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Open University vs Home Study

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by GJimbo, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. GJimbo

    GJimbo Bit Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    I haven't had a chance to post here in a while due to travelling, but I'm back and eager to get started with my career change.

    I've been looking at the BSc in Information Technology and Computer degree at the Open University. It looks very interesting and I was wondering what type of reputation they have with employers and if this will help in job interviews once I have completed it. They say you can complete it within 6 years.

    On the other hand, I am also looking in to self-certification starting with A+ and N+ even though I good quality experience building and selling PCs at the minute. My intention is to become an IT technician or Network administrator.

    What is the recommended route for these and what courses would you recommend first, leading on to what?

    Thanks
     
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    The OU material is very good, as is their infrastructure (although it seems to be faultering this year). The one thing to be aware of is the TMAs.

    Depending on the course, you can have anything between about 4 or 8 of these, so that's one every month or two. The deadlines on these are really strict and they are counted towards your final score - so you can't afford to miss them.

    I spent many a sleepless weekend trying to finish one. Then of course there is the exam...

    Lots of people in my last group dropped out because of the pace.

    Home study though - if you've got the discipline - doesn't have these problems.

    Really what you need to decide is what your objective is.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi

    I looked at the OU before deciding to self study, the material and feedback is very good also the support from tutors is apparently very good.

    Then I looked at a training provider, but in the end I decided to self study as its cheaper.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    An OU degree is just as well recognised as a degree from a "normal" university, you will also find an OU degree is far cheaper than a degree from established bricks and mortar university.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I'd agree with what others have said, the OU degree program is well put together and the degrees are well respected.

    My main complaint would be this, if you are looking to the degree to make your break into IT then its likely the 5-6 years may be too long, the qualification is excellent but its probably better pursued while also working in IT.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  6. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    You can do more than one OU course at the same time, finances and time permitting, so it may not take 5-6 years.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Really thats interesting, I know theres no standard answer, but how long would you say it generally takes an intelligent highly commited individual with 40-50hr a week work commitments to complete an OU degree ?

    Does it result in an Honours degree ? Looks like it does...

    Also this guy did it in 3 yrs so I guess your right, but says he studied full time...
    http://www.open.ac.uk/new/eric-path-to-degree.shtml

    This looks like a good debate on the relative merits...

    http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware4/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=129157&ixReplies=23

    I certainly think its a good way to learn, which is really what it should be all about after all, in terms of career progression I'm not so sure.
    People outside of IT will generally want to crosstrain in under 3 years.
    People in IT can get credit from most Universities towards an MSc and complete it in 2 or less years, at a cost...

    In fact even the Phd rules were changed so that if you work in research you can submit a thesis based on your work and still obtain a Phd.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yes it does result in an honours degree

    It can take upto 5 or more years, another good thing about the OU is you can mix and match subjects into a degree.

    So you could take basic networking, then advanced networking combined with network potocols etc to make the degree a BSc IT in networks
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It's worth mentioning that if you have free time on your hands, you can study more than one OU course at the same time which can obviously cut down on how long it takes to get a degree.

    Two courses in a year would be hard work though...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  10. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I've looked at a similair OU course, but with the studying I'm doing, have decided to put it off until I can dedicate some proper time to it.

    Honestly, for the cost and effort, I would go for the A+ and N+ first. They are good, solid entry level Certs, and would help you prepare for whatever an OU course will throw at you. They will also get you into a routine of self studying before you get hit with the expectations and deadlines of the OU.

    I wouldn't do more than one course at a time either, just because I'd want to dedicate quality time to it.

    One of our programmers did an OU IT degree in five years, and got first class honours... so it's a good course!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
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