The first course in a two-year program, Computer Education Certificates in Information Technology (CET) aims to train students to use the Internet, build and operate software applications, and learn basic computer skills.
Computer Education Certificate in Information and Communications Technology (CEIT) focuses on information technology management and security.
The courses are offered by the Ontario government and by two major Canadian universities: York University and Simon Fraser University.
They can be taken online or in person.
“The curriculum is fairly intensive,” says Peter Bader, associate professor of computer science at York University.
“It’s designed for students who are starting out in a very different way.
So there are a lot of opportunities to take these courses and learn.”
The courses take six to eight weeks to complete, and each student is assigned a project to complete.
“In the end, students are taught to use their own computer, and they are given a choice of programming languages,” Bader says.
The programs are taught in English and French.
A course called IT Security for Beginners will cover how to protect information on the Internet from hackers and others who may be trying to steal your data, and a course called Security, Security and Compliance in Information Systems (SCIE) will focus on cybersecurity.
Students must complete the course by March.
“This is an important step in helping students become more self-sufficient,” Baser says.
“There’s a lot to learn.
They have a lot more confidence and can get more involved in things that are going on around the world.”
The two-credit courses are available for students in the GTA, as well as across the country.
Ontario’s curriculum for undergraduate computer science was designed by an advisory committee from the Ontario Association of Colleges and Schools.
A review by the ministry of education recommended the curriculum be redesigned to encourage a greater emphasis on computer-related skills, and to incorporate more computer-based learning into the curriculum.
“I think it’s important that we have a broad-based curriculum, so that students can learn a wide variety of subjects in a variety of settings,” says Bader.
“That way we’re able to prepare students for their careers and for university.”
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