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Online degree comes to Joburg

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Ireland’s Digital Skills Academy has opened an international office in Johannesburg as the organisation targets professionals in South Africa to participate in the world’s first online degree in integrated digital technology, business and design.
The aim of the International BSc is to combine digital business acumen with digital technology expertise, a hybrid skillset increasingly sought after by leading tech players worldwide, as well as by multiple sectors, including banking, insurance, telecoms, media, aviation and retail.
The degree programmes are primarily aimed at corporates who want to up-skill staff, people currently employed in other fields looking to secure positions in the digital technology sector, and graduates who are looking to improve their career prospects.
The International BSc (Honours) in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation commences in October 2015 with international participants from North and Latin Americas, Africa, the UK and Ireland.
While a handful of similarly pioneering “on campus” degrees exist – including the USC Jimmy Lovine and Andrew Young Academy for the Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation in Los Angeles – the Digital Skills Academy programme is the first of its kind to employ online e-learning delivery, making it globally available.
The one year, part-time and online course is accredited by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and facilitates work in international teams on real world projects via virtual platforms. With an emphasis on multi-disciplinary teaching by respected industry leaders, participants have the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive understanding of modern digital business and in-demand digital technology skills.
Paul Dunne, CEO and founder of the Digital Skills Academy, says: “We are very excited to be opening an international office and growing the team in Johannesburg. It is a reflection of all the great things happening at the moment in South Africa’s tech scene and we look forward to being a part of its continuing success by helping to internationalise the country’s offering. By employing the latest developments in online learning and online team working technologies, our degrees are offered across the world, opening up a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas on a global scale.”
Fred Klinkenberg, Enterprise Ireland country manager for South Africa, says: “It’s great news that Digital Skills Academy has chosen Johannesburg as one of the leading global cities in which to open an international office, and Enterprise Ireland is delighted to have helped with the process. Having a base here allows founder, Paul Dunne, and his teams to offer their pioneering degrees to even more people in South Africa and provides a gateway to the wider region.”
New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Edinburgh and Dublin are the main target cities for the 2015/2016 degree.