The OU

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Jaron78, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Morning All,

    Has anyone used the OU?
    I have a training budget from work and was looking at Firebrand. However, the course I wanted to do...they dont have enough people enrolled and have no idea when the course will be scheduled in.

    Ive found the same course on the OU and have enrolled. Waiting to hear back if I get accepted. Just wondered if anyone had any experience with them.

    Thanks
     
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  2. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    I did my degree with the OU. Took me five years part time. I highly recommend them to be honest. Their courses are flexible and ideal for adults who can’t take time out because of work or family. I’ll probably do more courses with them in the future for pleasure
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: VCP7
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  3. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Thanks Jim. Ive heard good things!
     
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  4. Kitkatninja
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    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    I'm both a student with the OU (doing my Masters with them) as well as being an Associate Lecturer with them.

    As a student, I actually like their courses. Hopefully I'll be gaining my MA at the end of the year, and provided I get the funding, start my Postgrad Diploma in Cyber-Security next year :)

    What course are you looking at doing with them?
     
    Certifications: MSc, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Cyber Security
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  5. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I'm looking at doing the Cisco Dev Net Associate.

    It's a 16 week course that looks quite interesting to be honest. If I enjoy it, I will probably look at doing more via the OU going forward.
     
  6. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

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    Can you go straigth to that with the OU? I would expect you need to do an intro course first because they are directed more towards bachelors degrees than standalone certs.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  7. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Its something called the DevNetSkills by The Open University.
    I think its supported by the Government.
     
  8. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

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    oh that looks really good actually. I've done some stuff with the OU and nobody does learning resources better than those guys.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
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  9. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Done a bit of research and the Juniper Dev Ops is 70% of the Cisco Dev Ops so if I can get through the Juniper one, it's a good start.
     
  10. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hey Guys,

    So I didnt get on the Dev Net course sadly. However, I am considering doing a BSc in IT and Networking.
    Stage 2 & 3 of the degree has you studying for the CCNA which I have already obtained. My CCNA expires in 2023 but thinking it may be worth doing the updated one via the OU for the degree?

    Cheers
     
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  11. Kitkatninja
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    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    I think it would be worth it... An alternative degree track that you may find interesting is the BSc(Hons) Cyber Security - it also includes the CCNA track :)
     
    Certifications: MSc, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Cyber Security
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  12. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Thank you @Kitkatninja
    That does look very interesting. I have a meeting at 11 with the L & D director so I will add that to the list.
    Im looking at two or three different courses (All of which contain the CCNA) so when the OU come back to me, I have options of which Degree I want to look at.

    Thanks very much,

    Ron
     
  13. Kitkatninja
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    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    Cool, no worries :)
    -Ken
     
    Certifications: MSc, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Cyber Security
  14. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    So work have confirmed that are happy to proceed, however its a big commitment so Ive got a For / Against:

    FOR:
    • Work pay for me to get a Degree!!!! I literally get a free degree if I complete the course,
    • It looks fantastic on a CV,
    • I am in the company share scheme. At the moment, shares are valued at about $0.40 per share. However, if I stay for the next three years, I get at least 250,000 shares, plus new shares awarded every year.
    AGAINST:
    • Im 43, and when I start with the OU, I will be about 44. IF I take the whole 6 years to complete a degree, I will be 50!
    • The OU suggest 16 to 18 Hours a week of study. That's a LOT of study for the next 6 years,
    • Im in two minds about doing a degree in IT Communications and Networking, or a BSc in CyberSecurity. I had hoped the CCNA would have put me in good stead for some networking roles and that doesn't seem to have helped (Mind you, neither has COVID) so is it worth looking at the CyberSecurity option as well?
    OVERALL:
    • In effect, I can obtain a £19,000 degree for free! However, I could I be better just carrying on with stand alone exams like CCNP, Linux, AWS, CCNA Dev Ops etc and having work paid for the certs as I progress through the certs. Would a degree hold a lot of weight for future roles?
     
  15. Kitkatninja
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    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

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    I am pro-development (as anyone can see from my Linkedin profile), I've done academic, vocational, and professional qualifications, as well as non-qualification based courses. The following are just my thoughts from your for, against and overall.

    That's all great, and agree with you on those points. And who can argue against an £19k free investment :)

    1. That point is really irrelevant, you will be 50 regardless of whether you do your degree or not. Added to that, even when you're 50, you will still have 18 years of your working life left (provided the Gov doesn't increase the retirement age again).
    2. That is estimated/averaged over the course of the whole module. Some modules you'll be able to do in far less time per week - it really depends on your previous experience.
    3. Personally speaking, as Cyber security is a big subject in the IT world now, and considering that the CCNA modules are part of it, I would say go for the Cyber Security pathway. However both pathways are just as viable as the other.

    You could carry on with the certification track, there is nothing wrong with that. Just bear in mind that after a few years, you will still have to renew those certs (again and again). The degree doesn't expire and you don't have to renew it. If you are planning on staying with your current employer, what's stopping you from completing the degree and then have work pay for your professional certs either after them or during the summer break? I am assuming that your work will be paying for the program from the apprenticeship levy, so it's not really costing them anything (as they would have to pay for that anyway).

    As for whether or not the degree will hold alot of weight for future job roles, it will depend on the organisation, the sector, country, etc. What I will say is that the degree will open up alternative roles, eg if in the future you want to become a teacher, or a lecturer. Plus having a degree, it will also open up graduate positions for you, and will contribute to visa points if you decide to migrate to another country :)

    However on the flip side, coming from someone will has always had two jobs and studies part time as long as I can remember - it's not easy. At time you will want to quit, at times you may only get a bare minimum passing score (and you may even get a failing score). You will get people say that it's not worth it or will say that the OU is not a real university (but then again, they will say that about any Uni that isn't Cambridge or Oxford). Added to that, studying with the OU can be lonely at times, as apart from the odd module where there is a mandatory day class, you are studying alone (in some modules, the students themselves will create either FB groups and whatapp groups), but there are student get togethers randomly organised.
     
    Certifications: MSc, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Cyber Security
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  16. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I cant thank you enough @Kitkatninja
    That has put everything into perspective. Thanks so much Ken.
     
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  17. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    What's the end goal? More money? Move into networking? Move into Cyber?
     
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  18. Jaron78

    Jaron78 Gigabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    More money, chance to move into Cyber Ops, make me look more appealing to employers.
    My Wife is from NZ and has always talked about going home at some point so if we did go to NZ, Id like something to enable me to stand out a bit more as well.
     
  19. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    I might have asked this before, but have you considered Cloud/DevOps roles? It's the easiest way to increase your salary at the moment. I've 4.5X'd my salary in under 3 years and done zero certs/degrees in that time.. Just saying.. if you're agnostic about your day to day work, then maybe you should consider it as an option? The market is mental at the moment. I've just accepted a new job that's a 50% increase, and I'm getting recruiters contacting me offering me 50% on top of that. (So 100% more than I'm currently on).

    I also find the work very challenging and interesting.

    Just saying man, if your heart's set on networking/cyber go for it - but if not, there are a tonne of ridiculous opportunities in the DevOps space once you get your foot in the door.
     
  20. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    Also, NZ's skill shortage for DevOps engineers will probably be worse than here..
     

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