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What can you say about Open University?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by albertc30, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. albertc30

    albertc30 Kilobyte Poster

    Hello everybody.

    I am questioning myself on should I or should I not do a degree in computer science. Attending university is utterly out of the question due to working full time.

    I want to follow ICT, mainly networking systems. I have done and passed a Cisco CCNA 9 months ago and even though the intention of doing it was, not only further myself, but to get a job in IT which still hasn't happened.

    Being from a different back ground and nationality, I feel that I am a bit in disadvantage, specially for not having any national qualifications, like GCSEs and A levels. I am sitting an exam for English level 2 City and Guilds tomorrow at college following by maths sometime soon. Other then the CCNA, these will be my first recognized certifications if we can call it.

    I was just wondering if anyone here has a good word to say about OU. For those of you that have done it, using OU how did it went? Were you working or not? How easy was to reconcile work and studies?
    Any comments are, as always, more than welcome and duly appreciated.
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: 220-701 - A+
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    What can I say about the OpenU? It's a very good Uni, but they are more expensive than some of the local Uni's.

    Why? Myself and other's went to Uni part-time in the evenings, I was even working 2 jobs (1 full-time one, and one part-time - Friday nights, a 10 hour shift) when I was studying for my degree.

    Being from a different back ground and nationality is not a disadvantage; the current ecomonic climate, the area and the amount of people that are applying for the same jobs are.

    I know I've said this many times before, but it took me 5 years to get into the IT field. It's taken other people alot longer, but at the same time it's taken others shorter periods.

    I believe a few people here are doing courses thru the OpenU. I considered it, however it turned out to be the more expensive option compared to what the local Uni was offering.

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
    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. albertc30

    albertc30 Kilobyte Poster

    Well, maybe the fact that I feel in disadvantage from being from a different back ground and nationality, makes me feel better to this whole situation.
    The nearest Uni I got is the Norwich one and no car as we speak. I would cost allot of money just on petrol alone to drive there and back. It's about 50 miles both ways.
    One thing I am aware off. That is to the fact that where I live, G. Yarmouth, is not the best place in the world for a job on IT.
    Thanks however for your comment and please you guys, anymore comments?
    Going to College now and sitting my English level 2 exam.
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: 220-701 - A+
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    It didn't for me.

    Anyway, good luck on your college course :)

    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
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I've done a number of courses with the OU, and overall was really pleased with them.
    The course material was comprehensive and always delivered punctually.
    The website and forums were well put together and helpful.
    Feedback from tutors was useful.

    One of the advantages was that you could do as much or as little as you wanted. Sure, you had to do the TMAs etc, but if you wanted/needed to you could attend the tutorials and group sessions.

    There are of course some drawbacks.
    Tutors are generally working professionals. While this is great because they really know their onions, it means that sometimes you had to wait for a response if you were stuck.
    Due to the part-time nature of the study, it can take several years to work up enough points for a diploma or certificate, and many more for a degree.
    The pace is pretty relentless. You have a lot to get through in the year, and depending on your course you may need to do something like 4 to 8 TMAs. The submission deadline on the TMA is strict, and you can't get much of a head start on them becuse you haven't covered all the material yet. I spent many a long weekend slaving over TMAs, and each year about a third of the group washed out because of time constraints.

    So it's not an easy ride by any standards, but it's well put together and professional.
    But, it all comes down to you in the end. We've debated this time and again when discussing TPs. The OU is no different in that you have to pull your socks up and do the work. If you miss a couple of TMAs, you're tutor isn't going to pop round to see if everything is OK. You'll just get a letter at the end oof the year saying 'fail'. If you have problems with self-motivation, then you'll struggle.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    They seem to have the best maths provison for adult learners in the UK, thats why I used them, the two course I took (MST121 & MS221) were excellent.

    I did find distance learning hard going, you seem very much on your own and staying motivated was diffiicult.

    There are tutor groups and a tutor, but support is limited.

    I think overall if you have a good local college with courses for your chosen subject the benefit of the extra support is worth it.

    If the mountain won't come to mohamed then mohamed must go to the moutain...

    You can't expect to live in a backwater and have everything on your doorstep, if you are serious about your career you will find times when you simply have to move.
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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