After he and his partner had their first son in Dunedin, where Anaru Ngata (39) worked as a casino surveillance operator, they decided to come back to Gisborne to be closer to family support.
After life in a larger city, it was a challenge for Anaru to find a good job. After a couple of years without much luck he decided to get a qualification that would make it easier and headed to EIT to learn about computing systems.
“I’ve always had an interest in computers, but it was a strategic move, I was looking for a qualification that would give me the best chance of getting work. A friend of mine was doing it the year before and it sounded like me.”
With a young family he didn’t want to commit to three years of study. EIT’s programmes for computing systems and management appealed to him because the first year is a diploma programme, which then cross-credits to a degree in either computing systems or management. He found EIT’s environment worked better for him than university had a decade before.
“EIT’s lecturers were more hands-on and there was a lot more one-on-one which was really good, and I made some good friends, people I will probably keep in touch with.”
While he intended to gain the diploma, it went so well that he decided to go on to complete the Bachelor of Computing Systems degree. “The first year was a good mix of everything
– business and computers – which suited me because I was a generalist. Second and third year we got more into technical stuff – networking, hardware, web hosting and Linux.”
A benefit of study at EIT is the focus staff have on helping students find work. At the start of his third year, one of his lecturers asked Anaru if he was interested in tutoring the computer
technician class of EIT’s Trades Academy for high school students, an experience he enjoyed.
“They had a couple of robot kits, and over the course of the year we got right into them and it really engaged the students in a practical way. My intention was to get them into some
programming. They were pretty self-motivated and wanted to be there.”
“I think all the people who finished the degree with me were in jobs by the time we finished. There’s no shortage of work with the pervasiveness of IT, which is pretty much everywhere now. It’s a safe bet.”