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    Hi all.

    I left school at 18 shortly after the completion of my AS-levels and as such subsequently abandoned any prospect of obtaining a degree. However over the last two years I have realised I have a both passion and talent for computer science and software development and now very strongly desire both a degree and career in this field.

    Lacking A-levels or equivalent qualifications my choice seems strictly limited to the OU, which by itself is not a problem as I very much favour the distance learning model. While the course specification for their Computing and IT degree seems akin to what I'm looking for there are a few concerns that are holding me back.

    The title "Computing and IT" seems to infer less rigour, focus, or depth than merely "Computing". My intention would be to take the Computer Science pathway which with the right selection of modules excludes any IT related elements completely. I assume however that I would still graduate with "BSc (Hons) Computing and IT" despite the degree having no specific IT focus at all which is a great disappointment.
    To me it seems analogous to taking a "Maths and Business" degree comprising entirely of maths modules. :confused:

    As someone who wishes to enter into the more technical end of computer science I'm worried potential employers will view the degree as inherently less valuable than just Computing because of the the name. With the already unconventional nature of OU degrees I feel it will just make getting on to the right career path more difficult.

    Has anyone here successfully used this degree to either enter into a non support role or at least apply for a postgraduate degree in computer science?

    If there are any other routes for a 20 year old without A levels to obtain a Computing or Computer Science degree then please say so as I've exhausted my searching.
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    possibly Computing, but not Computer Science (as it is a Engineering course) which requires Maths and Physics A-Levels.

    by best advice to give you is to redo your A levels at a local college, its just 1/2 years, and if you work hard you can get into a top Univeristy to do Computer Science, one of the best degree's availble (and most worthwhile for the future).


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    (Original post by Crin)
    Hi all.

    I left school at 18 shortly after the completion of my AS-levels and as such subsequently abandoned any prospect of obtaining a degree. However over the last two years I have realised I have a both passion and talent for computer science and software development and now very strongly desire both a degree and career in this field.

    Lacking A-levels or equivalent qualifications my choice seems strictly limited to the OU, which by itself is not a problem as I very much favour the distance learning model. While the course specification for their Computing and IT degree seems akin to what I'm looking for there are a few concerns that are holding me back.

    The title "Computing and IT" seems to infer less rigour, focus, or depth than merely "Computing". My intention would be to take the Computer Science pathway which with the right selection of modules excludes any IT related elements completely. I assume however that I would still graduate with "BSc (Hons) Computing and IT" despite the degree having no specific IT focus at all which is a great disappointment.
    To me it seems analogous to taking a "Maths and Business" degree comprising entirely of maths modules. :confused:

    As someone who wishes to enter into the more technical end of computer science I'm worried potential employers will view the degree as inherently less valuable than just Computing because of the the name. With the already unconventional nature of OU degrees I feel it will just make getting on to the right career path more difficult.

    Has anyone here successfully used this degree to either enter into a non support role or at least apply for a postgraduate degree in computer science?

    If there are any other routes for a 20 year old without A levels to obtain a Computing or Computer Science degree then please say so as I've exhausted my searching.
    I am in pretty much the exact same situation as you except I'm slightly older. I am currently taking BSc Computing & IT and on the Computer Science pathway.. I have asked OU to confirm whether they do put what pathway we do on our certificate but from what I had googled, that doesn't seem to be the case - nor do they put what class you had gained.

    But all in all, I have asked many different companies and universities (post graduate) in regards to whether they would still consider your application if you had gained a degree from Open University and all had said yes. As long as you can prove that you have the knowledge in within Computing then you should be fine, just make sure you state on your CV that you had taken the Computer Science pathway and list out the essential skills that you had learnt.

    Some employers may view you getting a degree with the OU as you being determined, committed and self motivated as that's what you definitely will need to have in order to be able to achieve an OU Honours degree. (Especially if you're working full time as well!).

    Good luck with whichever path you decide to go through with! ;D
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    Thanks for the replies!

    @ibra456

    I considered this option but I really don't want to study three or four subjects I have little interest in just to get my foot in the door of a university. I'm already two years behind my peers and to spend another two doing A-levels would just set me back even more even if it did mean the ability to study at a reputable brick university.

    @Szereza

    I'm pretty sure they do declare the class of the degree but I'm not sure if the pathway is mentioned at all. I'll contact the OU and see if I can get some confirmation.

    I know the OU is generally quite well respected amongst some employers, I just wish there was just an option for Computing, without the IT. I've heard there used to be but they've obviously made some changes since then and now this is the only choice I have. Oh well, I guess it will come down to a bit of creativity with my CV :P
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    I'm studying for a Computing & IT degree. I was a little wary about it appearing less respected than a computing/computer science degree, but at the end of the day I wanted to enjoy studying for my degree so thought I may as well go with what I'm most likely to stick with and like.

