information Technology and Strategic Management
Direct the development of a cloud computing strategy for a business

The Reg understands that the courses have been all-but-completed and await signoff, which is expected in the second half of 2013. As the courses were commissioned by Innovation and Business Skills Australia, signoff is expected to involve technical matters of an educational nature rather than major revisions of the courses. Classes should commence in early 2014.

David Brooks, the industry programs coordinator for the centre for information & communications technology at Box Hill TAFE, said the the new units were developed with help from vendors including RedHat, Microsoft and Cisco, to ensure they reflect the reality of the technologies graduates will encounter when they reach the workforce.

The new units are electives, so not every student will complete them.

Their very presence is, however, likely to be welcomed by vendors and users alike. To understand why, consider that NetApp’s Australian outpost has in the past expressed a desire to partner with the academic community in order to find ways to produce more workers skilled in its products. Customers struggle to find workers with those skills, which has left some unable to get the best from their kit. That sometimes makes it harder for NetApp to make a sale.

These new courses may well help to address that kind of worry, making for smiles throughout the industry. ®

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