‘I’m learning every day’: Apprenticeships in Ireland are making a comeback

APPRENTICESHIPS ARE MAKING a comeback, with government investment in this type of training set to increase in 2018 to €122 million.

Minister John Halligan, in response to a question from Fianna Fail’s Niall Collins, said the budget allocation for apprenticeship training will increase 24% next year.

The apprenticeship population is now at around 13,000 and new registrations in 2018 are expected to reach over 6,000. … TheJournal.ie 31 December 2017

Linux First for QQI

Mallow College of Further Education has become the first college in the country to offer full QQI awards in IT, Computer Systems & Networks 5M0536 and Software Development 5M0529, completely in Linux and open-source software.

Linux has the distinction of not only being free and open software but also an industry standard for servers and IT professionals. Linux and open-source software, operating systems, web-servers, and databases, are today powering most of the web as we know it. And it is just one of a family of like-minded Unix systems including Android mobile on phones, tablets and other smart devices; and Apple iOS systems and devices – all speaking the same language under the hood.

The reason is clear for Mallow College, Linux is the choice of the technology industry as a service platform and for industry employers in Ireland who are actively recruiting trained and experienced graduates fluent in Linux system administration.

SOLAS’s National Skills Bulletin 2016 identified skills shortages in software development in Java and Python, database administration, and systems administration with Linux. Consistently amongst the highest rates of vacancies in any sector, their Vacancy Overview 2016 highlights a 5% annual increase in employment in the information technology sector. Of “difficult-to-fill vacancies”, 35% were in information technology, including: software developers, SQL database administrators, Java programmers, Linux and open-source administrators.

Microsoft Windows might still be the dominant player in the home PC market but employers are looking for technicians and administrators who have a wider practical experience of industry scale computing.

Mallow College graduates will qualify with a full nationally recognised QQI level 5 or level 6 award, ready for progression to institutes of technology or universities, ready for internship programmes in the IT industry; and set apart from the ordinary with expert Linux and open-source experience as a major boost to their CVs and online professional profiles.

For any student interested in the world of computing, Linux is also a pathway to a new world of possibilities – by its nature it is more flexible, more creative, more networked, and more programmable. Explore remote access, network setup and security, use NMap for network mapping and hacking penetration testing; setup virtualisation servers, create web servers, manage database servers; explore troubleshooting and systems testing; create code and custom system commands; and gain a fluency in professional command-line system control. Start an exciting career at the cutting edge of computing innovation.

Students at Mallow College are system administrators of their own specialised computing and networking lab from day one.

Students will install and configure their own workstations as Linux system administrators (starting with downloading and installing Ubuntu 17.04 and upgrading shortly to the latest 17.10 in October), cooperate in running the classroom server, manage and maintain the wired and wireless network, and manage their own access to the wider Mallow College corporate network.

Mallow College students study two open-source programming languages – Java and Python – arguably the two of the most important programming languages for industry and progression to higher education. Using the latest open-source integrated-development-environments, and alongside classes in modern Agile Methodology software development, students will learn to develop and create programs and commands for any operating system.

Database classes will use the open-source LibreOffice Base interface and graduate to exploring and managing the world of industry and web scale databases with connections to their own MySQL servers.

Other operating systems are not forgotten. Students explore a range of systems from Android devices to installing and managing Microsoft Windows in Operating Systems class and as virtual machines in Virtualisation class with Oracle VirtualBox.

Mallow College is also the first college to offer students of either Computer Systems & Networks 5M0536 or Software Development 5M0529 the chance to add to their portfolio of awards elective classes in subjects from either course – making it the most complete of the QQI IT courses in the country.

More information at mallowcollege.ie/information-technology/ or email computing@mallowcollege.ie.


Anthony Mannix B.Sc., Student Profile

IT SAN Engineer, Senior Analyst @ Dell EMC, Cork.

QQI Certificate in Information Technology CITXX, Level 5, Mallow College, 2009.

“Doing a level 5 computing course at Mallow College gave me the necessary foundation to acquaint with necessary IT focal points such as computer architecture, programming, communications skills and much more. The lecturers were extremely obliging with the course offering great support and work ethic which was valuable in further study and employment.

Subsequent to the completion of this course, I achieved a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science at Cork Institute of Technology which enabled me to pursue a career with Dell EMC as Technical Support Engineer. My role involves troubleshooting and resolving issues with software & hardware in flash storage environments including VMware and various customer network setups. I guide my teammates on diverse IT topics, work with people globally and have the opportunity to enhance my skills even further. Mallow College of Further Education was the first and most important step in my career in IT.”

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonymannix/

Iarla O’Sullivan B.Sc., Student Profile

In 2017 Iarla completed his B.Sc. in Information Technology in Cork Institute of Technology.

