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Could I ask for some more advice please?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by mikey73, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. mikey73

    mikey73 Bit Poster

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    Hi Guys

    Back in August I posted in the New Members section (Please click here to view) regarding my hopes to enter the IT industry upon leaving the RAF. Unfortunately my last post on that thread received no replies.

    Shamefully I must say I committed two forum sins, I dug my original post up last week and then double posted. Sorry!!. :oops: The reason for this misdemeanour was that I was hoping that someone could revisit the post and reply. However, in addition to the advice I was originally after I was hoping to run a couple more questions past you all.

    With 18 months or so remaining until the RAF close the gates behind me I am getting increasingly concerned with every day that goes by. I have been frantically scouring the net for info, and even though I am intending to use self-study as my main training vehicle the RAF will give a great deal of additional funding.

    Having read a great deal of threads on the forum I get the idea of peoples opinions on training providers. However, I also have a resettlement grant which I will lose if I don't use it. Therefore I might as well blow it on a course just to get some more hands-on experience. I found JBC Computer Training Ltd as a prospective training provider. (Please Click here) Please ignore the £564 fee for the course, they make their money up with the added accommodation charges. I did however find it quite refreshing that they don't give you the usual "you could be earning on average around £35k, blah blah blah." :rolleyes: They state that "starting salaries of approximately £18 to £25K rising with experience to £30 to £35k", which is quite honest if I do say so myself. Also they make it clear that the cert exams aren't included.

    I do admit that CNSP is one of their made up course titles but it does mention that you will get a City & Guilds advanced Diploma at level 3 from the course, elsewhere on the site it also states:-

    "All students who complete their programme of study on our 7 week course will receive an advanced Diploma as a Network Support Practitioner from City & Guilds. Also you can use the knowledge gained to take some or all of the Comptia A+, N+ ,Security+, Microsoft MCSA and Cisco CCNA certifications."

    I would like to point out that this course will more than likely be started in the last 6 months of my service.

    With all of this in mind my this brings me to my first questions....

    How recognised will the above City & Guilds qualification be in the IT industry? Also will the fact that it comes from a training provider de-value it in any way?



    There are three other routes I am currently considering with a view to continuing onto further studying (HND/BSC Diploma) to gain an additional qualification.

    1. HNC in Computing
    2. HNC in Business IT
    3. BCS Certificate in IT

    I think that if I start soon I would be able to achieve one of these options before I end my service.

    Sorry..... question time again - Has anyone gained any of these quals, could they recommend any of them, and again how well would they be recognised?


    Finally, if anyone has read my first post, considering the 3 years experience I will have built up in my current IT role upon leaving the RAF, would I be able to secure more than an entry level position if I manage to achieve the A+, N+, City & Guilds and any of the 3 quals mentioned immediately above?

    If you haven't fallen asleep yet I would be really grateful for any advice you guys can give.

    Regards

    Mikey
     
  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Hi, your post seems to have been approved.

    City and Guilds. well they are not globally recognised, i say this having spent 5 years attending adult education with them. i learnt a lot but nobody where i am gives a monkeys razzoo. so, my advice, chose an organisation that is global, because the world is a small place and you never know where you might end up.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  3. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    How recognised are they in the IT field/industry? Well that depends on the person/people interviewing you. As an IT manager I recognise C&G's quals, as I hold one of their senior awards, but that doesn't mean that everyone feels the same way I do. City & Guilds is one of the oldest educational providers in the UK and while there are countries that will automically accept C&G's quals, there are some countries that will either have to do a manual comparison or use the C&G's certs as an entry requirement for one of their own quals. And some countries just won't accept them...

    Will using a training provider de-value it? No, where you did the course/exam will be on the cert, however the actually cert will be issued from City & Guilds and not the training provider.

    I was awarded the HNC in Computing in 2000, like the course. It was 2 years p/t (2 evening a week) and a good award in it's own right (it is recognised, plus it's classed as higher education), but it is also 1/3 of a degree. You can use the HNC to transfer into the degree program, for BCS certs you will have to contact the University individually.

    The HNC's/HND's sits at level 5 of the NQF/I of the FHEQ while
    The BCS Cert in IT sits at level 4 of the NQF/C of the FHEQ

    See here & here.

