Computing Studies and Information Systems diploma student eyes career in the tech sector

Avid BMX rider Kyle Maddox knew college was the next step after high school, but he wasn’t sure what area of study to focus on.

So, he started off taking General Studies, trying to find a fit.

After initially considering physics, Maddox did a 180, enrolling in the Computing Studies and Information Systems (CSIS) diploma program.

The two-year CSIS diploma program prepares students for a career in the booming IT sector with courses in system and networking concepts, programming languages and business courses.

Once he completes his diploma, Maddox plans to transfer to UBC to complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with the long-term goal of building his own company specializing in advanced security software. He says his passion for BMX is what drew him to the tech industry.

“I’ve always had an analytical mind. When I’m riding BMX, I actually apply the same sort of mental process to biking as I do to programming,” he said. “Before I approach a jump, I look at the height, distance and speed that I’m approaching and decide how high I can go while still covering the distance to the landing.

“The same idea is applied to programming in the sense that you have to realize where you’re going with the program and what coding you need to set up before you actually get into the body.”

By 2019, it is expected that there will be 182,000 IT jobs available in Canada, with more than 15,000 of those positions in Vancouver.

Douglas College is helping students prepare for those positions with a mix of practical and applied knowledge that will help when transitioning from school to work.

“Douglas College has given me a sense of what a workplace will be like and what is expected of me,” Maddox said.

Students can also earn money and gain experience while completing their diploma through an optional Co-operative Education component. Students can apply their skills from the classroom in the workplace, while typically earning $5,000- $9,000 a semester.

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