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BTECs

Discussion in 'Other IT certifications' started by Len, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Len

    Len Byte Poster

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    Curious, I've seen quite a few people with BTEC National Diplomas in IT(me included), and I've just wondered how helpful has it been in securing you a job in IT.

    I'd like some peoples opinions about them if possible. I would also like to hear from people who do not have a btec qualification.

    I specifically want to know whether or not YOU think they are useless. I ask this because I'm a member of a student forum(TheStudentRoom) where members openly dismiss BTEC's as useless. Whether this is down to not knowing exactly what they are, or for some other reason, who knows?

    Threads typically pop up every now and then dedicated to "BTEC bashing", and even in the BTEC area of the forums where people are genuinely asking questions, trying to decide whether they are right for them or not you will always get someone posting that they are for the "retarded" and you'd be better off going straight into work from GCSE's.

    For me personally, I can say it has helped me BUT NOT IN AN IT ROLE since I have just recently been hired purely based on my "more than the average joe IT skills", even though the job isn't based heavily on IT work(IT work will form very little of my work, but i'm handy to have around apparently).


    I'm interested to know what you guys think.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
    Certifications: BND IT Practitioners
    WIP: Comptia A+
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    These are my two cents...

    BTEC use to be the name of the awarding body of the qualifications, however in 1996 BTEC merged with University of London Examinations & Assessment Council (ULEAC) to form EDEXCEL.

    Now a day's, the term "BTEC" refers to any qualification (apart from GCSE & A Level's) that EDEXCEL issues, and this includes NVQ's, HNC, HND, etc...

    Personally I have two "BTEC" (or Edexcel as they are now) qualifications:

    1. The NVQ 2 in Software Creation &
    2. The HNC in Computing

    Have they helped me along the way? Yes, I didn't get my first IT job until I had both. Were they the main reason I got the job? No, but they did contribute.

    Members that openly dismiss BTEC's as useless, imo, don't really know what they're on about (whether or not it's the person's fault or not, I don't know). That's like dismissing all City & Guild's qualifications (and they offer qualifications up to Master's degree level).

    One of the problems is that people/students are told that if they do this or that, you'll get a job for X amount. However that's only part of the picture, eg the way you conduct yourself, your CV, what else you do/have, etc... All makes a difference. But because of whatever reason, things don't go their way, people naturally will blame/put down what they perceive as they cause of the failure.

    Added to that, it also depends on the level of the qualification... Take for example 2 people that are practically exactly alike (same experience, same manner, answers the same questions practically with the same answers, etc...), apart from one has a NVQ 2 in Software Creation (aka programming) but the other one has a Degree in Computing (Software Engineering). Based on that, the one with the degree is most likely going to get the job - does that mean that the BTEC/EDEXCEL NVQ 2 in Software Creation is useless? No.

    And in case you're wondering, I took this from one of my own experiences :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. The_Rocker

    The_Rocker Bit Poster

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    I also have a BTEC National Diploma in ICT.

    I got it on a 2 year college course after a left school. I am not going to say where or for whom I worked as I don't think Im allowed to do that. But when I finished college I walked straight into an IT support role at helpdesk level. From that position I was able to make my skills known within the company then move onto a small 2nd line support team.

    I beleive that was the time where I could shine the most, during my time with that company on the little 2nd line team, I became the "unofficial" trainer / team leader type person which got me noticed amongst the big guys upstairs etc...

    I decided to use my now groing experience to my advantage and sit my MCDST. I didn't really do any study apart from what I did at work as my job, and passed both exams within a month of each other.

    After 18 months in that company, I looked for a new job as basically, I wanted more money and couldn't see a route of progression there.

    I now work for another company in a small team as 3rd line onsite support / infrastructure management and implementation. I have just passed another MCP, (70-270) and now have only 2 server 2003 exams until im MCSA. I also have the benefit that I now have nearly 2 years experience using XP, Server 2003 and a whole bunch of other technologies which makes working towards qualifications so much easier! As well as filling up my CV :biggrin

    So, now I look back after nearly 2 years since getting my BTEC National Diploma and think to myself... Maybe if it wasn't for what I learnt during my BTEC and then demonstrated during my time at the lower level in the first company I worked for.... Then I wouldn't be where I am now.

    So.... I would call a BTEC National Diploma, an aid in getting a foot on the first rung of the ladder in the IT industry.
     
    Certifications: BND: ICT | MCDST | MCP
    WIP: MCSA | MCSE
  4. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    I have a BTEC National Diploma in computing and i got triple distinction on it.

    I think it was a pointless waste of time as i did not learn anything, but it does help with getting a job.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  5. Len

    Len Byte Poster

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    Agreed. I just needed to prove I knew the stuff that I claimed to know. If that made sense..
     
