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Are BTECs for the people who aren't smart enough to do A Levels? watch

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    (Original post by LaylaLaw)
    Thank you !

    lol it's np


    -X-BTEC all the way-X-
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    (Original post by Muffin.)
    OMG ur not?!? I always just assumed you were :eek:
    What, so you see someone being aggressive and assume that they are male? Sexist.

    Just kidding, I thought the same. BTECs are useful, but they're not going to get you into a top Uni. That's an indisputable fact.

    BTECs are also regarded as being easier than A Levels. People who have only done A levels, don't comment. People who have only done BTECs, don't comment. The only people who are qualified to comment on this are people who have done both BTEC and A levels. In this thread, a few have and they have found the BTECs much easier.

    That does NOT mean much less work. That means that they found the work itself easier, that the actual intelligence level required to do the course is lower. It's like an Art GCSE. Art itself isn't a particularly hard subject, even if you can't draw or paint or anything you can probably still do photography, but there is a monumental amount of coursework. I mean, in no other subject I've done, before or since, have I had to submit 130 a3 pages of coursework, mostly plain text.

    Then again, the difficulty is nothing compared to Maths iGCSE. For many, it's a tradeoff between diligence and intelligence.

    BTECs are by no means worthless qualifications, but they are certainly seen to be academically much less worthwhile than A levels.
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    What, so you see someone being aggressive and assume that they are male? Sexist.

    Just kidding, I thought the same. BTECs are useful, but they're not going to get you into a top Uni. That's an indisputable fact.

    BTECs are also regarded as being easier than A Levels. People who have only done A levels, don't comment. People who have only done BTECs, don't comment. The only people who are qualified to comment on this are people who have done both BTEC and A levels. In this thread, a few have and they have found the BTECs much easier.

    That does NOT mean much less work. That means that they found the work itself easier, that the actual intelligence level required to do the course is lower. It's like an Art GCSE. Art itself isn't a particularly hard subject, even if you can't draw or paint or anything you can probably still do photography, but there is a monumental amount of coursework. I mean, in no other subject I've done, before or since, have I had to submit 130 a3 pages of coursework, mostly plain text.

    Then again, the difficulty is nothing compared to Maths iGCSE. For many, it's a tradeoff between diligence and intelligence.

    BTECs are by no means worthless qualifications, but they are certainly seen to be academically much less worthwhile than A levels.

    Finally, someone speaking sense!! Thank you! +1 Rep
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    What, so you see someone being aggressive and assume that they are male? Sexist.

    Just kidding, I thought the same. BTECs are useful, but they're not going to get you into a top Uni. That's an indisputable fact.
    Depends on your definition of top university I guess. I know the university I attend, the University of Birmingham, isn't 'top top'.......I think we were lucky to make top 20 (did we even make top 20 this year?), but we are a Russell Group. Anyway, I digress. My point was, is that using a BTEC National Diploma in Music (no where near as impressive as it almost sounds), got me onto a BA Ancient and Medieval History, though admittedly, the course wasn't quite for me and I transferred onto a new course at the end of the year. I didn't even take History at GCSE, so it was a BTEC, a personal statement and some references that got me onto that course.

    And to be honest I'd like to consider myself not a retard, and would also like to think that if I had gone the traditional route I would have done well, but that is of course just my opinion, and I'm biased, as I'm hardly going to call myself a retard am I?
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Sorry but I do GCSE Art and I still find it ******** even though it's the subject that requires the most amount of so-called "work".m

    Art, per se, is retarded. Whether the people who are doing it are retarded, I cannot comment - but the Art BTEC certainly is.



    Yeah, like that's going to cure cancer or solve global warming?

    If everyone was trying to do that there would be no entertainment , cuisine, ect industries.

    And LMAO - creating website? What employer would hire a person who did an Art BTEC to create their website, in comparision to a computer programmer who had a 1st class degree in Computer Science?

    Actaully art is knowing the layout, images to use and how to create them so is very important so unless you know that even if you can make a site it will turn out ****. To be honest alot of people don't give a damn what qualifications you have, it's the portfolio that matters.

