Vodacom offers bursaries to candidates looking to pursue careers in fields relating to the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.
Vodacom achieved initial success in South Africa by building base stations along almost every major national road in South Africa. By doing so, the company was able to quickly extend its coverage throughout the country, becoming the first cellular service provider to make its network accessible over such an extensive area. Around the same time, Vodacom forged some strong alliances with retailers to increase the availability of cellular phones to the mass market, raising them to the level of many other types of consumer goods.
Having established strong foundations and a considerable reputation in South Africa, and creating a strong market presence in the country, Vodacom has since grown and extended its operations further north into the rest of Africa. In addition to South Africa, Vodacom cellular networks have been created in Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lesotho. Various cellular-related business services are also offered by Vodacom in more than forty African countries, including Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, and Ghana.
Before 2008, Vodacom’s ownership was divided on a 50/50 basis between South African telecommunications provider Telkom and British mobile phone operator Vodafone. In 2008, Vodafone’s stake in Vodacom was increased to 65%, while Telkom’s share was listed it on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. As of 2011, Vodacom operates largely as a subsidiary company of Vodafone, having also changed its branding from blue to red to in order to more closely resemble that of its parent company.
Vodacom Bursary Program Overview
Vodacom’s bursary program was established in 1999, with fifty bursaries being offered to successful candidates each year. To date, over a thousand students have been given the opportunity to achieve their educational dreams and establish fruitful careers through the benefits of a Vodacom bursary, the majority of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. One of Vodacom’s main missions in providing such bursaries is to address the serious skills shortage that South Africa experiences in the ICT sector, and create a skilled workforce for the future. From year to year, awarded bursaries can be focused on various fields where the skills shortage is most keenly felt.
Vodacom bursaries are offered exclusively for full-time studies towards a relevant undergraduate degree at a recognised tertiary institution within South Africa. Bursary recipients will be required to work for Vodacom for a period equal to the period of study following the successful completion of their qualification. This offers a unique opportunity for further training, experience, and skills development while also providing a steady stream of new employees to contribute to Vodacom’s own workforce.
Prospective candidates must be South African citizens, be under the age of 25, and hold a valid matric certificate including a minimum of C symbols in Higher Grade Mathematics and Science. The total household income of applicants may not exceed R150 000 per year, and must be demonstrable as such in order to be eligible. While candidates who have not yet begun their tertiary studies are generally preferred, those still within their first year of study may also apply, provided they meet the same criteria as above and have not failed any of their previous courses.
As one of the most well-established and highly sought-after bursary programs in South Africa, Vodacom offers comprehensive benefits to bursary recipients. These include the provision of full tuition fees, as well as any registration and administrative costs. Accommodation and meals as provided by a hostel or residence run by the institution at which the candidate is enrolled are also paid for at a rate determined with the consultation of the institution itself.
Allowances are provided for books, stationery, and any other equipment needed by bursary recipients for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of their degree. Over and above all of this, a yearly cash allowance is also provided to assist in covering the cost of general day-to-day living expenses. These benefits together take almost all the financial pressure off the experience of studying for a tertiary qualification, allowing bursary recipients to concentrate on excelling in their chosen fields.
Vodacom bursaries cover a range of qualifications that are applicable to the information and communication technology industries.
Areas of study that are covered by these bursaries include electrical/electronic engineering (light current only), actuarial science, mathematical sciences, statistics, information technology, computer science, computer engineering, information systems, accounting, finance, economics, and digital marketing.
Degrees and/or diplomas from technical colleges in similar fields may also be eligible to receive funding by means of a Vodacom bursary.
The application process for Vodacom bursaries is simple and accessible. The necessary forms can be downloaded from the Vodacom website, and must be filled out in full and submitted either by email or by fax. Forms can also be obtained from most regional Vodacom offices on request.
Supporting documents as listed on the forms, such as a certified ID copy, valid matric certificate, and existing university transcripts (where applicable) should also be attached to the forms. Applications for Vodacom bursaries open on 1 July and close on 30 August of each year.