Our Story

IT varsity Stacked

I’m Bilal Kathrada, CEO of IT varsity, and I really wanted to become a Java developer.

As I neared completion of my degree, I sent my CV to various companies.

The feedback I got was, to say the least, totally depressing. Nobody was prepared to hire me, not then and not even when I completed my degree. Why? Because I did not have experience working as a Java developer.

The Vicious Job/Experience Cycle

“So how am I supposed to get experience without a job?” I often asked but got no response.

It started to dawn on me that my studies, and my good grades were not worth much in the job market. Nearly everything that I studied was irrelevant, I was told. What they wanted were practical, on-the-job skills. Show us what you can do.

I found myself caught up in “The Vicious Job/Experience cycle” which is: You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

So I taught myself professional development skills. I realised that there is so much more to Java development than just mastery over the language. For example you had to understand technologies like the Spring Framework, Hibernate, Ant, Version control systems, project management tools, and a whole lot more. But nobody told me that. I had to figure it out for myself.

Eventually, I got my big break and got my first job as a Java developer. But it was tough getting there. What frustrated me most was the amount of time (and money!) I had put into my formal studies – had I gone directly and taught myself what the market really wanted it would have saved me so many years!

The Ideal IT Institute

It was around then that I began to wonder about an institute that actually did teach practical development, exactly as the job market wanted – how great would that be!

How awesome if there were an institute that

  • was in touch with the outside world
  • understood global technology needs
  • provided sincere guidance to all students about the best IT careers to get into, without them having to figure it out for themselves
  • taught its students exactly the technologies they needed to know to become exceptional developers
  • prepared its students for the job market
  • used modern teaching methods
  • provided accredited qualifications

It would be the ideal IT institute!

IT varsity is Born…

Not long afterward I realised that there was no such institute in South Africa, and it would be great if someone started up one. It was then that I decided to start IT varsity, which would be the institute that I had longed for.

How nice would it have been for me if there was such an institute in existence when I started out…

Bilal Kathrada

CEO, IT varsity


Our Accreditations

setaIT varsity is accredited by the MICT SETA.

Our accreditation number is: ACC/2012/05/775