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ICT courses to explore

- Wits University

A gap year can enable one to gain new skills and find new career paths.

Free online courses provide young people an opportunity to gain valuable skills.

Matriculants have high hopes of furthering their studies soon after completing the National Senior Certificate. However, sometimes these plans are delayed. 

"This often happens when the grade 12 results did not turn out to be what we expected or if our applications for certain study programmes were not successful and you did not apply to other study institutions," says Raj Naran, Career Development Educator at the Wits Counselling & Careers Development Unit. Naran penned an article on how to set new goals.

Matriculants and people who are ‘not in education, employment, or training (Neets), could use their time to develop essential skills that may lead to new opportunities. Luci Carosin, ICT General Manager for Application Delivery and Support Services, believes that the ICT field is always increasing in scope and variety, and well worth investing in. 

Here are some suggestions on how to gain valuable skills:

Investigate the OpenAI tools out there. ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, DeadMind’s Gopher and Sparrow to name the most popular. Learn what they are and how to use them.

An important skill to have is how to give the right prompts to a chatbot. So learning about prompting is advised. These skills will aid in all streams of ICT. Keep in mind that it is a tool and that any output it produces requires verification.

Tech giant Microsoft have material that can be accessed for free as well as AWS (Amazon Web Services) field also has much valuable free training.

The Oracle Learning Explorer program offers entry-level training courses and accreditation for Oracle's entire product portfolio. It was designed to empower professionals across the globe to begin cultivating valuable IT skills.

For web development skills

To develop as a web developer and learn skills valuable such as javascript, html and css, Carosin recommends Codefinity. If a student is more creative, they can lean towards tools like Adobe Photoshop that has step-by-step guides.

While web designers create websites and make websites mobile-friendly, another useful creative talent may lead to doing graphic design. Check out this free resource.

Skills in cybersecurity are in demand and Oxford Home Study and Harvard University offer numerous free courses in these and more.

There are hundreds of free online courses that one could explore during a gap year in preparation for a formal qualification.

*Children of Wits staff can get career guidance and counselling on how to manage various areas of their lives through the programme KaeloLifestyle. Kaelo provides a range of services to staff and their immediate family members. Services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year including public holidays and weekends. Help is available in all South African languages to Wits employees and their immediate family members.