Programming path leads to brand new campus


Zane Hutchison

Computer whiz Zane Hutchison knows exactly why he chose to study Computer Science at USC Moreton Bay – it’s the newest course of its kind in the country.

“Because computer science is a field that’s changing so quickly, I knew that the newer the course, the more it would be up to date,” Zane said.

The 17-year-old from Palmwoods will be among the first students to attend Australia’s newest university campus when classes begin on February 24.

USC Moreton Bay offers nearly 50 jobs-focused undergraduate degrees in health, business, education, communications and design, environmental science, psychology and social sciences. 

Computer Science is one of three new USC programs that will be offered exclusively at the Moreton Bay campus, along with Engineering (Mechatronic) and Engineering (Electrical and Electronic). 

Zane is excited to be among the early adopters. The Nambour Christian College OP1 graduate has his eyes on the future, with plans to one day use his qualifications to provide new software to replace niche products that have become outdated.

“Doing data entry for a job, I’ve spent a lot of time working with really terrible programs, so I’d like to one day create my own software,” he said. 

In his own time, Zane has taught himself programming languages including Python, Java, C++ and Swift, and put them to various uses, including share trading and mathematical modelling.

“With computer science, you’re not stuck doing one thing because there are so many different paths like machine learning, artificial intelligence, databases, website development and cyber security - you’re not restricted,” he said. 

A keen surfer, artist and volleyballer, Zane plans to continue living at home while commuting by train from Palmwoods to Petrie to the new USC Moreton Bay campus, and is enthusiastic about the career potential back home on the Sunshine Coast.

“I’ve heard that the submarine cable landing at Maroochydore could create a sort of tech hub here, so I’d be open to working back on the Coast at the end of my degree,” he said.

There is still time to apply to study at USC in Semester 1, which starts on 24 February.

The mid-January round of offers was released online today by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC), bringing to 4,775 the number of university hopefuls who have so far received offers to study at USC. This is up 3.1 percent on this time last year.

Offers to date include 2,090 to applicants from the Sunshine Coast (including Noosa Shire), 1,389 to residents of the Moreton Bay region, as well as 247 to Fraser Coast and 146 to Gympie residents.

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