Guide To IT Courses in Sri Lanka – IT Types, Institutes & More Info

The IT field has come up in a major form during the past two decades. It has dominated the world and also Sri Lanka, which has led to people choosing various kinds of IT courses which could be followed in different institutes. So let’s have a look at what kind of IT courses are available in Sri Lanka for students to follow.

What are the IT Courses in Sri Lanka? There are IT courses from a basic level to more advanced levels. Here are the types of courses which are available for students to follow.

  • Certificate course
  • Diploma course
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Degree (Bachelors and Masters)
  • Professional certification

This is just an overview of the major types of courses which are available in Sri Lanka. Many of the institutes in Sri Lanka provide affiliate programs with other universities around the world. Some of these courses could be started right here and completed in the relevant country. The choice is up to the student.

So let’s get into detail about the different types of IT courses given above.

Types of IT Courses in Sri Lanka

Students tend to select one type of course depending on how much they want to study within the course. The more advanced the course, the longer the time it takes to complete it. (Note: more on this below)

IT Certificate Course

A certificate course is a course which helps you to qualify in a single subject area. Sometimes it can be extended towards a diploma course. A certificate course usually takes from six months to one year to be completed. Certificate courses in IT include Software Engineering, Web Designing, Graphic Designing, Microsoft Office Course etc.

IT Diploma Course

A certificate course could be used as a step into the diploma course in the same subject area. A diploma course usually takes from one year to one and a half years to be completed. Obtaining a diploma helps you to eliminate the first year of a degree, in case you think of doing one in future.

A diploma course is more into the theoretical aspect of a subject area much like a certificate course but very unlike the HND. (Note: More on this below) Diploma courses in IT include Diploma in Information and Communication Technology, Diploma in Computer Systems Design, Diploma in Software Engineering, Diploma in Information Systems Management and Diploma in Networking etc.

Higher National Diploma (HND)

HND qualification equals to the first two years of a degree program and is mostly targeted towards the work industry. This is a qualification offered by the UK and other countries with British ties. You have the upper hand of obtaining first-hand work experience and getting a job quite easily when you have an HND under your belt.

HND program takes from one and a half years to two years to complete. Some of the courses offered in HND are Software Engineering, Network Engineering and Information Systems etc. You can learn more about HND in our article on what is HND course.

IT Degree (Bachelors and Masters)

A degree in Information Technology more or less models the student in order for him or her to be able to work in the IT industry. It is a complete qualification giving the student theoretical and practical exposure into the subject matter. The most basic level of a degree is a Bachelors which takes from three to four years to complete.

Once you have obtained a Bachelors and completed the required work experience in the related field, you can advance to a Masters. A Masters is usually followed while working in the relevant field and it could take from one and a half years to two years to complete.

Degrees are awarded in Software Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, Computer Systems and Networking, Cyber Security and Information Technology etc.

IT Professional Certification

Professional certifications are non-degree awards usually awarded by a specific certificate authority. This is one type of course which is more commonly used in the IT field more than any other field.

Some of the popular professional programs in IT include Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNP), Sun Certified Java Professional (SCJP), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

The duration to complete professional certifications highly depends on the program you follow and how much time you have to allocate for it. These are most often followed as part-time and can take from one to one and a half years to complete.

Information Technology, commonly referred to as IT, is a very vast subject area. It could be divided into many sub-areas which are widely different from each other. Let’s have a look at what subject areas are included in the field of IT.

What are the Subject Areas in IT?

IT is a combination of many related subject fields. Students can select which field they want expertise in, depending on the career path they hope to follow. This would decide what exactly they become in future.

Given below are the major subject areas in the field of IT.

Software Engineering

Software Engineering includes the analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance of computer software. This is a vast subject area which gives out job opportunities for software developers, computer programmers, software engineers and quality assurance engineers.


Networking includes planning, implementing and overseeing computer networks. This could be in wired or wireless forms. This subject area in IT provides job opportunities for network engineers, network administrators and network technicians etc.

Information Systems

The study of information systems includes the integrated components of data collection, processing and output in the form of hardware and software. Job opportunities in this subject area of IT include Information Systems manager, data analyst, database administrator, systems analyst etc.


Multimedia includes the study of the use of graphics including audio, video and text to bring out an interactive content. Job opportunities in this subject field include graphic designer, multimedia specialist, web designer, web developer, animator etc.

Now that you know of the various subject areas in the field of IT, it’s time to look at where you can follow these courses right here in Sri Lanka.

Popular Institutes for IT Courses in Sri Lanka

Due to the popularity of the subject, there are so many institutes around the country which provide courses in IT. It’s better if you can do your research or learn and find out what are the best institutes to follow such courses.