    Oh yeah "understanding Photoshop" - wow! :rolleyes:

    How can you compare "understanding Photoshop" to getting an A in M5?
    They're two different fields. Understanding and knowing how to use photoshop, dreamweaver, fireworks is very hard. Have you mastered them or even used them for any professional work? I doubt it by the way you're talking about it.
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    (Original post by SharkAttack)
    They're two different fields. Understanding and knowing how to use photoshop, dreamweaver, fireworks is very hard. Have you mastered them or even used them for any professional work? I doubt it by the way you're talking about it.
    But the fact is, understanding how to use Photoshop or whatever isn't exactly that hard compared with studying CompSci at a top university.

    And yes, I do know how to use Photoshop (hence that's why I only that specific one).

    And no, I haven't used them for professional work - why would I?

    Anyways, isn't it possible for someone to have the academics AS WELL AS the portfolio? :dontknow:
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    But the fact is, understanding how to use Photoshop or whatever isn't exactly that hard compared with studying CompSci at a top university.

    And yes, I do know how to use Photoshop (hence that's why I only that specific one).

    And no, I haven't used them for professional work - why would I?

    Anyways, isn't it possible for someone to have the academics AS WELL AS the portfolio? :dontknow:
    You are without doubt one of the most snobbish people I know on this forum. Just look at yourself. There's a difference between being ambitious and obnoxious/pretentious.

    Yes, you're right. It's easy to learn how to Photoshop.

    It's not easy to learn how to do it properly. This is what you have missed throughout this pointless discussion you know nothing about.

    Most compsci courses do not cover web design in any way. You can put a blanket over and say that compsci people are just better with making websites, but that is simply not the case.

    In most cases, someone with a btec who's spent that time learning how to make websites will be better at making websites than someone who's done a compsci degree, yes, even at a top university.

    That's because the compsci grad will have had little experience with making websites. Look at the Cambridge course. The only languages you learn are ML and Java. Everything else is optional. Neither are good for making websites.

    The sorts of things that you do on a Computer Science course are largely learning how computers work. This is not the same as learning to program, and whilst this often happens, it's mostly a theory thing.

    You seem to have no idea what goes in to making a website and to be honest, your philosophy seems to be that qualifications are everything. In the world of computing, this is definitely not the case.
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    You are without doubt one of the most snobbish people I know on this forum. Just look at yourself. There's a difference between being ambitious and obnoxious/pretentious.

    Yes, you're right. It's easy to learn how to Photoshop.

    It's not easy to learn how to do it properly. This is what you have missed throughout this pointless discussion you know nothing about.

    Most compsci courses do not cover web design in any way. You can put a blanket over and say that compsci people are just better with making websites, but that is simply not the case.

    In most cases, someone with a btec who's spent that time learning how to make websites will be better at making websites than someone who's done a compsci degree, yes, even at a top university.

    That's because the compsci grad will have had little experience with making websites. Look at the Cambridge course. The only languages you learn are ML and Java. Everything else is optional. Neither are good for making websites.

    The sorts of things that you do on a Computer Science course are largely learning how computers work. This is not the same as learning to program, and whilst this often happens, it's mostly a theory thing.

    You seem to have no idea what goes in to making a website and to be honest, your philosophy seems to be that qualifications are everything. In the world of computing, this is definitely not the case.
    Thankyou! Someone who has sense about the real world.
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    You are without doubt one of the most snobbish people I know on this forum. Just look at yourself. There's a difference between being ambitious and obnoxious/pretentious.

    Yes, you're right. It's easy to learn how to Photoshop.

    It's not easy to learn how to do it properly. This is what you have missed throughout this pointless discussion you know nothing about.

    Most compsci courses do not cover web design in any way. You can put a blanket over and say that compsci people are just better with making websites, but that is simply not the case.

    In most cases, someone with a btec who's spent that time learning how to make websites will be better at making websites than someone who's done a compsci degree, yes, even at a top university.

    That's because the compsci grad will have had little experience with making websites. Look at the Cambridge course. The only languages you learn are ML and Java. Everything else is optional. Neither are good for making websites.

    The sorts of things that you do on a Computer Science course are largely learning how computers work. This is not the same as learning to program, and whilst this often happens, it's mostly a theory thing.

