I suppose foremost on my mind today is a call I recieved a short while ago from a representative of Charles Sturt University telling me that I am eligable to take a distance-education masters degree with them, through the ITMasters partnership.

It would appear that despite making it sound harder to get into, having a bachelor's degree from a recognised university (any public Australian one for instance) is a get-in-free card. Well, not free, i'm still looking into finances, but the gist was if I apply, i'll be accepted at the next intake in september.

I've always been a fan of academia and have missed it the last few years since my graduation, however that isn't what brought me to this site. What brought me to it was representatives at last years TechEd in Queensland who hasseled me for ages on the subject of postgrad study and eventually got through to me.

It's a unique course whereby as partial credit for your masters degree (half, in fact), you need to complete an IT Certification. As an example, the Masters i'm looking at is in Software Development and includes the Microsoft MCSD certification as part of the course. So over the course of two years part-time study I come away with a Masters and the current industry certification – which I had been looking at getting for a long time anyway.

Add to this the government scheme "Fee-help", whereby they'll fund my course (which isn't particularly cheap) and take the money back in extra tax on my wages, the same as Hecs did for my undergraduate. So with no fees up front, the ability to study part-time over two years by distance whilst still working, and two important certificates out of it (certification and degree), i'd be mad not to apply. I think anyone who is serious about their career in IT and is also interested in academia should be seriously considering this option.


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