In late 20's with no career prospects - help please? Watch

RelaxedPenguin
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#21
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Are you willing to still take A levels? I think that would be your best bet IMO rather than an access course. And it will work out cheaper then going on access courses and other things in the hope of getting to university. If you get the A level Uni grades even now, you're likely to get in. You might even have a pick of the choice if you do really well . People of all ages take A levels at a later age, much older than you. You're still in your twenties.

A levels are not that hard if you put effort into them. As with all work, the major factor is the effort you put in it often. There are books you can buy which will detail what you need in the course entirely. Not to mention there are exam papers and answer solutions you can download from the internet free. In fact many particularly in science focus on memorizing these answers as mark schemes are very specific. I'm very sure a person can get good grades studying alone with A level specific books (to the exam board you are taking e.g. OCR A level) and practicing exam papers. If not, a tutor might help you too.

It would technically be your first sitting of A levels too. And unis can not be ageist, and will likely give you an offer if you meet the grades, esp) and will give offers with a good personal statement and grades without needing to go even go to interview. Same with jobs, not allowed to be ageist.


So yes OP, taking A levels is your best (and possibly cheapest bet). It could well be hard, and some people are embarrassed to take them late (which they shouldn't it's stupid). We're lucky to live in a world today which is rather forgiving/helpful to people who are retaking/taking later their qualifications. So I'd make the most of it. People really admire (I do at least) people willing to have the guts to turn their life around.
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cyng
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#22
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Having been through a career crisis once or twice I can definitely relate to how you are feeling. Firstly, don't feel like a failure! Second, it's never too late to pursue something you are passionate about. Having said that, from what you're describing, I'm not 100% convinced that you genuinely want to do Comp Sci... forgive me if i'm wrong and please don't be offended. It sounds like you may like the idea of it more than the actual coding. It is a long and grueling path to become a programmer and I think you definitely need an aptitude for maths, and sometimes solitary and isolating work (I have friends who are programmers and that's their biggest complaint).

You've worked in a call centre for many years. Do you enjoy speaking to people? Are you confident and persistent when it comes to either cold calling or chatting to strangers? Those are definitely valuable skills that not everyone can work up to.

I know this might get a lot of flak because it's got an awful reputation, but have you ever considered a career in IT recruitment? Having worked previously for a technical recruitment company (not as a recruiter) I can tell you that for a recruiter, the financial rewards can be substantial. It's definitely long hours and hard work, but if you want to make money it's definitely rewarding. You will usually start on a basic annual salary and get commission. Additionally, you'll be able to choose an agency that works within IT and Technology - and given your interest in it, it means you'll be able to talk to candidates and clients about it, and be immersed in that sector. You will not however, need to go through the actual process of learning programming and getting a Comp Sci degree.

Your years of call centre experience would be very helpful in getting a job in recruitment - as part of it is knowing how to talk to people. Your education will play a lesser role in how employers look at your CV.

The company I worked for was not 'god awful' like some others having experience - I think that like many things, the company culture in recruitment agencies can vary quite a bit.

Anyway just an idea but of course, feel free to ignore!
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Clip
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(Original post by ryan9900)
Armed Forces.
No way. He's Asian. He will get bullied, harassed, called every name under the sun and basically made an outcast.
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ryan9900
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#24
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(Original post by Clip)
No way. He's Asian. He will get bullied, harassed, called every name under the sun and basically made an outcast.
That's certainly not putting off the Asians that I have seen joining up recently.
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mikeyd85
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#25
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#25
(Original post by cswizard)
[FONT=arial][SIZE=2]
I enjoy computing and I.T and have good knowledge in that field, and i was thinking about studying Computer Science, but i have no experience in Programming at all.
Can you do the following:

Set up a network using a router and at least 2 devices using TCP/IP?
Share files between these devices using Windows share?
Troubleshoot and resolve software and hardware issues when they occur?
Explain the basics of a computer?
Explain the basics of a network?
Set up a new Windows installation?

Organise and prioritise your work?
Communicate with customers / staff appropriately?

If you can honestly answer yes to these questions, there's nothing to stop you doing a job like: this.

1st line support is pretty straight forward tbh and will open doors. Get involved. Use your IT skills to your advantage. Write your covering letter explaining that you're a hobbyist IT person looking to start a career in IT. In your CV, give clear, concise examples for each skill. If you need help with this, let me know.

Honestly, 1st line isn't too technical. A half decent hobbyist should be able to pick up the business side of IT pretty quickly.
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Clip
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#26
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(Original post by ryan9900)
That's certainly not putting off the Asians that I have seen joining up recently.
The Army is going to be fine. I'm talking about what his parents will do to him.
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ryan9900
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#27
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(Original post by Clip)
The Army is going to be fine. I'm talking about what his parents will do to him.
If he isn't going to take up great chances because of what his parents will do to him then it's his own fault.
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basboosa123
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#28
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Wow okay this just motivated me to study even harder for my exams..
I seriously hope everyone who's currently doing GCSE's or A Levels reads this.
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basboosa123
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#29
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Wow, I'm glad you're actually trying to do something to turn your life around, not a lot of people have the guts to do that.
And to everyone who is writing rude comments; there are some people sitting around doing nothing and relying on benefits, at least he is actually trying to do something with his life!
And seriously, good luck for the future I wish you all the best in whatever path you are planning to take and good luck to everyone like me who has upcoming GCSE or A Level exams
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cswizard
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#30
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Seriously thank you guys, i am overwhelmed at your support or input, and the immature loosers who have only negative things to say, its probably best to keep your opinions to yourselves.

