Free Diploma of IT offered to women and gender diverse people across Victoria

Free Diploma of IT offered to women and gender diverse people across Victoria

RMIT is delivering a Diploma of Information Technology to a cohort of women and gender diverse students across regional and metropolitan Victoria, free of charge.

In partnership with the Commonwealth Government, RMIT has offered women and gender diverse people in paid employment in any industry the opportunity to study a part-time, online Diploma of Information Technology.

The cohort of 80 students commenced this semester. They are based across regional Victoria and Melbourne, and will study part-time over two years while they continue their careers.

The program offers valuable tech skills which students can bring to their careers and communities, or use to pursue a new career path or further study in IT.

Enriching regional and rural communities

Vicki Kane is one of the students in the program.

Based in Corryong, in northeast Victoria, Vicki is currently working as an education coordinator for Country Universities Centre Ovens Murry. In this role she supports local students studying remotely, working in a study space in the small regional town.

“I had a passion to learn something different and I've always been interested in IT,” said Vicki.

“I want to be more comfortable using IT where I work. I'm the only person on-site making sure the students can access their studies and complete assignments. This course has given me the confidence to solve IT problems and use different programs needed in assignments.

“Also, there's so many possibilities in the IT field. It's changing so quickly, and I thought I needed to catch up.”

These kinds of programs are vital for regional students, particularly women.

While studying the Diploma, connection with other students across the state and bringing her new skills back to her community have both been important for Vicki.

“I can study remotely and then use those skills back in my community, which I think is important for rural communities where skilled people, like IT specialists, are needed. I love that I get the best of both worlds; a beautiful, relaxed country lifestyle and access to top education at RMIT.

“I think it’s vital we can access remote learning. We're changing the way we study and work and keeping rural communities strong. We still need rich rural communities that provide a variety of jobs, especially for women.”

Vicki Kane Free Diploma of IT student, Vicki Kane, supports locals to study online at her workplace, Country Universities Centre Ovens Murry.

Advocating for women in STEM

Sarah Lambert, Advisor, Equity & Inclusion, said the program supports RMIT’s mission of empowering women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

It also helps to bridge IT skills gaps in regional communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome this cohort of female and gender diverse students from across the state to this important program.

“Thanks to the partnerships and projects we have been pursuing as part of our Regional and Remote Student Action Plan, forty percent of our students are from regional areas – a massive achievement,” said Lambert.

“Boosting participation of women in STEM is a priority for RMIT at both a higher education and vocational level.

“We’re committed to providing practical solutions to make an impact in the lives of working women while supporting Victoria’s need for more skilled workers in both metropolitan and regional areas.”

More about the program

The 80 student places are supported by the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Cadetships and Advanced Apprenticeships Program, which aims to help women upskill and build careers in STEM, develop a pathway to higher education, produce graduates with workplace skills in STEM, and increase the number of STEM-qualified women in the labour force.

Story: Nick Adams and Sarah Gates

27 June 2024

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27 June 2024

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.