QQI Advanced Certificate in Computer Network Technology CCNTX, Level 6, Mallow College, 2015.

Modules included Datacenter Virtualization exploring the role of virtualization in IT enterprises, in the consolidation of modern data centers and in the evolution of cloud computing on VMWare vSphere ESXi services. Systems Administration: installing, supporting and maintaining UNIX based computer systems and networks. Internet & Network Services: building infrastructure for mail servers, iSCI storage, web applications on virtual environments. Network Security: an administrative level training in managing firewalls, VPNs, and IDS systems on UNIX and Microsoft systems. Computer Services Management: the disciplines involved in managing the provision of computer services at an enterprise level. Inter-Networking: developing a methodology of selection of criteria for network devices and WAN technologies to meet network requirements; configure and troubleshoot network devices and resolve issues with enterprise level WAN data link protocols and network traffic.

“Achieving my Level 5 & 6 QQI qualifications in Computer Networking at Mallow College of Further Education was an invaluable experience. I built up strong studying skills for exams and time management skills for class projects – an integral part of my course. I was supported by very friendly and encouraging staff who are more than willing to help out with any issue and provide an enjoyable learning atmosphere with fellow students.

It also provided a stepping stone to further studies with progression links direct to year 2 of an Information Technology degree in CIT.”

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iarlaith-o-%E2%80%8B-sullivan-121468108/

IT Skills In-Demand

Crucial IT skills are in-demand by employers in Ireland.  In September last year, the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit at SOLAS published their National Skills Bulletin 2016 identified ICT shortages of skills in software development in Java and Python, systems administration with Linux, and in database administration.

In May 2017, SOLAS‘s Skills and Labour Market Research Unit published their Vacancy Overview 2016 highlighting a 5% annual increase in employment in the information technology sector – which remains consistently amongst the highest rate of vacancies across all sectors. Of “difficult-to-fill vacancies”, the report highlighted, 35% were in information technology, including: software developers, SQL database administrators, Java programmers, Linux and Open Source administrators.

Tech/Life Ireland, a Government initiative under the ICT Skills Action Plan, currently rank Java and Python as the two most in-demand tech skills in Ireland.

QQI level 5 courses at Mallow College, Computer Systems & Networks and Software Development, are uniquely designed to meet the needs of the marketplace, focus on the in-demand skills, and give our learners an edge in progression success. Mallow College is the only Further Education college in the country to have courses specifically focused on important industry standard Linux and open source technologies, SQL database, modern Agile software development, and Java and Python programming.

The national industry trend is expected to continue.

“the availability of IT skills is crucial to the Irish economy. IT skills are playing an increasingly significant role across a variety of sectors (only just over half of all IT workers actually work in the ICT sector, with others mainly in industry, finance and the public sector). “

“Over the period 2010-2015, employment in IT occupations grew strongly, at 3.6% on average annually outpacing growth in most occupational groups. There were almost 7,300 IT jobs advertised through the PES and Irishjobs.ie portals alone in 2015. The Recruitment Agency Survey in May 2016 also found that there were difficulties in filling IT vacancies, with approximately one third of all difficult to fill mentions being for IT-related posts.”

“Many of the job announcements in the media in recent months relate to job creation for IT workers, both within the ICT sector, as well as for IT roles in other sectors; job announcements include those made by Amazon, Kaseya (IT management software), Zeltiq Aesthetis (med-tech), Sportlomo (sports software), Compliance and Risks (financial services), Brown Bag Films (animation studio), Qstream, Microsoft, Malwarebytes (online security), VMWare, Technopath Clinical Diagnostics (software company), Aspira, CBE (retail software), Hortonworks(software provider), Perception Consulting (data analytics), OneView (medical software), Fortuity (cloud technology and data analytics), Accenture and Boxever (data analysis software).”

“Furthermore, the situation is not unique to Ireland as there is a shortage of IT skills internationally.” National Skills Bulletin 2016

“The Recruitment Agency Survey and employment permit data indicate significant shortages of persons with specific IT skills, with the analysis of job announcements in the media suggesting demand for skills in the ICT sector is expected to continue.” Vacancy Overview 2016


Make-up Madness with Ger from Art-Deco

Today the 19th of December we had a makeup training day with Ger from Art Deco, Ger is a renowned make up artist, who has worked on shows such as Expose and The Today Show.  To start the morning off we were introduced to the two brands we have in our training kits which are Art Deco and Mislynn. She gave us some background on the cult products we will be using on a regular basis and where they came from.

Ger then talked us through and demonstrated a 3 colour smokey eye on Martha it was so much fun to have this experience. We paired up for the 2nd part of the day and under Ger’s watchful eye we were let loose on each other to practice all the techniques we had been shown in  the morning.

We all gained some valuable knowledge regarding application of certain make up formulations,  and various tips from working in a very fast paced and ever changing industry.