Uni offers masters degree for IT veterans

Masters degree and certification in one hit.

Charles Sturt University has added the Oracle Certified Professional stream to its Master of Database Design and Management to begin in Trimester 1 next year.

The degree is part of the online distance education IT Masters program which integrates Microsoft, Cisco, Novell, The Project Management Institute (PMI) and Oracle certifications into Masters theoretical course work. Upon completion of the two-year degree, graduates receive a full Masters qualification along with the respective certification.

Charles Sturt University IT Masters associate course co-ordinator Jason Howarth said the courses target those IT professionals with years of industry experience but lack an undergraduate degree by allowing a prerequisite of four years IT industry experience, or two years experience with an IT undergraduate qualification.

"We feel those IT professionals who have worked in the IT industry for decade or more should be entitled to undertake a Masters degree because they have very valuable experience," Howarth said.

"[While] students need to pass at least 12 subjects of which six are industry-based and six are academic-based, [they] can gain credit depending on certifications they have done."

The program offers Masters in Networking and Systems Administration, Systems Development, Information Systems Security, IT Management, Database Design and Management and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. Certifications include the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP):Database Administrator and Database Developer, SQL Server 2005, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), and Novell Certified Linux Engineer.

Master of Networking and System Administration early graduate Scott Anderson said the course is suited for online delivery.

"It opened up a whole realm of issues in all the subjects I did [and] the forums were well and truly alive," Anderson said.

"Unlike traditional universities, they are well structured for [online delivery] with online forums and resources and quick response times."

Charles Sturt University industry relationships sub dean Dr Irfan Altas said the courses will challenge IT professionals who have been out of the education system for a long time.

"People who work in IT become familiar with thinking logically and are used to a binary approach-indicators which are either 'on' or 'off' and 'right' or 'wrong'," Altas said.

"Subjects such as IT Ethics will take students out of their comfort zone and into a different mode of thinking because to graduate, students will need to show they can think critically and argue consistently and rationally about the moral issues confronting today's IT professional."

Intakes are being received now for 2007 courses - visit www.itmasters.com.au for more information.

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