    You seem to have no idea what goes in to making a website and to be honest, your philosophy seems to be that qualifications are everything. In the world of computing, this is definitely not the case.
    Go you! +rep for talking sense to this snobbish person!
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    I think people are more sceptical now we know this person is 14, but I think it's a bit unfair...BTECs aren't even offered at my school, which is a grammar school. I think that says a lot in itself to be honest...

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to work hard and get into a top uni, the problem is just that being 14 this person hasn't yet learned how to appropriately express her views in a non-offensive manner. Personally I've agreed with everything I've seen her write.
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    (Original post by xblueprints)
    I think people are more sceptical now we know this person is 14, but I think it's a bit unfair...BTECs aren't even offered at my school, which is a grammar school. I think that says a lot in itself to be honest...

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to work hard and get into a top uni, the problem is just that being 14 this person hasn't yet learned how to appropriately express her views in a non-offensive manner. Personally I've agreed with everything I've seen her write.
    no offence here, but you can hardly say that you agree with this girl about BTECs if you have never done one yourself.. I agree that there are a few BTECs that are a waste of time however myself doing one in Medical Science and coming to the end of the course now, I can safely say I have learnt as much and in some areas more than a person doing a A-level in a Science. BTEC isn't for everyone just like A-levels aren't for everyone either, A-levels are just exam-based while in BTEC you do constant assignments in depending on if you are doing an Award, (equilvalent to 1 A-level) a Certificate (equilvalent to 2 A-levels) or a Diploma (equilvalent to 3 A-levels) either 6 Units (Award - only one year before moving to 2 yr certificate) 12 Units (Certificate - over two years) or 18 units (Diploma - over 2 years) with four assignments in each unit to do it is incredibly challenging as well as the assessed practicals, you get constant learning till the end of the year none stop. Also because of this course I can now go onto the degree I wanted to (Biological Sciences) and managed to get onto the 4 yr sandwich course option (meaning in the 3rd yr I will take a paid Industrial work placement) So please stop saying that BTEC's are rubbish because they are not and are just as good and if not better in some areas than A-levels.

    Thank you! :yep:
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    (Original post by girly2)
    no offence here, but you can hardly say that you agree with this girl about BTECs if you have never done one yourself.. I agree that there are a few BTECs that are a waste of time however myself doing one in Medical Science and coming to the end of the course now, I can safely say I have learnt as much and in some areas more than a person doing a A-level in a Science. BTEC isn't for everyone just like A-levels aren't for everyone either, A-levels are just exam-based while in BTEC you do constant assignments in depending on if you are doing an Award, (equilvalent to 1 A-level) a Certificate (equilvalent to 2 A-levels) or a Diploma (equilvalent to 3 A-levels) either 6 Units (Award - only one year before moving to 2 yr certificate) 12 Units (Certificate - over two years) or 18 units (Diploma - over 2 years) with four assignments in each unit to do it is incredibly challenging as well as the assessed practicals, you get constant learning till the end of the year none stop. Also because of this course I can now go onto the degree I wanted to (Biological Sciences) and managed to get onto the 4 yr sandwich course option (meaning in the 3rd yr I will take a paid Industrial work placement) So please stop saying that BTEC's are rubbish because they are not and are just as good and if not better in some areas than A-levels.

    Thank you! :yep:
    opinion =/= experience

    You don't have to have experience of it to give an opinion.

    One question: if they are apparently "just as good" as A-levels, how come the top unis (regardless if you have aimed for them or not) don't accept them?

    This suggests that in terms of academics, BTECs are weaker than A-levels - regardless if you have constant assignments and **** all the time.

