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BTVI to expand its IT program offerings

  • Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute Information Technology instructor Kevin McCartney, left, guides student Saveion Stubbs in the IT lab.

Published: Jul 17, 2017

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Following a curriculum review, the information technology (IT) department of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) will now offer a set of new and optimized programs for fall 2017.

The new programs include associate of applied science degrees in network engineering, software engineering and a redesigned information technology management degree. This is in addition to an IT support specialist diploma and an IT entry level certificate program; the latter will also be available online.

The IT entry level certificate can be completed in 40 weeks online, or within a semester on campus. It offers the essentials for a student with at least three Bahamas Junior Certificates (BJCs) to jumpstart a career in information technology. Further, it is a springboard into the institution’s diploma and associate’s degree programs.

Anthony Ramtulla, chair of BTVI’s IT program, said offering the online program is proof that the institute is changing with technology.

“Every single piece of this program you will be able to do in the cloud. We’re on the ‘bleeding edge’ — not even on the cutting edge — when it comes to our education,” said Ramtulla.

“A lot of the things we do at BTVI require that students be in the lab learning by experience. However, some of our programs, especially at the early stages, are more cognitive, and we have technology where we can simulate the labs in the cloud, so you don’t have to leave home,” he said.

As IT programs are in demand, Ramtulla said BTVI allows for students to also acquire international certifications from Microsoft, CompTIA or Cisco.

Software engineering program students will sit exams for the Oracle Certified Associate and Oracle Certified Professional certificates. Network engineering students seek their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certifications, while IT management students leave with their CompTIA Project+, A+, Network+, Linux+ and Security+ certifications.

“It is proof our courses are industry validated,” boasted Ramtulla.

The chair of BTVI’s IT program said its IT degree students will soon be on a path to a bachelor’s degree in just three years, which will be made possible through an agreement with the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), Rhode Island, USA.

“Our IT program has been optimized to allow for easier transition to universities and colleges abroad. With our agreement with New England Tech, once you are in our IT associate’s degree program, you can do one year here and two years there to complete your bachelor’s degree; or two years here and one year there and complete your bachelor’s degree in three years,” said Ramtulla.

“One of the reasons we can do that is because of the quality of our IT programs. Our students, when they go to Fanshawe College in Canada, for example, they are A students. They are not just the average students. They perform well.”

IT student Dion Mackey is presently at Fanshawe College in Canada as an

exchange student on an Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarship. Following his two-semester stint, he is expected to return to BTVI to complete his degree. He lauded BTVI’s IT program as the way forward.

“Information technology is always evolving. It’s not stagnant. There is always something to learn. It is such a diverse field,” he said. “I [got] so much from the IT program at BTVI. The certifications opens doors and prepares you for jobs in the IT field.”

BTVI 2016 graduate Gerrard Russell had the same opportunity to study abroad at Fanshawe College. He returned to Canada in August 2016 and is now studying toward completing a bachelor’s degree. Gerrard spoke highly of Ramtulla, whom he said inspired him to go beyond the ordinary.

“He kicked me into gear. He motivated me to be better than average. I have never met anyone like him. At BTVI, it’s not the old desk and book system. It’s more of an exploration of learning,” he said.

Ramtulla said that BTVI’s IT department is simply fulfilling the institute’s mandate to help build the workforce for The Bahamas and noted that several graduates are presently employed in the IT industry.



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