Here are some of the most popular institutes in Sri Lanka which provide various courses related to IT.

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT)

SLIIT provides IT courses approved by the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka. The institute lets its students follow courses starting from the certificate level and which goes up to masters level. It is one of the most affordable private institutes providing high-quality tertiary education in Sri Lanka.

SLIIT has affiliate institutes in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Its degree programs can be obtained from universities in these parts of the world. SLIIT offers various courses in the fields of IT, Engineering, Business and Humanities and Sciences.

You can find out more about SLIIT and its courses by visiting its website


ESOFT is among the best higher education institutes in the private sector of Sri Lanka. The institute creates opportunities for over 30,000 students every year. These are in the fields of Computing, Business and Engineering Technology.

ESOFT provides courses starting from the foundation level and which goes up to degree level. IT has affiliated with universities in India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, China and the USA.

You can find out more about ESOFT and its courses by visiting its website

International College of Business and Technology (ICBT)

ICBT is also amongst the leading tertiary education institutes in Sri Lanka. It has faculties in Business, Engineering and Construction, IT, Science and Languages. The institute has partnered with universities in the UK and Australia.

You can find out more about ICBT and its courses by visiting its website

Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT)

APIIT is known to be the largest provider of foreign degrees in Sri Lanka. It includes the School of Computing, Business School and Law School. APIIT has established partnerships with Staffordshire University in the UK and Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation in Malaysia.

You can find out more about APIIT and its courses by visiting its website

Australian College of Business and Technology (ACBT)

ACBT offers educational programs in the fields of IT, Engineering and Health Sciences. ACBT has affiliated with Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia in order to provide courses in these subject areas.

You can find out more about ACBT and its courses by visiting its website

National Institute of Business Management (NIBM)

NIBM has been a longstanding tertiary education institute established in Sri Lanka. It provides various educational programs in the fields of Business, Computing, Design, Engineering and Language. NIBM has established partnerships with universities in the UK and Malaysia.

You can find out more about NIBM and its courses by visiting its website

Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT)

IIT enables its students to follow courses in the fields of IT and Business. It has established a partnership with the University of Westminster, UK.

You can find out more about IIT and its courses by visiting its website


IDM has a long-standing history in higher education in Sri Lanka. It offers programs in the fields of ICT, Business Management and Languages.

You can find out more about IDM and its courses by visiting its website

What I have given here are just a few of the popular options students select when following courses related to IT. You can use it as a guideline if you ever want to follow this path.

Remember that the above are only the institutes where you can pay to follow a program of your choice. The free education system of Sri Lanka allows you to follow the above courses in government universities. But, you should obtain the relevant z-score from the A/L examination in order to be eligible for free education.

Some of the government universities provide external courses such as the BIT program popular in University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa. You can apply for these even if you do not have the relevant z-score from the results of the A/L examination.

You can find out more on such programs provided by these universities by going to their websites given below.

University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) –
University of Moratuwa –

Now let’s look at what you need to have in order to follow a course in the field of IT.

What are the Requirements to Follow an IT Course?

The answer to this question would vary depending on the type of program and the institute you select. Different universities and institutes have their own set of requirements to fulfil.

In general, you would need at least a simple pass in Mathematics and English for the O/L examination in order to follow a course starting from diploma level and above. Going on to the degree level, if you do not have any diploma or HND, you would need to have passed the A/L examination in the given field of study.

Some institutes insist on you to pass the A/L examination in the Science or Mathematics stream in order to follow a degree program in Software Engineering or Networking. Sometimes you can follow any degree in IT, other than a networking degree if you have passed the A/L examination in any other stream.

So now you know that it is not actually all that difficult to enter a course of your choice in the field of IT. But, what would you do after the completion of the course? Let’s learn what kind of job opportunities are available for you in this subject area.

What are the Job Opportunities in the IT Field?

As I said before, IT is such a vast subject area and same goes to the types of jobs you can find in this field. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find jobs in this industry. You need to show your potential and skills in order to succeed in landing on a job and securing it for yourself.

Here is a list of some of the popular job opportunities for IT professionals in Sri Lanka.

  • Software Engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Systems Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Database Administrator
  • Desktop Support Engineer
  • IT Consultant
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Administrator
  • Business Analyst

The list would go on like this if I try to point out all of the job opportunities for IT professionals. This means that you have a very clear career path if you select IT as your field of study.

Hope you have a good idea on what kind of courses are available in IT for students and where to check out for these courses in Sri Lanka. Feel free to use this as a guideline when selecting your career path in IT.

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