    While the BCS cert is slightly lower, upon completion of it you can join the BCS as an Associate member.

    I would like to say a resounding "Yes", however I would like to point out that no cert, diploma, degree, qual, etc can guarantee you a job and in this climate there would be a lot more competition from those who are currently out of work.

    Good luck with your studies :)

    -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
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    HNC/HND gets my vote, you can also consider a Foundation degree or even a full BSc(Hons) degree.

    Degrees from accredited universities are recognised internationally. For full degrees ideally look at hard science, engineering and computer science subjects.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I would say go for the HND?HNC route or BSC

    City & guilds a reconised in the UK but they are no where near the level of HNDs or degrees.

    In my opinion there isn't much difference between a HND and degree apart from an extra year (if full time).
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

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    your gonna get jbc 4 free so go for it, the course was very good, I got it for free as well.
     
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  7. mikey73

    mikey73 Bit Poster

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    Hi guys

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    Regarding the JBC course I think I will definitely do it because I don't want to waste my resettlement grant. The City & Guilds is a qualification at the end of the day and the course will give me 7 weeks of hands-on experience in some disciplines I may not cover in my current job in the RAF.

    I think I will also look into the HNC in Computing. I don't suppose anyone has done it via distance learning?

    Due to the training courses I have undertaken in the RAF and by virtue of my experience so far I am entitled to apply for the post nominals Eng Tech and LCGI which I intend to do shortly. I had heard that LCGI is deemed to be equivalent to a foundation degree, could someone confirm this? Also I am hoping that this will also work in my favour when applying for jobs. Even if not relevant to IT I hope that the post nominals will at least show my aptitude and level of professional experience. I also have an ILM Certificate in Team Leading if that is relevant.

    I am so excited about working in IT in civvy street, I am just hoping that everything I have mentioned so far and being from a disciplined military background will prove that I could be a valuable asset to a prospective employer. It's scary coming from the safety of such a secure job into the shaky world outside. Fingers crossed the job market starts to pick up in time for my exit.

    Cheers

    Mikey
     
  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Sorry mate, but the MSc is very different to an HND. Im not sure what yours was like but my mate was doing an HND when I was at Uni and he didnt have to take any exams, it was just hand-in after hand-in.

    I had 6 exams a semester and then one full year for my dissertation (20,000 words!)

    Happy days! :biggrin

    P.S not dissin' peeps with HNDs by the way. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    ahh MSc is different, but there isn't much between a BSC and HND. I had loads of exam although it was only two years I had two exams per module per year apart from the project management module for obvious reason (i.e it was a project).
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  10. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    I disagree there greenbrucelee. My degree was 4 years long including a year out in industry. Our final year consisted of 3 3 hour exams as well as coursework for each of these (involving creating a conferance paper on one of them) as well as the final year project/dissertation which consisted of 15 - 20 000 words or more. My project had 168 pages all together.

    There is a big difference between a higher national diploma and the degree! That is that you can complete a project in a 'scientific' and professional way with a thesis and do everything involved with that spread over however long that final year is. This also had to be presented to lecturers and you had to backup and argue for your thesis and project.

    In my first and 2nd year we had roughly 6 units, each involving a piece of coursework + 3 hour exam. Some of the units involved creating a complete 'buissness system - fully functional website/database/backend/frontend' over 4 months whilst doing everything else as well - which perhaps would take months maybe a year to do in the real world.

    Also the MSc is again a massive step up from the BSc in every respect!

    This is why you have the bachelors, masters of science/arts etc with honours. A post grad diploma or higher national diploma is not completing a project to a higher standard needed to get the bachelors/masters.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    If I remember correctly I had eight modules per year with a final exam in each subject, very much like a degree. There was also marked coursework, normally two assignments per subject throughtout the year. My HND was very much like the first two years of a computer science degree, maybe with a slightly more vocational focus than some degrees, but that was not necessarilly such a bad thing as many degree courses were arguably too theorectical.

    Probably the biggest difference is the project module on a HND is not as big a deal as on an honours degree.

    MSc's seem to vary widely from my research, some are near PHd level while others are barely BSc level.

