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BSc(Hons) ITMB vs. (BCS) Professional Graduate Diploma?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by dazz, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. dazz

    dazz New Member

    Hi everyone :flower:flower:flower ,

    First, hope you're all well. May I ask advice from you guys plss :unsure ?

    I'm currently an unemployed gal in my 30s trying to change careers into Software Development from working in call centres. I have a background in computing from the university but I didnt finish my bachelors degree before I cut it short went straight to work landed jobs specialising in call centre helpdesk and customer service instead. The pay wasnt bad I got promoted at work several times and it paid all my bills but I realized it wasn't my passion in life :(.

    I would love to get back into IT and work as a Software Developer now, I tried to apply for jobs like it but I couldn't get accepted due to my lack of programming experience. In addition I'm already *old* hence I dont qualify for Apprenticeships. With the recession and all now, I can't get even an entry-level job in IT employers have gone very picky :cry:.

    Money is not a problem at the moment I was able to tuck away some savings. Hoping to turn the tide and make my CV tuned to IT I'm taking the time off work to self-study for an SCJP, and at the same time I'm contemplating going back to college to finish a computing degree. (If I still can't get an IT job while doing all that :eek: I plan to do volunteer work related to IT so as to get my *computing experience* in process).

    To those of you who are already working in IT or have worked in recruitment agencies, which of these courses do you think would BEST help my CV to be viewed favourably by IT recruiters and employers in software development jobs? (though I've got some savings I'm not rich either :( hence would like to get the best value for money)

    (1) BCS Professional Graduate Diploma in IT


    (2) BSc(Hons) Information Technology Management for Business

    I've been out of the IT industry for so long I don't know what's the most in-demand computing degree today anymore. Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated guys, many thanks in advance!


    WIP: self-study for scjp
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    To be honest, imo, if you want to get into programming and want to do a degree to assist you. I would say that the BSc/BSc(Hons) in Computing specialising in Software Engineering would be better suited for you. But like I said, that's my opinion.

    Now depending on what you actually finished at Uni first time round, you may be able to get onto a part-time degree course and finish your Hons degree in 3 years part-time or your standard BSc/BA in 2 years (missing out the first two part-time years). You'll still be able to work full-time or part-time so money won't be an issue.

    One thing that I will say regarding apprenticships, you're never to old to do one:

    However unlike the under 25's, for the mature apprentices there is a cost (not full, partial) for the organisation and/or to the candidate themselves...

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  3. dazz

    dazz New Member

    Thank you very much indeed for your insight Ken, you're a star! :angel

    WIP: self-study for scjp
  4. starkey444

    starkey444 New Member

    Hi Dazz
    I've just joined the forum so apologies if this reply is a bit late.
    There are differences in the two courses you have looked at and the one you choose will very much depend on what you want to achieve.

    The BCS course content is predominantly IT so you'll learn alot of the 'techy' stuff.

    The ITMB on the other hand is a different beast. It was designed to address the issues that students coming out of University often had good technical skills but companies were having to then teach alot of the ancillary skills on top of that. A joint effort between e-skills, universities and some very big names in IT, came up with the ITMB which gets students much more client-ready. Rather than focus just on IT, the degree has a near-equal split of four things - technology, project management, business skills, soft skills (like presentation techniques etc). Something like 13 Universities now offer the ITMB course. Rather than dive deep into the technology, it covers a spread of skills which should provide the student with a more rounded skillset and give opportunities to step into a wider range of roles.

    So, its horses for courses. You need to decide what your end goal is and then take the appropriate course.

    Just so you know, I don't work for the Uni's or e-skills. I work for a software company involved with the ITMB program - so we get involved in periodic reviews of the ITMB syllabus to ensure it is providing what companies want. We also join forces with other companies to help out with student days (CV clinics, business games, competitions, mock interview practice etc etc) so that students get an opportunity to speak to a wide range of different organisations in a safe environment. We only joined this program relatively recently. When we did our last student intake last year, we took technical grads and then had to teach them the 'other stuff' - if I'd know about ITMB then, I'd have certainly looked for some good ITMB students as it would have saved me having to teach some of the stuff when they joined us.

    I hope this has given some extra insight. Neither are necessarily better than the other - just depends what you want and what you think your target employers will be looking for.

    Regards and good luck
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2009

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