IT student practicum placements – [Give back to the community]

certsHaving been involved in post secondary education and continual learning in IT for a long time now, I have had the pleasure of seeing the process from both sides of the equation, the student and the teacher. Many students learn in different ways, some from visualizing, some from listening, and some (many) from doing.

From my experience, a hands-on and applied approach is by far the most successful for not just retention of information, but for true understanding. Luckily, this model is utilized by many successful technical institutions in partnership with companies and organizations in the industry. The final part of an applied program is to do just that, apply it in the field.

The way that this works is that companies work with the Colleges and Universities to act as a practicum sponsor. This benefits the companies because they get additional staff resources with industry training for a period of a few months. For the student, it means that they can work on real world scenarios instead of labs and hypotheticals.

At the University of British Columbia, there is a certificate program called the Network Systems and Security Professional (NSSP). It gives students a solid foundation in Networking, Operating Systems (Linux and Windows), Storage Systems, Virtualization and Cloud technologies. At completion of the program, students can have a number of certifications such as CCENT/CCNA, VCP, MCSA, LPI, Security+.

UBC is currently looking for companies that are interested in giving back to the community and helping the next generation of IT on their journey. Here is the information below:

UBC Continuing Studies is currently seeking out employers interested in hosting our network systems and security students for a 2 month unpaid practicum from Mar 23 – May 22.  Many of the students already have a variety of relevant work experience and have completed or are working towards completing a variety of relevant industry certifications (VMware being one of them).  By the time the practicum begins, students will have completed 7 months of academic study aimed at helping students obtain these certifications (more information about the program below).  The practicum is the last requirement of the program which means if employers wish, they can keep the students on as contractors or ongoing staff (not a requirement).

If you would be interested in receiving applications, please send us a general outline of what you are looking for in terms of skills and an outline of what the student will be doing by Tuesday, March 3,   We will send you applications of interested students shortly after.

For more info on the program see this link:

Or to contact UBC, email or phone Allan Dias.

Allan Dias
Internship Coordinator | Continuing Studies | International Career and Internship Programs
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
Phone 1 604 827 3467 | Cell 1 604 817 3557 | Fax 1 604 822 0388 |

About the Program

In brief, the NSSP program is a 9-month program (7-months academic and 2-month practicum).  It prepares students for obtaining certifications in:

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP),
  • Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT)(r),
  • Microsoft(r) Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA),
  • CompTIA Network+ and
  • CompTIA Security+

Throughout the academic period, students will attempt to obtain the certifications after completing the related module.  Embedded in the modules students are also taught soft skills such as teamwork and communication skills.  For more details about the program please click here.

About the Students

There are currently 22 students in the class seeking a practicum.  All students have some experience in the I.T. sector, but the level of experience ranges from several months to a number of years.  The students will be in the process of obtaining their certifications as the program progresses and possibly during the practicum.  The students are all eager to apply their knowledge in a real world setting.  All students are covered with student accident insurance during the practicum in place of WCB.

Timing and Types of Positions Students are Seeking

The practicum will be full time (30 – 35 hours per week) and take place Mar 23 – May 22.  Students are seeking positions as:

–          Network Administrators

–          Network Analysts

–          Network Security Analysts

–          Security/Network Assistants

–          Systems Engineers

Practicum Placement Process

  • Send us a practicum posting with the following information (company name, title of practicum, description of company, description of duties, list of desired experience and skills and contact information on where to send cover letters (if required) and resumes).

There are two waves of postings provided to students.  Once students accept an offer, they are removed from the competition.  Deadline for postings for wave 1 is Dec 18 and wave 2 is May 22

  • We will send you the applications of interested students shortly after each posting deadline.
  • Employers contact and schedule interviews with students directly.
  • Email us with rankings of which students you would like to offer the position to.
  • Students confirm offers after rankings are communicated.  Students who are ranked first will be notified of the offer and must decide which position, if offered more than one, they will accept.  This will be repeated for students ranked second and so on until the position is filled.

During the Practicum

  • All students begin their practicum on March 23 at the time you specify to us
  • Half way during the work term, a Practicum Coordinator will contact you to schedule a short site visit to ensure the practicum is going smoothly
  • At the end of the practicum we ask you complete an evaluation of the student’s performance and send it to us via email (we will send you more details about the evaluation when the practicum begins)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s