    The fact is, I know many courses that would not accept BTECs, in other words, it is preferable to do A-levels and are more suited to the nature of an academic degree.
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    (Original post by girly2)
    no offence here, but you can hardly say that you agree with this girl about BTECs if you have never done one yourself.. I agree that there are a few BTECs that are a waste of time however myself doing one in Medical Science and coming to the end of the course now, I can safely say I have learnt as much and in some areas more than a person doing a A-level in a Science. BTEC isn't for everyone just like A-levels aren't for everyone either, A-levels are just exam-based while in BTEC you do constant assignments in depending on if you are doing an Award, (equilvalent to 1 A-level) a Certificate (equilvalent to 2 A-levels) or a Diploma (equilvalent to 3 A-levels) either 6 Units (Award - only one year before moving to 2 yr certificate) 12 Units (Certificate - over two years) or 18 units (Diploma - over 2 years) with four assignments in each unit to do it is incredibly challenging as well as the assessed practicals, you get constant learning till the end of the year none stop. Also because of this course I can now go onto the degree I wanted to (Biological Sciences) and managed to get onto the 4 yr sandwich course option (meaning in the 3rd yr I will take a paid Industrial work placement) So please stop saying that BTEC's are rubbish because they are not and are just as good and if not better in some areas than A-levels.

    Thank you! :yep:
    girly2, you too are missing the point somewhat.

    The fact is, BTECs are viewed as an easy option in comparison to A levels by many universities, especially the top ones. Many top universities won't as much as consider candidates who have done BTECs, since the more vocational nature of most BTEC courses means that academically, they are far less worthwhile than the more theoretical A level. That doesn't mean that BTECs won't help you find a job - in many ways that is exactly what BTECs are for. It's just that they won't help you find a really good university.

    I'll try and give you an example here.
    You say that you've been doing Medical Science. Now, the obvious progression from that at university would seem to be Medicine - I just had a quick look on UCAS, and very few universities actually consider people with BTECs for a medicine course - in fact, the only ones I saw that considered BTECs would only do so with another qualification (ie A levels).

    Secondly, you claim that you've learnt as much as someone doing an A level in a science. How do you know this? You haven't done the course, and even if your friends did, maybe they were dim. We've had a few people in this thread who have done both courses, and they have said that the BTEC is easier in terms of raw difficulty.

    It's like the difference between Art and Maths. In Art, you need to spend so much time doing the work, but really, natural aptitude doesn't matter so much as long as you get the work done properly. In maths, if you don't like it, or aren't naturally good at it, you're pretty much screwed. I'm not saying that BTECs are easy, just that they're seen by most, professionals, teachers and students alike to be easier in terms of difficulty, not necessarily workload. It's what I hated with science GCSEs when I did them. The course isn't actually hard in any way, most of it's just reciting facts and dividing 130 by 4. The problem is that there's a lot of it, which makes it hard to revise well. Added to that they over-simplify some of the stuff enough to make it hard to work out, which can be a pain in the ass.

    Do remember though, that whilst you have a moderate workload throughout the year, A level students have a similar workload through most of the year, but then a mad scramble at the end to make sure that the exams are all good.

    Finally, saying how such and such a qualification is equal to such and such a qualification is completely bogus, because most universities don't decide between students on the basis of UCAS points, they decide based on what they think the student would be like, which is partly to do with the qualifications. Then they set a UCAS number, if necessary, or just a list of grades, with A levels.

    Oh, and just to say, A levels do not necessarily take any less time than BTECs. Remember that the amount of work you do for any subject is variable due to motivation. In my school, we're expected to do 24 hours homework each week. That's enough to (working quickly, and in own time alone) do a BTEC Diploma in one year (and based on the exam record of my school, probably get DDD). That is of course assuming that the figure I read on the internet of 1080 hours, in lessons and out of lessons for a diploma.
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    girly2, you too are missing the point somewhat.

    The fact is, BTECs are viewed as an easy option in comparison to A levels by many universities, especially the top ones. Many top universities won't as much as consider candidates who have done BTECs, since the more vocational nature of most BTEC courses means that academically, they are far less worthwhile than the more theoretical A level. That doesn't mean that BTECs won't help you find a job - in many ways that is exactly what BTECs are for. It's just that they won't help you find a really good university.

    I'll try and give you an example here.
    You say that you've been doing Medical Science. Now, the obvious progression from that at university would seem to be Medicine - I just had a quick look on UCAS, and very few universities actually consider people with BTECs for a medicine course - in fact, the only ones I saw that considered BTECs would only do so with another qualification (ie A levels).

