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BCS or distance learning education?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by dburnejones, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. dburnejones

    dburnejones New Member


    I am working as a Application and Database developer. My department gets training budget every year and my manager has asked me if I am willing to attend any training courses.
    I have been looking for different courses. I have got a computer science degree (equal ant to Uk undergraduate) with over three years experience in software development. I work with .Net and Oracle. I have also got Oracle certification in PL/SQL Development.
    I have got following options and wondering if someone can pls advise which one would be a good one.
    1- BCS Course (ISEB Diploma in Solution Development )
    Has anyone studied BCS courses through training provider called ‘Assist Knowledge Development ‘

    2- Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Data and Systems Analysis from OXFORD UNIVERSITY. It is a one year distance learning course.

    3- Post graduate certificate in Computer Science via distance learning. This course is offered by Hertfordshire University.

    4- Microsoft self study certification.

    I have also looked into Open University courses and they are quite expensive.

    I am looking to get some skills in system analysis and design. It would be great to have some skills with professional certification.
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I think it really depends on what you are trying to achieve here.
    There is a distinct difference between education and certification.

    The question is, do you want your staff to learn new stuff, or just validate what they know?

    Following a certification curriculum is going to lead you to pick up some new knowledge for sure, but it's not really an efficient way of doing it. Certification is usually popular with companies because having certified staff looks good in the brochures and it is sometimes a requirement for partnerships etc.

    However, if you want your staff to actually learn new skills, then some sort of relevant training/education is more relevant. Remember, if you want to teach somone to administer a network, it isn't actually necessary to make them an MCSA.

    Distance learning from colleges or universities is all well and good. They have the advantage of having an existing infrastructure, although don't be misled into thinking that a distance learning diploma from OXFORD UNIVERSITY carries the same weight as an undergraduate degree from Oxford.

    The advantage of the OU is that they have many years of distance learning expertise, rather than just jumping on a bandwagon. The disadvantage of this kind of distance learning course is that they take a long time to complete, typically a minimum of an academic year.

    My advice would be to look for a local training centre which offers short courses on relevant subjects, like two days administering users in AD, or fundamentals of Javascript, whatever.

    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. dburnejones

    dburnejones New Member

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have already got skills in asp.net,javascript,vb.net, oracle , RDbms and etc.

    I am a senior developer in the company and looking for advance courses.
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Well, that was just a general example.
    I don't know what skills you have or what you are looking for.

    The thing is, universities usually teach 'higher principles' rather than actual hands-on practical skills.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I think for advanced courses the options tend to be extremely limited, you typically have the following options :-

    1. You have masters courses at Universities

    2. You have professional training courses from professional training companies, like LearningTree, QA, Firebrand, etc.

    3. Sometimes universities run short courses for external students. Others offer summer camps.

    4. You have the conference circuit.

    5. User Groups and Expert Groups.

    Other than that its pretty much self study...

    With regard to your options :-

    These tend to be basic certification type courses, I doubt you will learn much.

    Might be ok, however Oxford are not one of the best universites for computer science in the UK. Its likely to be expensive. Its also undergrad so should be below your current level.

    A post grad qualification would be more suitable, not sure if any university will be able to give you a good course on analysis and design though.
    Tends to be something that comes more from experience.

    Unlikely to learn that much, their training guide on design for the design exam might learn a little.

    Agreed their new course fees are pretty uncompetitive.

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