Diploma in Information Communication Technology (ICT)

A diploma in ICT is a course that equips the learner with skills in different communication technologies that are used in the modern world. In Kenya, it is offered at both universities and TVET institutions.

For university, they have the autonomy of deciding on what to be included in the course. However, TVET uses a common syllabus produced by KICD and examined by KNEC. In this article, we concentrate on Diploma in ICT for KNEC.

The objective of the ICT course

By the end of this Diploma in ICT, the trainee is expected to be able to do the following.

  1. Students will have basic knowledge of programming languages in object-oriented, structured, visual basic, and internet-based programming.
  2. Trainee will have knowledge of computer application software such as word processors, spreadsheets, databases, publishers, AutoCAD, and financial applications among others.
  3. Students will be able to perform computer networking and system support duties.
  4. The learner will be able to perform system analysis, design, and development duties.
  5. The graduate of the course should be able to perform hardware troubleshooting and maintenance.

The entry requirement for a Diploma in ICT

Being a Diploma course those who which to join the course in any TVET institution will require a minimum KCSE grade of C-. There is no cluster subject required. However, since it involves logical thinking and programming it is good to have at least been good in mathematics.

Those who have done a Craft certificate in ICT and passed can proceed to a diploma. Depending on your performance at the craft level you can request KNEC to exempt you from some units. When exempted you will be admitted to module 2 of the diploma instead of module 1.

Units covered in the Diploma in ICT course

For the diploma KNEC program, the course is divided into 3 modules/levels which are supposed to take 3 years. The student does the unit in each module and does the KNEC exam for those specific units before proceeding to the next level.

If you fail 3 units among all your units per module, KNEC considers it as FAIL and you have to repeat all units in that module. When you fail 1 or 2 units you are allowed to proceed to the next level but you must repeat the failed unit and pass before you are Certified by KNEC.

For a Diploma in ICT, the following are the units that you are required to cover to be certified.

Module 1 units

  1. Introduction to ICT and ethics. It gives general information about computers and information technology introductions. It has topics such as the impact of computers, networking, data security ethics for ICT personnel, and other topics.
  2. Computer application 1. The unit deals with practical application programs such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentations, among others.
  3. Operating system: The OS unit goes deep into how the operating system operates by covering all major OS functions. Topics include process, disk, input/output, and file management.
  4. Structured programming. It introduces the basics of programming and specifically structured types of programming using C.
  5. Computational mathematics. Mathematics involves binary and logic maths that are used in computers.
  6. Entrepreneurship. The unit requires the student to come up with a business idea and do a write-up for the same. The idea should be unique and student should be able to defend their business idea.
  7. Communication skills. The student learns how to communicate and the types and modes of communication.

After module 1 students are expected to go for an industrial attachment which is a requirement of the course. Students can be attached to any industry or area that has ICT-related operations.

Module 2 units

  1. Computer application 2: it advances from computer application 1. Topics in this unit include financial and graphic applications, artificial intelligence, and geospatial information system
  2. Visual programming. The unit offers visual basic as a programming language. It gives bases that learners can use to create their projects.
  3. Object-oriented programming. The programming uses C++ to learn more about object-oriented programming.
  4. System analysis and design. The student learns the procedure to design an application and what should be done.
  5. Quantitive techniques. The unit equips students with analysis skills by learning quantitive analysis techniques.
  6. Research Methodology. It is the basis that students learn how to carry out research which they use later when doing their trade project in module 3.

Module 3 units

  1. Data communication. The unit topics cover networking, protocols, network security, and data transmission among others topics.
  2. Internet-based programming: it introduces students to internet programming specifically HTML and Javascript and different frameworks.
  3. Principles and practice of management: learn are trained on different principles of management
  4. Trade project. The student comes up with a final project where they develop a functional management system using their preferred programming language.

Career progression in ICT

After you have done the course you will have gained a wide knowledge of the latest technology in ICT and become a technician. The course gives the foundation of programming, hardware maintenance, networking, and general ICT application areas.

With a Diploma in ICT, you can progress to a bachelor’s degree in areas related to ICT. some universities in Kenya offer credit transfer depending on how you performed on your diploma. Please note that if you are offered credit transfer or not will depend on the university.

Undergraduate courses that you can pursue related to ICT are Bachelor in Business IT, Bachelor in Computer studies, and Bachelor in IT among other related courses.

Other than doing a bachelor’s degree you can decide to specialize by doing industry-specific courses. The course can be done online or physically with the learning institution.

Some of the areas to specialize in are, specific programming language, networking, system administration, hardware troubleshooting, security, and database management among other specializations.

Prospect employment areas/opportunities

With a Diploma in ICT, you can be employed as an ICT technician in school, universities, and other organization that requires someone to troubleshoot computer-related issues.

If employment is not for you, then you can start your own business related to ICT. You can start a computer shop for sales and repair, networking and internet installation, creating mobile applications, website design, online writing, and freelancing among others.