Since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 employment in the app development industry has increased rapidly: 9.4 percent of all IT jobs in Australia now relate to the development, maintenance or support of mobile platforms and this figure is expected to grow. A recent report by the Department of Employment predicted up to 50,000 new job openings for software and apps programmers over the next five years.

Students taking Charles Sturt's Master of Applications Development course will learn how to use sophisticated development frameworks such as Xamarin, PhoneGap and Unity to build cross-platform mobile apps that fill a need in the market. They will also have the opportunity to create a mobile app that they can commercialise.

Programming experience is not a prerequisite: all the necessary skills and technologies will be taught as part of the program.

The new Masters course is an initiative of Jason Howarth, director of IT courses at Charles Sturt University. He says that, over the last decade, Charles Sturt University has established market leadership for online computing courses by providing degrees that incorporate the latest technology platforms.

"The Master of Applications Development builds on this by teaching students to write native, hybrid and HTML5 apps that can be ported to different devices," Howarth says. "Learning to use Xamarin, PhoneGap and Unity to develop cross-platform apps will guarantee graduates excellent career prospects."

He adds: “To our knowledge, this is the world’s first Masters degree on mobile app development so we expect it to be very popular, particularly at a time when the industry is crying out for more app programmers.”

The new Masters course has been developed with extensive input from app development companies such as Gruden, a Sydney based company that has developed an innovative mobile retail platform, Mobile Den, and that has built apps for blue-chip clients around the world.

Gruden CEO, Todd Trevillion, was one of the key contributors to the course design. “This Masters course is the type of pioneering degree that universities need to offer if they want their graduates to be attractive to employers," he says. "It is critical that the very latest platforms are incorporated and that job applicants can show actual apps that they have built using these platforms. There is fierce competition in the industry and the development timeframes keep getting shorter - we do not have the time or the resources to bring trainees up to speed.”

Another key industry contributor to the course was Matthew Wilson, director of Novus Res, a company that has developed a suite of software that includes web applications, line of business software, mobile apps and games.

According to Wilson, native mobile application development is becoming the top priority for IT. “What is amazing is that even though it has only been seven years since the first apps were introduced, app development has already evolved from a cottage industry to a mainstream employment sector in the IT industry,” he says. "Competition for experienced staff is already fierce and, if you can cope with it, app development is a great career option.”

The course is offered as a full time distance education course over two years. Full details can be found here.

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About IT Masters and Charles Sturt University 
IT Masters and Charles Sturt University are proud to offer a unique series of Online Masters Degree qualifications that are:
Relevant: Preparation for the world’s premium IT industry certifications from Cisco, ITIL, Microsoft, the Project Management Institute and Oracle are included as an integral part of the Masters.
Accessible: Study for your Masters Degree in your own home. With over 32,000 students studying globally, Charles Sturt University is Australia’s (and one of the world’s) largest suppliers of distance education.
Accredited: All of our Online Master Degrees are fully accredited under the Australian Government Qualifications Framework.
Affordable: Australian Citizens can use Australian government FEE-HELP study loans facility to pay tuition fees.

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