Two young local students are looking forward to their next career steps after upskilling in ICT with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service.
Tiffany Doherty and Megan McGroarty both completed year-long computing courses this summer.
And they excelled so much that they both made it through to the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship UK and Ireland final. Although they didn’t win in their categories, to reach this level is a brilliant achievement for students starting out in ICT.
As more people look to upskill following the upheaval of Covid-19, Donegal ETB’s ICT programmes are seen as a stepping stone for people to get back into the jobs market. In the digital economy, computer knowledge has never been more in-demand from employers.
Tiffany, aged 21, was unemployed for a short time after school when she decided to study Multimedia. The Manorcunningham woman was drawn to the course because she wanted to gain Microsoft Office Specialist skills and learn Adobe software skills.
Tiffany described her course as “the best you can go for” as it ticked all the boxes for her.
Multimedia offers a vast range of modules including office productivity, software development, IT maintenance and security and network support. Students are given the opportunity to choose their modules as they progress.
Tiffany said she enjoyed the regular advancement: “It’s self-learning, you test yourself every couple of weeks and when you pass you move on to a new module or area.”
Meanwhile, the tutors are there to assist students at every stage.
Megan (aged 20) from Letterkenny, studied a Diploma for IT Users with Donegal ETB.
Megan said she benefited most from the hands-on guidance of her tutors.
“Certain topics I did were challenging, but my tutors were great, they would help you with anything you needed,” Megan said. “I want to thank my tutors, Veronica Curran and Patricia McLaughlin, for never giving up.”
Megan’s one-year course covered the ECDL and City and Guilds Diploma for IT Users which included the Microsoft Office modules which she excelled in. Stand-out modules for Megan were website building, spreadsheets, databases and word processing.
Megan and Tiffany both got the exciting news in June that they were selected to compete in the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) UK and Ireland Championship Virtual Final – a competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. The final took place online due to Covid-19, but the nature of the students’ courses meant they were well-equipped for online assessments.
Not only did Megan and Tiffany gain valuable ICT skills in the past year, but they also gained great social benefits from furthering their education.
Megan said: “I would really recommend my course. I used to be a very shy person it brought me out of myself more mixing with other people. It’s a great opportunity for people especially if you don’t know what to do after school.”
Tiffany adds that she enjoyed getting to know her classmates as they studied together over the year.
The two students are now awaiting their exam results, but they are already thinking ahead about what they can do with their qualifications.
“I have a job at TShirt Xpress the moment and I hope to keep it on,” Tiffany said.
Meanwhile, Megan said she is hoping to pursue roles in office administration.
Donegal ETB provides a range of full-time ICT courses in its Gortahork, Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Milford Further Education and Training Centres. Recruitment is now open for September.
Information is available on its website course finder: www.donegaletb.ie/fetcoursefinder using administration, ECDL or ICT as keywords.
For more information, contact Donegal ETB by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this web form and they’ll get back to you: https://www.donegaletb.ie/further-education-training/adult-guidance/Tags: