Huge career opportunities for those with the right skills
10 July 2018
As reported by Cpl Recruitment “employers across the country continue to demand employees with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills” and evidence provided by the Department of Education and Skills shows that demand for STEM workers is expected to grow significantly between 2015 and 2025.
The STEM education policy statement published by Richard Bruton, the Minister for Education and Skills, states: “While the demand is growing for workers with STEM skills, research has established that many of our learners are not adequately prepared to take up STEM-related employment.” One way to meet this demand is to develop these skills in the existing workforce, and this is the route many organisations prefer to go.
The Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, NUI Galway, provides an innovative modular diploma and degree programme in science and technology in response to this demand. If you want to fast-track your career or move into a management role, consider this programme which has been developed to address current and future requirements of the high-tech sector. It also improves employability for career changers in a variety of technology-rich industries, such as high-end manufacturing of medical and other precision devices, supply chain and technical support services.
Collaboratively developed by industry and academics
The part-time programme in science and technology was developed by academic staff in consultation with industry, specifically to address current gaps and future skills requirements. It offers a range of traditional science, engineering and informatics subjects along with specialist elective modules, so participants can focus on areas that are relevant to their career goals.
Work-based projects help participants to apply learning directly and immediately to the workplace and there is an emphasis on professional transferable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, communication, and team work.
There are three levels of academic awards available: a diploma, a BSc and five specialist diplomas. The following courses will run in September 2018 and are accepting applications:
- Diploma in Science & Technology Studies;
- Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science;
- Specialist Diploma in Lean and Quality Systems;
- Specialist Diploma in Automation and Control;
- BSc in in Science & Technology Studies.
The diploma is open to applicants over 21 who have a Leaving Certificate with a pass in maths. The flexibility of the modular course means that it can be completed in between two and four years. Entry to the BSc requires either the Diploma in Science & Technology or a similar diploma. The BSc offers five specialist streams including: Medical Device Science, Lean and Quality Systems, and Automation and Control. These streams are also available as standalone specialist diplomas, which can be completed part-time over one year.
Designed for working adults
The programme is delivered using a combination of online and distance learning, as well as face-to-face tutorials, workshops and practical labs on Saturdays in NUI Galway. This delivery model gives adult learners great control in deciding when and where to study. Many study at home after the kids are in bed, or go into the office earlier to work on their studies.
Conscious of the many demands and time constraints on those working or caring through the day, the courses were developed on a modular basis, allowing the participant themselves to decide how many modules they take on each semester. The more manageable blocks of learning enable participants to balance their existing commitments with the demands of a programme of study. The success of this approach is demonstrated by the fact that completion rates are extremely high, far higher than for other STEM courses.
Funding and funding opportunities
Payment for the course is also per module, on a semester by semester basis, so participants can stagger the cost of the course to suit their financial situation. At €380 per module, it is an affordable option for anybody considering furthering their education.
The three specialist diplomas listed above have been granted Springboard funding, so that they are free to successful applicants receiving social welfare supports, while those in employment only pay 10 per cent of the course fee. See www.springboardcourses.ie for further details.
There are also scholarships for the diploma and degree available to those in receipt of social welfare benefit which cover 30 per cent of the course fee.
Wide range of modules and electives
The table below outlines the modules that are covered in the diploma and the degree.
You will find detailed programme content, with an outline of all the modules on offer, on our programme website www.nuigalway.ie/sci-tech. Applications are being accepted from now until July 29, 2018. Given the fast approaching deadline, immediate application is recommended. For any queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.