    6 exams a semester ? :eek:

    Most UK universites had three terms when I went to university, so that would equate to 18 exams ! A few universites maybe have two semesters like the US system but that would still be 12 exams which seems rather high, however breaking down exams and spreading them throughout the year effectively makes them easier in my opinion.

    A whole year to write 20,000 words seems like a good deal. :wink:

    Not dissin' peeps with MSc's by the way :D

    That was probably the hardest thing for me, doing a final year of a degree often involves taking on coursework, exams, lectures, revision and a dissertation all at once which is very difficult to do.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I suppose there are some differences, my exams were all 2 hours long, the project I did inlcuded a 10000 word report a fully functional web site and a business plan as it was based a producing a web site for a company selling products such as computer equipment. We also had programming projects in Deplhi, C++ and ASP.

    But I still say there isn't that much difference as I looked at topping the HND to degree but couldn't afford it.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  13. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Mine was the same, but I had more than one assignment but it depended on subject, systems analasys had 4 as did Database design.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  14. mikey73

    mikey73 Bit Poster

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    Sorry guys

    I know I'm a newbie around here but this is kind of going away on a tangent from the advice I was after in my last post.

    Regards

    Mikey
     
  15. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    According to C&G's website, they say that the LCGI is comparable to a foundation degree. However the foundation degree sits on the same level of the HNC/HND which is level 5 of the NQF/I of the FHEQ, whereas once you receive the LCGI, it states on it that it's a level 4 qualification, so comparable to a Cert of HE. The GCGI is comparable to the BSc/BA and the MCGI is comparable to a MSc/MA. Yes I have the LCGI to compliment my HNC & BSc :)

    So take it how you want to...

    I would also go for the EngTech and maybe look into the new ICTTech offered by the ECUK, however there aren't any organisations currently who have finished the assessment process yet (The BCS & IET are under going assessment).

    Hope this helps :)

    -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
  16. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Sorry going off topic, but just for info & my comments...

    The more common C&G's quals normally reach level 3, however C&G's do a wide range of higher further ed quals that are comparable to degree level for instance:

    NVQ 4 & 5, even though the NQF was revised in 2006 these levels are still mapped against the pre-2006 NQF so the NVQ 4 are comparable to a BSc/BA and the NVQ 5 are comparable to a Masters.

    Not to mention C&G's senior awards, the LCGI (a level 4 award), the GCGI (a level 6 of the NQF, degree level) & the MCGI (a level 7 of the NQF/Master degree level).

    Plus C&G do a range of post grad diplomas.

    Just to let you know that a proper Post Grad Diploma or Cert (PGDip/PgC/PGCE) is actually higher than a BSc/BA. Don't get that version of a Post Grad Qualification confused with Professional Graduate Diploma which sit on the same level as a degree (but is lower due to the number of modules/UCAS points, etc).

    That's true, if it is a real accreditied & accepted (if coming from abroad to the UK) Master's no matter how hard or easy it is it will still have it's place, above the degree and below the PhD.

    Oh well :)

    -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
  17. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    I know : )

    Post graduate dip is higher than a degree. I was meaning you don't complete the diss so don't get the masters.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  18. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Mis-understood what you said in your previous post :oops:

    -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
  19. mikey73

    mikey73 Bit Poster

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    Hi Ken

    I apologise but I forgot to mention that the Eng Tech and LCGI will be awarded to me in relation to my work as aircraft engineer (working on gas turbine aero engines). I am thinking that you can be awarded these post nominals in a great deal of professions, so whilst mine will not be relevant to IT, I am hoping that they will be taken into account as a measure of my aptitude and achievement. Please correct me if you don't think this will be the case.

    Regards

    Mikey
     
  20. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi Mate,

    Ok, while not related to IT, the EngTech does show your professionalism & that you can work to a certain level. As you're going to go for the EngTech, can I assume that you're either going to join the IET or are already a member? I would have said look into the BCS but they only offer the CITP, CEng, IEng and currently being assessed for the ICTTech.

    The LCGI can be awarded in alot of different fields and again while not related to IT, it does show continuing professional development & educational. Just look at the jobs that either require or desire a degree, half of them don't care what the degree is in. Added to that the LCGI is a level 4 award.

    While I can't speak for everyone, I do believe that they will help you.

    -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

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