    I still haven't finished my degree (I will finish in October!) but yesterday I was offered an IT software development & support job that was actually advertised as a graduate job. I haven't had any previous experience working in an IT role, so I guess my almost-degree must have impressed the interviewers!
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    (Original post by Kate.)
    I'm studying for a Computing & IT degree. I was a little wary about it appearing less respected than a computing/computer science degree, but at the end of the day I wanted to enjoy studying for my degree so thought I may as well go with what I'm most likely to stick with and like.

    I still haven't finished my degree (I will finish in October!) but yesterday I was offered an IT software development & support job that was actually advertised as a graduate job. I haven't had any previous experience working in an IT role, so I guess my almost-degree must have impressed the interviewers!
    Oooh, congratulations Kate! I'm super happy for you!

    I guess I'm just a little bit "shallow" in the sense of how the certificate would look like and what it'd say and I've only just started TU100 2 months ago and already worrying, hahaha. ;D
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    This thread seems perfect. I am going to be starting the Computing and IT degree in October, but on the Digital Technologies pathway. I don't want a career in programming, as I don't have an interest in it. The modules on the pathway I've chosen really interest me and I know its the course for me, however, would the lack of software-development-type modules be a disadvantage when looking for employment?

    I'm not sure exactly what career I want, I just don't want the pathway I've taken for my degree to look a bit 'meh'. Should I just stop worrying?

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    I think if you're opting for the IT route, then you shouldn't have a problem! As potential employers will see the your basic skills in Computing as a bonus!
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    (Original post by Crin)
    Thanks for the replies!

    @ibra456

    I considered this option but I really don't want to study three or four subjects I have little interest in just to get my foot in the door of a university. I'm already two years behind my peers and to spend another two doing A-levels would just set me back even more even if it did mean the ability to study at a reputable brick university.

    @Szereza

    I'm pretty sure they do declare the class of the degree but I'm not sure if the pathway is mentioned at all. I'll contact the OU and see if I can get some confirmation.

    I know the OU is generally quite well respected amongst some employers, I just wish there was just an option for Computing, without the IT. I've heard there used to be but they've obviously made some changes since then and now this is the only choice I have. Oh well, I guess it will come down to a bit of creativity with my CV :P
    sorry to hear but if you have 'little intrest' in maths you shouldn't do Computer Science. Period.

    Good Luck anyways!


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    Hey everyone I think it's a good place to ask my question as well. I'm thinking about studying computing degree with OU (not sure which pathway yet) , but probably something with software engineering. How did u guys find it to study with OU a computing (IT) or software engineering degree ? is it really hard to express your self in essays there? I'm a bit worried that a degree related to computers to study distance learning going to be a lot harder than in normal university as it should involve a lot of practical work more than reading and writing essays.
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    (Original post by Sitch)
    Hey everyone I think it's a good place to ask my question as well. I'm thinking about studying computing degree with OU (not sure which pathway yet) , but probably something with software engineering. How did u guys find it to study with OU a computing (IT) or software engineering degree ? is it really hard to express your self in essays there? I'm a bit worried that a degree related to computers to study distance learning going to be a lot harder than in normal university as it should involve a lot of practical work more than reading and writing essays.
    Well, most computing modules don't really have many essays-type questions. M* modules (e.g. M250, MT264) tend to be the more technical programming/practical modules, so they won't involve essays as such, but usually a mix of short theory questions and programming questions. T* modules (e.g. T320, T215) tend to be more the theory side of IT and will involve more report writing and essay-type questions. If you mostly choose programming/software development modules you will be doing a fair amount of programming and not too much writing.
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    Hi all,

    I'm currently studying towards a computing and IT degree with the OU. My main interest is in software development so my module choices thus far reflect that.

    Unfortunately I can't comment on job opportunities as an OU graduate as I haven't graduated yet nor am I looking for work just yet. However, looking at job postings from time to time, the majority of them (especially for the big companies such as Google, Microsoft etc) require a good (typically 2.1) Computer Science degree or similar field. Most job postings also state that the equivalent knowledge and experience will suffice. I think that as long as you know you're stuff and possess the skills to do the job, you should be fine.

    @Crin
    I'm not sure if this is possible now (given the new degree structures) but you could possibly sign up for the first module to see how you get on. I'm pretty sure that TU100 is the compulsory module for most pathways and I'm pretty sure you get a certificate (k10 I believe) for completing that module alone. That way you get some experience with the OU and a certificate out of it. I know it may be quite expensive so might not be possible, but it's an option.

    @Sitch
    As Kate said above, typically the software development modules envolve a lot of practical. In some of my modules there are practical activities every other page of the course materials. These range from simple activities to highlight a teaching point to miniature projects such as creating your own word processor.
    In terms of assignments, exactly as Kate says above. You usually get a mixture of small theory based questions and practical activities. I really enjoy the TMAs (I know, I'm weird lol) as they really help to consolidate the course materials.

    Hope that helps and both of you feel free to get in touch if you want to chat about it all more.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

    All the best, Barry.
 
 
 
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