    Secondly, you claim that you've learnt as much as someone doing an A level in a science. How do you know this? You haven't done the course, and even if your friends did, maybe they were dim. We've had a few people in this thread who have done both courses, and they have said that the BTEC is easier in terms of raw difficulty.

    It's like the difference between Art and Maths. In Art, you need to spend so much time doing the work, but really, natural aptitude doesn't matter so much as long as you get the work done properly. In maths, if you don't like it, or aren't naturally good at it, you're pretty much screwed. I'm not saying that BTECs are easy, just that they're seen by most, professionals, teachers and students alike to be easier in terms of difficulty, not necessarily workload. It's what I hated with science GCSEs when I did them. The course isn't actually hard in any way, most of it's just reciting facts and dividing 130 by 4. The problem is that there's a lot of it, which makes it hard to revise well. Added to that they over-simplify some of the stuff enough to make it hard to work out, which can be a pain in the ass.

    Do remember though, that whilst you have a moderate workload throughout the year, A level students have a similar workload through most of the year, but then a mad scramble at the end to make sure that the exams are all good.

    Finally, saying how such and such a qualification is equal to such and such a qualification is completely bogus, because most universities don't decide between students on the basis of UCAS points, they decide based on what they think the student would be like, which is partly to do with the qualifications. Then they set a UCAS number, if necessary, or just a list of grades, with A levels.

    Oh, and just to say, A levels do not necessarily take any less time than BTECs. Remember that the amount of work you do for any subject is variable due to motivation. In my school, we're expected to do 24 hours homework each week. That's enough to (working quickly, and in own time alone) do a BTEC Diploma in one year (and based on the exam record of my school, probably get DDD). That is of course assuming that the figure I read on the internet of 1080 hours, in lessons and out of lessons for a diploma.
    This.

    Regardless of what anybody says about how BTECs are hard, it will always be A-levels > BTECs. (within reason).
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    Sorry but you're saying to me I don't have experience of a BTEC, but YOU don't have experience of A levels...so you can't say, either.
    Saying "Oh I know people who do a levels and they said ..." is the same as what I'm doing - using other people's experiences to draw conclusions. Yet you're saying my argument is flawed because of the same thing that you are doing...

    and you're wrong anyway
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    This is a ridiculous argument to be honest. BTECs and A Levels are designed for very different purposes so just coming out with statements like " A Levels > BTECs" just shows how ridiculously simple-minded you are. Whether or not top universities rate BTECs highly is mostly irrelevant because one wouldn't be doing a BTEC course if they wanted to go to a top university in the first place.

    I've done a BTEC course before and I'm doing A Levels now so I guess I have enough experience to comment. If you are an academically minded person who enjoys studying complex ideas then certainly, BTECs are not for you. Conversely, if you are someone who wants to get some specialised employment skills, why would you want to do A Levels?

    I did the BTEC Media Studies diploma and it felt to me that the course was structured in a way to give me a qualification that would make me look good to employers in the media industry for low level jobs. We did image manipulation (photoshop), film production (from storyboard to editing/advertising) and lots of still photography (this was the best part IMO). There was no theoretical work whatsoever, it was just geared towards giving me skills that I needed to get a job in the industry and I imagine that's what the Drama and Theatre Studies course mentioned by someone in this thread is like.

    Now personally I found this all mind-numbingly boring because I have always been very academically minded. The course isn't meant to be difficult, so naturally for me it was easy to get the work done. My fellow students rather liked the course as it gave them skills to get jobs in editing houses, the BBC (as runners), newspapers and the like. I unfortunately had no choice but to do the BTEC course as I left school with no GCSEs so my options were limited but I ended up dropping out anyway after about 6 months because it just wasn't for me.

    A Levels are much more my cup of tea. They are more academic and taxing on the mind and while they don't give you any particular job/life skills, because I'm an academically minded person, the mild intellectual challenge is enough. This is not to say A Levels are better than BTECs, rather I was better suited to A Levels than BTECs; I enjoy the in-depth reading of literature found in English Lit and the historical and philosophical arguments involved in History and I also enjoy the logical problem solving qualities in Maths. BTECs do not cover these subjects in similar depth so naturally, A Levels are better for me.

