Our Story

Introducing IT varsity

Hi. I’m Bilal. I am the founder of IT varsity.

There was a time I really wanted to become a Java developer.

As I neared the completion of my degree, I sent my CV to various companies.

The feedback I got was totally depressing. Nobody was prepared to hire me! Why? Because I did not have experience.

Bilal Kathrada

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The Vicious Job/Experience Cycle

So how am I supposed to get experience without a job?

It started to dawn on me that my studies and good grades were not worth much in the job market. Nearly everything that I studied was irrelevant, I was told. What employers wanted were practical, on-the-job skills.

“Show us what you can do.”

I found myself caught up in the Vicious Job/Experience Cycle which is:

You cannot get a job without experience, but you cannot get experience without a job.

So I taught myself professional development skills. There was so much more to learn than I was taught at University. But nobody told him that. He had to figure it out for himself.

After lots of effort, I got my first job as a Java developer. But it was tough getting there. What frustrated me most was the amount of time (and money!) I had put into my formal studies – had I gone directly and taught myself what the market really wanted, it would have saved me so many years!

The Ideal IT Institutes

It was around then that I 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 institute! And when my son Maseeh decided to study IT, it became more urgent.

IT varsity is born...

I realized that there was no such institute in South Africa, and I had to do something about it. I decided to start IT varsity, which would be the institute of my dreams, the one I had wished for when I was younger.

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