Relaxed penguin, thanks for your reply, I did enquire into A Levels - was going to take three including Maths however the institutions where i applied at told me the costs as i am over 25 and they were very high - something like £1000 per A Level per year - so around £6000! Also that would take me 2 years to complete whereas the Access is one year - specialises in just the modules i need and is around £3000 but after going on to uni they write the Access tuition off if i apply for a loan. So i wouldnt pay anything for that. I have saved around £20,000 which is nothing considering how long i have been working and not studying but it is what it is. At least i have something saved.

Has anybody here done CS without for example doing A Level Maths but got an A or B in GCSE maths? And maybe done the level 3 maths in another course?? And how did they find it? I mean a lot of you are right in saying perhaps another I.T career which may open doors for me - like somebody suggested 1st line support or consulting, but the thing is that I have always had the belief that if i did go to University and did the right course, and secured a good placement then it would mean i get experience and a life long qualification?

It is true that i do look at people around me like friends or family and think, i wish i could be on their kind of salary because alot of people are on over 20k plus - whereas me, i have never achieved anywhere near that! I am basically seeing everybody i grew up with around me branching into their own fields and doing very well but myself just being stuck at first base not knowing which direction to go in. I am going to go to some of the colleges next week and speak with some teachers to find out more about courses but i just dont know if education is my best option or trying to get lucky with a job where i have no skills or qualifications for it. I mean i do have my 5 GCSE's at A-C and 2 A Levels in my double award, which shows i have even a small amount of education but definately not enough to compete with what others have.

Im just so confused
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RelaxedPenguin
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#31
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(Original post by cswizard)
Seriously thank you guys, i am overwhelmed at your support or input, and the immature loosers who have only negative things to say, its probably best to keep your opinions to yourselves.

Relaxed penguin, thanks for your reply, I did enquire into A Levels - was going to take three including Maths however the institutions where i applied at told me the costs as i am over 25 and they were very high - something like £1000 per A Level per year - so around £6000! Also that would take me 2 years to complete whereas the Access is one year - specialises in just the modules i need and is around £3000 but after going on to uni they write the Access tuition off if i apply for a loan. So i wouldnt pay anything for that. I have saved around £20,000 which is nothing considering how long i have been working and not studying but it is what it is. At least i have something saved.

Has anybody here done CS without for example doing A Level Maths but got an A or B in GCSE maths? And maybe done the level 3 maths in another course?? And how did they find it? I mean a lot of you are right in saying perhaps another I.T career which may open doors for me - like somebody suggested 1st line support or consulting, but the thing is that I have always had the belief that if i did go to University and did the right course, and secured a good placement then it would mean i get experience and a life long qualification?

It is true that i do look at people around me like friends or family and think, i wish i could be on their kind of salary because alot of people are on over 20k plus - whereas me, i have never achieved anywhere near that! I am basically seeing everybody i grew up with around me branching into their own fields and doing very well but myself just being stuck at first base not knowing which direction to go in. I am going to go to some of the colleges next week and speak with some teachers to find out more about courses but i just dont know if education is my best option or trying to get lucky with a job where i have no skills or qualifications for it. I mean i do have my 5 GCSE's at A-C and 2 A Levels in my double award, which shows i have even a small amount of education but definately not enough to compete with what others have.

Im just so confused
Didn't know they hike it up like that. That's pretty mean .

The problem with access courses is you don't know what you'll get. You could do very well and still not be considered for courses at university. Then it's pretty much a waste. Plus not having A level Maths is still going to be a big problem. You would also have to do very well in the Access courses I believe to stand a chance (like come in the very top percentage of your class). A levels are a more straightforward route. I think you would be better prepared for university too, as without A level Maths knowledge, you're likely to struggle quite a bit. So you'd have to brush up on Maths anyway.

£6000 in total is a lot but I'd probably take it if I were in your situation. I just feel you aren't too old to make the most of having good A levels. And getting good A levels would put you amongst the best, while I'm not sure an access course will.

Is that £6000 the cost of just sitting the exams, or is it taught tuition. Because as I said it's perfectly possible to study for A levels yourself, the resources in shops like A level books specifically for the course will have everything you need to know and teach it pretty straightforward. And if it is £6000 for price of being taught, that sounds pretty decent, see if you can raise the money yourself/get loan/ parents investment. Because people pay 9000 every year for uni now. And a private school, you often pay something like £10,000 a year.
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cswizard
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#32
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The £6000 is for the tuition also, i did self teach myself GCSE Maths and got a B but that is a whole different ball game. I did contact Aston University, and Nottingham and they said they have some people who did well on CS from coming from an Access background so im guessing there are people out there who have done that.

