Ranking Qualifications in the IT Space


Expert Member
Jan 16, 2008
I am an old bugger that perhaps has an old fashioned view of academics. What was applicable in the 1980s may not apply today

Parents of promising young people often ask me what to study if they are entering the IT development world.
I always say that if you can get into BSc Computer Science then that is your undergrad degree.
However, some people will get into BSc but will struggle with University Maths 1 and Stats 1

So they are considering non-BSc options.

The question in my mind is how employers/other IT people view these qualifications? It's a perception issue and its difficult to avoid bias.

So I have two questions
  1. Assuming you are assessing undergrad degrees below in isolation how would you view the below?
  2. If you add the post-grad option how does it affect how you view the courses?
It's worth noting that the student may not love app dev one day and may end up more on the analysis side... for example.
So we can't assume that dev work will be the end point.

Option 1
Stellenbosch University
BA (Humanities) with Socio-Informatics (link)
BCom Honours Programme in Information Systems Management. (link)

Option 2
Stellenbosch University
BCom (Management Sciences): Information Systems Management (link)
BCom Honours Programme in Information Systems Management. (link)

Option 3
Varsity College
Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Application Development (link)
Switch to Stellies IF they will take you
BCom Honours Programme in Information Systems Management. (link)

Option 4
National Diploma ICT (link)
Hopefully, that gets you into post-grad elsewhere

Anything else?


Expert Member
Mar 8, 2007
In my experience degree or diploma doesn't really make that much difference, provided it's 3yrs at a relatively well known institution. Post-grad or B-tech is definitely a plus (personally I learn't more in my last year than in all previous years) but this usually isn't a game-changer for the interview panel. The single most important thing is to PASS and get into the job market as soon as possible to gain that valuable experience. If you fail a year at varsity, it's potentially a year of working experience that's lost.

Ideally you want to get onto a bursary program because typically you're required to work it off in a payback period i.e. guaranted employment when you leave varsity.

You should also do some short courses on the side, SQL, Agile, whatever your interests are... These will demonstrate specific knowledge in key areas.

It might be valuable to go to Pnet or Career junction, pick out a few IT careers, Dev, QA, BA, Project Manager and see what is required for the position - besides a degree / diploma.


Expert Member
Jul 14, 2012
From what I am seeing, the qualification type doesn't matter much; as long as it is, at the very least, a 3 or 4 year degree/diploma from a recognized higher education institute.

If you really want to improve your chances of getting a sweet job, study to know, rather than studying to pass.


Executive Member
Jan 2, 2013
Personally, I didn’t do great in matric maths, so I redid it, and then went with Option 0 (BSc CS+Maths). Best career decision of my life.


Honorary Master
Aug 23, 2013
Option 4 is a diploma, not a national diploma, they are different NQF levels AFAIK (Nat Dip is a level higher). Curriculum has been revamped.
Now it's 3 years diploma, it will be 1/2 years advanced diploma, but currently that's Btech (2018 was supposed to be last intake, 2019 is now the shifted last, and not sure till ~Dec if 2020 will be last, you skip an NQF level from diploma jumping in), then there's supposed to be a post graduate dipoma which is equivalent to Mtech, hasn't been implemented yet, Mtech for IT at CPUT is a business degree with specialization in IT btw, then Dtech and MICT are equivalents, with MICT being coursework based with mini thesis, and not sure what the DICT will look like yet.

The question here is what they're interested in,
Networking or multimedia, definitely go diploma route. If you're unsure where you want to go, diploma is also a good idea and transfer from there, better a year of a "cheap" R20-24k a year versus a more expensive uni. My total getting to masters has nearly reached my sis' diploma cost at private, lol.
Software development, where do they want to end up? Business side of things? More mathematical inclined? Follow Bsc CS route rather, otherwise diploma.
If more inclined towards software ethics and the management of it, move to Bcom Information Systems, diploma can also work in the business analysis route and you pick Info Systems as Btech, but the business analysis route is no longer offered at CPUT AFAIK, mostly due to issues with getting jobs, all other streams of the old diploma had instant job offers when they left versus BA had issues since experience is so critical.

Post graduate diploma will include Math btw, so move to MTech route rather if you want to avoid that.

Talking to lecturers and students earlier this year, Diploma has gotten substantially better/more organized/more modern, including electives such as functional programming, software patterns (it's supposed to be in Btech), etc.

From: http://www.cput.ac.za/academic/faculties/engineering/new_qualifications
The new Diploma is at NQF5 I think, but unsure. This it to make the masters equivalents to the science equivalent, since Mtech is 1 NQF lower than Msc while still having masters in it. Fun discussions, lol.

Com Net, App Dev and multimedia share the first year, second gets split by specialization.
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