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Open University Degree...

Discussion in 'Other IT certifications' started by JSH333, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. JSH333

    JSH333 Byte Poster

    Hi all,

    Wanted your opinions,

    Part of me is considering applying for the Open University degree in Computing & IT (Code:B62)

    I've always liked the idea of taking a degree but thought I'd always do it later in life.
    However, as of next year the funding related to the OU is changing and the cost of courses is going up by around 3 times!
    It's for this reason I was looking into perhaps starting sooner, however I'm curious what you all think of it? In terms of how desired by employers it is or how relevent it may be to someone like me in IT support. Idealy anyone who has done the course or something similar.

    It apears to be a little off in terms of what I'm comfy with, so far only touched CompTIA and MS certs, but I guess thats the point in that it's a bit more general. On the other hand I really don't wanna touch programming and it appears unavoidable to a point.

    The other option is to carry on with my current certs and on with my aim of the MCSE

    Any thoughts?

    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCP, MCDST
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Generally speaking, a degree is a degree and they are handy things to have under your belt. Not essential in this crazy world, but certainly no harm in having one.

    The OU has many advantages over other avenues of study - not least the fact that they are flexible around work and pretty much location irrelevant. You can also, within reason, chop and change the modules that you do to suit your interests. You may want to consider an open degree which lets you study pretty much anything, and it frees you from any course retirements which may otherwise hinder your pursuit of an IT degree.

    Downsides are the timescale - you could easily look at 5 years to get a degree unless you do more than one unit at a time, which I wouldn't recommend. There can also be a lot of pressure on around the times you have to submit assignments.

    But all in all, go for it. It's a worthwhile thing to be working towards - just don't be under any illusions that it will open any magic doors for you, because it won't. There are plenty of graduates out there struggling to find work or 'under employed'.

    The MCSE is a different thing alltogether. It isn't an academic course designed to teach you stuff; it's intended to validate many years of practical experience. Unless you have some, it's best left alone.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    While I haven't done an OU degree, I have done a part-time degree at my local Uni. Personally I do believe that it has contributed to my career in IT in one way or another.

    Saying that I do believe that degree's aren't for everyone, hence why there are alternatives (vocational, professional as well as academic) out there in the UK. You've got the NVQ 4 & 5's, the GCGI, the Professional diploma's from eg the BCS and the ECUK that sit at level 5 & 6 of the QCF which is equivalent to the level's H (Honours) and I (Intermediate) of the HEQF - Higher Education Qualifications Framework (QAA).

    If you do decide to do a degree from the OU, check out the following modules:

    TM128 - Microsoft server technologies

    (and let your existing certs help you out with:)
    TM127 - Accreditation of Certificated Practitioners 1
    MT227 - Accreditation of Certificated Practitioners 2

    Personally, I believe that degree's don't hold much on the technical side (support) of IT here in the UK (unlike say the US), until you start to progress up the ladder. I'm not saying that you need it 100%, but I have seen quite a few jobs (in the present and past) that have listed degrees as a requirement for IT supervisor and management posts.

    Added to that you get extra points on visa's if you decide to move/work abroad.

    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. JSH333

    JSH333 Byte Poster

    Thanks guys, very helpful.

    Although I am still undecided! :)

    I've got until december to decide so I'll give it some thought in that time and hopefully finish MCSA by then too.

    Ah decisions, decisions... :unsure

    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCP, MCDST

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