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 or emailó-spealáin