However with my knowledge in Business at GCSE and A Level, would you say a more suitable option would be Economics instead? Which does seem very interesting and can lead to a good career too?
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David B
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#33
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You don't need any programming knowledge to get onto a Computer Science course. They'll teach you how to program when you join the course.

(Original post by cswizard)
Has anybody here done CS without for example doing A Level Maths but got an A or B in GCSE maths? And maybe done the level 3 maths in another course?? And how did they find it? I mean a lot of you are right in saying perhaps another I.T career which may open doors for me - like somebody suggested 1st line support or consulting, but the thing is that I have always had the belief that if i did go to University and did the right course, and secured a good placement then it would mean i get experience and a life long qualification?
You don't need A Level Maths if you go to a lower ranked university. I suggest Hull. They got a great graduate prospects and require C in GCSE maths. Also if you attend the Talent development Programme which sadly you missed the deadline for. Your entry requirements go from 300 to 120 UCAS points, and C in Maths/English or equivalent.
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cswizard
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Thanks David, aston uni said they would accept access and they are quite a good uni also I think.

Ok fair enough im not an expert programmer but everybody starts somewhere
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Quady
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#35
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(Original post by cswizard)
Sorry to disagree with you but I applied to Aston University and nottingham and they both said that I can do the relevant access course with a number of distinctions in maths/cs modules. Also they have not asked for A level maths although I understand it would be extremely beneficial. So your incorrect in that. They said they teach everything from scratch but obviously I will have over a year to self teach or learn some basic programming.
And I have used Python actually and abit of visual basic so no im not completely in the dark with it!

Also you cant say you dont think somebody will get through it if there are probably examples on here of people who have actually gone on to complete CS after doing an access course
Why ask for advise then? If you're looking for confirmation of your decision then fine 'yeah, you'll be great'.

Just giving you my perspective/experience. Back in the day I got an A at GCSE and B at A-Level, not steller but I was competant enough at Maths. Seeing what the Comp Sci guys had to do I would have failed and failed hard had I took that route.

I'm sure there are examples. But its quite a risk and even if you complete it successfully its another 3/4 years of your life and a lot of money. I asked what you wanted to achieve. have you thought about that? Is it for the love of networking / incident management? Or is it to do 'something' more interesting that call centre work and feel Comp Sci is the answer to that?

If the latter (as I assumed) then my suggestion is more academic qualifications don't really help you massively. If the former, then cool, think about what you're passionate about, focus on it and do it.

But I suspect you don't know why Comp Sci as opposed to becoming an electrician or train driver.
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suedonim
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one thing people are overlooking is that universities have different requirements for mature students and they will be far more flexible over grades because they expect you to be more committed and using to working steadily.

There are apparently lots of resources around for people to teach themselves some computing - try looking at the Cambridge applicants thread and people talk about what they are doing.

If you didn't use resources like the Khan academy when teaching yourself maths GCSE then you might be able to teach yourself A level with that and perhaps hiring a student from a local university to coach you.
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Quady
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(Original post by suedonim)
one thing people are overlooking is that universities have different requirements for mature students and they will be far more flexible over grades because they expect you to be more committed and using to working steadily.

There are apparently lots of resources around for people to teach themselves some computing - try looking at the Cambridge applicants thread and people talk about what they are doing.

If you didn't use resources like the Khan academy when teaching yourself maths GCSE then you might be able to teach yourself A level with that and perhaps hiring a student from a local university to coach you.
I wasn't so worried about getting the requists, but completing the course at a 2.i level.
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cswizard
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#38
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Its true that I dont have any experience in comp science and yeah I got a B in maths but didnt take A Level. So maybe that wil be very tough for me but I honestly just want to turn my life around at this age of 28 and do something with it!! I just need that break or a field to progress into where I know I can be on good money.

I know somebody said money isnt everything but I want a good job to show for myself to proove people wrong and be able to buy things I want.

And I really do want to go back to uni and get that qualification and also a placement year but I always was stuck between CS or economics. I also did consider Marketing based on my past
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Quady
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(Original post by cswizard)
Its true that I dont have any experience in comp science and yeah I got a B in maths but didnt take A Level. So maybe that wil be very tough for me but I honestly just want to turn my life around at this age of 28 and do something with it!! I just need that break or a field to progress into where I know I can be on good money.

I know somebody said money isnt everything but I want a good job to show for myself to proove people wrong and be able to buy things I want.

And I really do want to go back to uni and get that qualification and also a placement year but I always was stuck between CS or economics. I also did consider Marketing based on my past
OK, so my assumption was right, you're mostly after a better job renumerated accordingly.

So why not electrician / plumber, much cheaper to get into and would be at least as well paid.

Or if you want something that sounds more upmarket, accountancy?
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the mezzil
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(Original post by Clip)
No way. He's Asian. He will get bullied, harassed, called every name under the sun and basically made an outcast.
No he really wouldnt. There are plenty of asians in the Armed Forces. In fact there is an entire Brigade made up of just Asians. Many Asian parents even push their child down that route in my experience.

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