    Certifications: BND IT Practitioners
    WIP: Comptia A+
  6. The_Rocker

    The_Rocker Bit Poster

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    Im glad Im not the only one that thinks this. If I'd have looked into the microsoft qualifications whilst I was still in school. I wouldn't have gone to college.
     
    Certifications: BND: ICT | MCDST | MCP
    WIP: MCSA | MCSE
  7. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    I think that it is good to have if you ever plan on getting a degree sometime, i can basically get into any university in the country other than oxford/Cambridge.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  8. The_Rocker

    The_Rocker Bit Poster

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    When I left college I went straight into work. I saw the easy oppertunity to get into the industry and start gaining experience more valuable than 3 years on the lash racking up a fat debt. :)
     
    Certifications: BND: ICT | MCDST | MCP
    WIP: MCSA | MCSE
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Well the National Diploma is equivalent to about 3 A levels.

    It depends how you go about it, alot of people go to Uni part-time (or distance learning) in the evenings, while working in the day. So not all who go to Uni rack up a hugh debt :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  10. The_Rocker

    The_Rocker Bit Poster

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    True indeed. But don't you think that with the sheer number of college students then going onto uni now makes a degree less valuable...?

    University used to be only for the really really clever and those who could afford it. Now just about everyone goes to university and the lecturers are feeding the bull crap about "It will guarantee you a well paid job".

    I think nowadays, the only need to go to uni is if you are doing science or anykind (medical included) or want to be a teacher.
     
    Certifications: BND: ICT | MCDST | MCP
    WIP: MCSA | MCSE
  11. Len

    Len Byte Poster

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    This is also my view.

    From what I've heard, people who finished college and went straight into employment are doing better than those friends who have finished. There is a girl who started work at the same time I did, and she was telling me how some of her friends have finished uni, have a masters degree but no job. Now, she's abit old than me, and was earning a good amount of money before she got made redundant and only has A-levels.
     
    Certifications: BND IT Practitioners
    WIP: Comptia A+
  12. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    That is good and all but what happens when they are no jobs.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Man, what universities are you lot going on about?

    Don’t remember any of the “uni will get you a well paid job” comments going around when I was at uni.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I actually believe that the governments statement of "everyone should be able to go to university" some years back was mistakenly interpreted by the public and universities as "everyone should go to university", rather than (what I believe it should be) "everyone who is capable should go to uni, regardless of financial situation".

    Too many people are going to universities these days, and as a result, degrees (except in very specialised roles) are consequently worthless. You have a degree? big whoop! so does the janitor.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
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  15. Len

    Len Byte Poster

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    Then you get by......

    Work experience > a degree from what I've seen and heard from various employers. Every employer is different ofc
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
    Certifications: BND IT Practitioners
    WIP: Comptia A+
  16. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you have two 22 year olds both applying for the same position, one has 3 years of commercial experience, the other has no commercial experience but a degree\HND etc then chances are that the one with the commercial experience is more likely to get the position, it's just the way it is.

    I don't have a degree, in fact I left school at 16 with an unclassified in English, my highest scoring exam was TD (Technical Drawing), in fact I didn't even sit any GCSE's, I only sat CSE's.

    Jump forward 20 odd years, now admittedly in that time I gained 10 years’ experience in the Armed Forces (Army) and now 13 years in IT, but at no time in my career path have I had anyone decline to interview me because I didn't have a degree, for the most part everyone was more interested in the commercial experience that I had.

    My honest advice would probably be to go out there and get the commercial experience rather than a degree\HND but again that's just me (what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for the next).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  17. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    Hopefully by the time im 22 i will have a degree and 3 years part time IT experience.
     
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    And for those who plan on doing a degree, THIS is the way to do it... while working part time, getting experience under your belt. So when you get out, you've already paid your "entry-level dues", so to speak.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  19. jinse123

    jinse123 Banned

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    Im glad Im not the only one that thinks this. If I'd have looked into the microsoft qualifications whilst I was still in school. I wouldn't have gone to college.
     
  20. davelee212

    davelee212 Nibble Poster

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    I did a couple of NT4 MCPs whilst at school then went to work straight out of school at a computer shop building and repairing PCs. I've done more certifications and changed jobs several times since. The fact that I have no a-levels or degree has not affected me so far.

    However, I don't want it to be in the future so I started working towards an OU degree a couple of years back. My biggest problem with it initially was that it's very focused on software development with Java, which I just don't do! It seems to be changing a little now. They've started doing courses in Cisco and Microsoft topies and are accepting existing CCNA and some MCPs in exchange for OU credits which is nice.

    This has worked out for me and I would throughly recommend not going from school to college to uni without really understanding why you're doing it!

    Dave
     
    Certifications: Network+, CCNA (expired), MCSA 2000/03 + Messaging, MCSE 2000/03, MCTS:Sharepoint Config, VCP4-DCV, VCP5-DCV, VCP5-Cloud, VCP6-DCV, MCSA 2012, MS Specialist: Hyper-V
    WIP: Dunno yet

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