Information Technology Diploma
Information Technology deals with the generation, storage, retrieval, transmission and protection of information, and the hardware and software involved in these processes. For that reason, IT professionals are often called IT specialists/consultants or business process consultants, and the division of an organization that deals with computers, software and communication technology is often called the IT department. The growth of the IT sector in Canada is expected to continue to outpace other market segments in the future according to the Canadian and Alberta governments and independent research companies such as Forrester’s and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) of Canada.
The Information Technology program encompasses four majors: Computer Systems, Network Systems, Software Development and Telecom Systems. The first semester is common to all four majors. It is a full-time, two-year diploma program. This program utilizes an e-learning (SAIT issued laptop computer) instructional delivery method.
What is the IT Computer Systems major?
A two year program that prepares ITCS graduates for the IT functions that work with the people and processes that help keep the computers, communications and information systems installed, connected, maintained and supported. Students receive in-depth training on computer hardware and peripheral systems, server and system administration, operating systems, data center management and virtualization, networking, and IT security. In addition, students develop skills in interpersonal communications and teamwork, customer service protocols, business applications and problem-solving techniques.
What is the IT Network Systems major?
A two year program of study that prepares ITNS graduates for the analysis, planning, design, installation and optimization of computer networks and network systems. Students receive in-depth training on network infrastructure that includes router, switch and server configurations, plus IP telephony, security and emerging technologies. The training provided in this major prepares graduates for the highly recognized Cisco CCNA and CCNP industry certifications.
What is the IT Software Development major?
A two year program that prepares ITSD graduates for work in a variety of IT activities including the design, development, implementation, testing and maintenance of software systems. Students receive in-depth training in programming techniques as well as analysis, design, implementation and testing of new programs on multiple hardware and software platforms (e.g. Windows, Web and Linux) using a variety of programming languages (e.g. Java, C, PHP, XML, PL/SQL, SQL) and different supporting technologies (e.g. Communications Networks, Databases, Operating Systems).
What is the IT Telecom Systems major?
A two year program of study that prepares ITTS graduates to be proficient in Telecommunications technologies that facilitate the Global Transmission of voice, video, data, text, and audio using smart phones, tablets and computing devices via media such as wireless, satellite and copper/fiber optic cabling technologies. Students receive in-depth training on designing, installing, configuring, commissioning, integrating, maintaining and administering voice, data and video networks.
Computer Systems Major: Graduates of the Computer Systems major will have rewarding careers with a diverse set of job titles and descriptions. They help keep computers, communications, data centres, mobile devices and information systems installed, connected, maintained, supported and secure. Graduates will often start in entry-level technical support roles (customer support representative, help desk, desktop support level one, etc.) and advance to more sophisticated levels of IT support roles, management of support teams; or specialize into storage architecture, server administration, virtualization; or IT security areas. Graduates will have a well-rounded and strong foundation to begin their careers in the growing field of IT technical systems and support, with the opportunity to advance into senior technical analyst, systems administration and IT management roles.
Network Systems Major: Graduates of the Network Systems major will have strong technical skills in designing, installing, configuring, maintaining and administering enterprise local area networks and associated servers, security and storage devices. This major focuses on the network infrastructure of an organization, which involves the storage, retrieval, transmission and protection of information, and the hardware and software involved in these processes. In addition to comprehensive technical skills, graduates will acquire and demonstrate the professional communications, general business, problem solving and project management skills required for success in industry. Students receive in depth training on router, switch and server configuration for support of network infrastructure, data transmission media, wireless, Voice over IP and new and emerging technologies. Students also receive the training required for industry recognized certifications.
Software Development Major: Software Development encompasses a variety of activities including the design, implementation, testing and maintenance of software systems. Software Developers are required to have a broad set of technical skills covering all aspects of IT system analysis, design, development and testing. Such skills often include knowledge of the use of computer hardware, communications networks and databases, in addition to computer programming. Skills in all of these areas are an integral part of the software development process. Graduates will possess a broad, practical knowledge of both software development and the Information Technology profession. They may work on the development of software systems, often collaboratively in teams with other programmers. Typical tasks include the analysis, design, implementation and testing of new programs on multiple hardware and software platforms (e.g., Windows, Web and Linux) using a variety of programming languages (e.g., Java, C, PHP, XML, PL/SQL) and different supporting technologies (e.g. Communications Networks, Databases, Operating Systems).
Telecom Systems Major: Graduates of the Telecom Systems major may find employment as a telecom technologist, production test technologist, cable technician, service technician, associated field engineer, sales and marketing, communication equipment installer and manufacturing technologist. They will be proficient in designing, installing, configuring, commissioning, integrating, maintaining and administering voice, data, and video networks owned by telecommunications companies (TELCOs) or Internet Service Providers (ISPs). They also find careers in a wide range of businesses, industries, and government institutions. Technical competencies will include IP networking, Voice over IP (VoIP), Optical Transport Networks, Copper and Fiber Outside Plant, CO and PBX switching, Metropolitan and Wide Area Networks (MANs and WANs), cellular, digital, and wireless technologies. Graduates will acquire business communications and project management skills.
Characteristics of a successful student in this program include:
- A working knowledge of MS Office Suite would be an asset.
- Enjoy keeping up-to-date on new technological developments, continue to take training and enjoy learning new skills.
- Managing your time and work effectively while facing deadlines.
- Working independently with little supervision but can also perform as a vital member of a team of professionals.
- Ability to pay attention to detail and take personal pride in their technical problem-solving skills.
Credentials and Accreditation
After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Information Technology.
For information about accreditation for each major, please call the School of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) at 403.284.8543.
Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.
Completion of the following courses or equivalents:
- At least 50% in Math 30-1 or Pure Math 30, or at least 60% in Math 30-2 or Applied Math 30, AND,
- At least 55% in English Language Arts 30-1, or at least 60% in English Language Arts 30-2.
- All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.