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UCT IT Management short course

After 10 weeks of study, thought provoking questions as well as the odd bit of frustration, I finally finished off the last module of my UCT IT Management short course last night. Offered in partnership between the University of Cape Town and a private company called GetSmarter, the course is aimed at widening the knowledge of IT managers of all walks. There are a wide range of other courses on offer from the site, ranging from 8 – 10 weeks, all of them offered online. I decided to do the management course in the hope that I would pick up some new skills and get some new ideas, since these days I’m doing a lot more management rather than just purely technical work. Shaping budgets and policy is something new to me, so all the more reason I was eager to take the course.

The IT course is 10 weeks long as mentioned, so a week for every module. The entire course is run through GetSmarter’s VLE, which is a heavily modified version of Moodle. 5 of the 10 modules are tested via online quizzes of the usual fare i.e. multiple choice, True/False, pick the correct one etc. The other 5 modules are written assignments where you download a document with a case scenario in it as well as questions. From there you have to answer questions as well outline various scenarios, all while watching a line count per answer. Once completed, these documents are uploaded back into the VLE for marking.

I found that as the course went past the half way mark and into week 6, the content of the course became quite theoretical and abstract and dealt less with current trends and topics. Coming from a network administrator’s position in a school, a large amount of the terms and concepts I was exposed to were completely new to me. Changing my thinking to think along business lines proved to be quite a challenge, since the corporate world moves quite differently than the educational world. I know that out of the 10 modules, module 3 was definitely my least favourite, as it was incredibly densely packed with jargon and enormous amounts of theoretical knowledge.

Overall, I think the course is worth the money asked for it, extra studies are always good in jogging the brain out of its set ways. However, if you are new to network administration or IT, it’s definitely not the course for you – more vendor qualifications are appropriate in that case. This course is more for techies and admins who are moving up towards managing IT in their place of work, though as mentioned the course is almost completely focussed on the corporate world.

On an unrelated note, the course also showed me that Moodle can definitely work if enough effort is put into it – custom theme, disabling many end user features and so on. My experience is limited, but it’s been the best Moodle experience I’ve ever had.

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