Our Story

Introducing IT varsity

My Dad and founder of IT varsity, Bilal Kathrada, really wanted to become a Java developer.

As he neared the completion of his degree, he sent his CV to various companies.

The feedback he got was, to say the least, totally depressing. Nobody was prepared to hire him, not then and not even when he completed his degree. Why? Because he did not have experience working as a Java developer.

Maseehullah Kathrada

Maseehullah Kathrada

The Vicious Job/Experience Cycle

“So how am I supposed to get experience without a job?” he often asked but got no response.

It started to dawn on him that his studies, and his good grades were not worth much in the job market. Nearly everything that he studied was irrelevant, he was told. What they wanted were practical, on-the-job skills. Show us what you can do.

He found himself caught up in “The Vicious Job/Experience cycle” which is: You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

So he taught himself professional development skills. He realised that there is so much more to Java development than just mastery over the language. For example you had to understand technologies like the Spring Framework, Hibernate, Ant, Version control systems, project management tools, and a whole lot more. But nobody told him that. He had to figure it out for himself.

Eventually, he got his big break and got his first job as a Java developer. But it was tough getting there. What frustrated him most was the amount of time (and money!) he had put into his formal studies – had he gone directly and taught myself what the market really wanted it would have saved him so many years!

The Ideal IT Institutes

It was around then that he began to wonder about an institute that actually did teach practical development, exactly as the job market wanted – how great would that be!

How awesome if there were an institute that

• was in touch with the outside world
• understood global technology needs
• provided sincere guidance to all students about the best IT careers to get into, without them having to figure it out for themselves
• taught its students exactly the technologies they needed to know to become exceptional developers
• prepared its students for the job market
• used modern teaching methods
• provided accredited qualifications

It would be the ideal IT institute!

IT varsity is born...

Not long afterward he realized that there was no such institute in South Africa, and it would be great if someone started up one. It was then that he decided to start IT varsity, which would be the institute that he had longed for.

“How nice would it have been for me if there was such an institute in existence when I started out…”

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