    But to each their own. I can fully understand why someone would rather do a BTEC course.

    'im so academic': please do stop being so condescending. Just because you and I are into academia does not in any way make us better than people taking BTECs so don't belittle their decisions. They had their reasons for taking that route and you have yours (I do find your obsession with Oxbridge rather... insane? But we all want to go there so I can kinda understand you:p: )
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    (Original post by Bakes0011)
    I'll try and give you an example here.
    You say that you've been doing Medical Science. Now, the obvious progression from that at university would seem to be Medicine - I just had a quick look on UCAS, and very few universities actually consider people with BTECs for a medicine course - in fact, the only ones I saw that considered BTECs would only do so with another qualification (ie A levels).

    Secondly, you claim that you've learnt as much as someone doing an A level in a science. How do you know this? You haven't done the course, and even if your friends did, maybe they were dim. We've had a few people in this thread who have done both courses, and they have said that the BTEC is easier in terms of raw difficulty.
    1. Medicine is not the obvious progression.. the most obvious choice is actually microbiology/pharmacology (In my college anyway)
    2. Medicine was not my option to do when I was choosing to do A-levels or BTEC or both (just to add, I am doing a A-level in Chemistry with my BTEC and was given an offer for Medicine on UCAS - but chose to decline)
    3. Saying that I can say that what I said in my previous post is true about how much I have learnt (my opinion) as I have been through both.
    4. Difficulty level depends on what BTEC is done which is why Medical Science is harder than A-level Science.
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Whether BTECs are for retards - yes in a way. Yes in the sense that if you can't do academic subjects, apparently you're "better" learning vocationally. Not give me this PC crap - they were just too retarded to understand the content in the most academic of A-levels.
    They may seem useless to you, but many BTECs provide people with essential skills that they may need when going into a career which requires more practical skills - skills that they wouldn't have otherwise gained because the jobs that they need to gain those skills require them to have qualifications from the BTEC subject.

    Take electronic engineering for example (I did Film and TV production - not a very good example), if there is an A-Level for Elec. Eng. then surely it is more focussed on the theoretcial aspect of it rather than the more practical aspect?

    Seeing as most electronic engineering jobs require practical skills, the A-level would be of much less use than a BTEC in this subject.
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    (Original post by AidanLunn)
    They may seem useless to you, but many BTECs provide people with essential skills that they may need when going into a career which requires more practical skills - skills that they wouldn't have otherwise gained because the jobs that they need to gain those skills require them to have qualifications from the BTEC subject.

    Take electronic engineering for example (I did Film and TV production - not a very good example), if there is an A-Level for Elec. Eng. then surely it is more focussed on the theoretcial aspect of it rather than the more practical aspect?

    Seeing as most electronic engineering jobs require practical skills, the A-level would be of much less use than a BTEC in this subject.
    Are you saying that an MEng Electric and Electronic Engineering at Imperial is worth less than a BTEC in Electronic Engineering because it's less "practical"?

    Imo, I'd prefer the one with the accredited degree. And just so you know, not Engineering degrees are not 100% theoretical. There is practical and group work as well.

    Hence, A-levels are better than BTECs for a career in Electronic Engineering; A-levels prepare you for an accredited Electronic Engineering degree, and therefore with years of work, you can be a chartered engineer.
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Are you saying that an MEng Electric and Electronic Engineering at Imperial is worth less than a BTEC in Electronic Engineering because it's less "practical"?

    Imo, I'd prefer the one with the accredited degree. And just so you know, not Engineering degrees are not 100% theoretical. There is practical and group work as well.

    Hence, A-levels are better than BTECs for a career in Electronic Engineering; A-levels prepare you for an accredited Electronic Engineering degree, and therefore with years of work, you can be a chartered engineer.
    NB: Imperial college is a specialist technology college, not the "average" college like mine was.

    Well seeing as many of the Unis I visited had students on such a course making crystal radio sets**, yes I am.

    I do some electronic engineering even though I'm not qualified in any way. It's not that difficult to find a faulty component in a broken device and replace it.

    And where did I mention that it was 100% theoretical? I said it was less practical than the BTEC alternative.

    ** I was making those when I was 10!
 
 
 

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