North Island College expands access to new computer information systems certificate

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North Island College (NIC) is launching a new computer information systems (CIS) certificate this fall with a new delivery format to increase access for students.

It includes computer programming, web scripting, database fundamentals and systems administration to prepare students for developing and managing modern information systems. 

“Employees who maintain networks, systems and software are invaluable and in high demand in the region,” said Neil Cruickshank, NIC dean of arts, science and technology. “This program provides students with the foundational skills to find employment in a wide range of information technology areas.”

The one-year program will be offered almost entirely through digital delivery, with an option for students to attend on campus. There is a new, dedicated computer lab at the Campbell River campus and lab space has also been reserved at the Comox Valley and Port Alberni campuses.

Students will have to go to the Campbell River campus for one day during the fall term to complete one of the assignments, according to NIC.

“We wanted to provide opportunities for students to access the program across the region, while also ensuring they could come to campus to use our computer lab facilities, including our brand new dedicated lab in Campbell River, if they wanted to,” said Cruickshank.

NIC began developing the CIS certificate after receiving feedback from employers in the region about a lack of qualified candidates to fill key roles in information technology.

The BC Labour Market Outlook: 2019 Edition forecasts 22,660 computer information system job openings across the province by 2029, including 4,150 on Vancouver Island and the central coast.

“Part of what makes this certificate program truly exceptional is that while students will earn a credential and be prepared for a job in the IT sector, the program was also designed with transferability in mind, so students can also continue their studies, if they want,” said Cruickshank.

The program combines theory with practical applied skills through hands-on lab exercises and projects. Graduates will be able to enter the workforce or continue their training through diploma and degree programs at other post-secondary institutions across B.C., according to NIC.

The first intake of the new CIS certificate will be this September.

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