Amy_May_Bingham
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I'm in year 11 and I'm being asked what I want to do after. A-Levels or BTEC extended diploma. My mother is trying to force me to do A-Level, but I want BTEC. Can someone give me some advice on what to do.
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SophieSmall
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Be aware that what you do choose will limit your future opportunities and what you can do in education.
For example a lot of red brick universities and universities such as Oxford don't accept BTECs alone for a lot of courses.

Really you should choose what you want to do with the future in mind. Are you looking to go to university? If so to do what? What kind of career are you after?

These questions will help shape the answer for you.

As for example if you wanted to be a doctor or a vet you shouldn't take a BTEC as they're not as academically valued or respected. If you want to keep your options open then maybe take a variety of A levels (as BTECS are usually unvaried and you often just take 1 subject such as Automotive Engineering) which can open doors to several different academic routes.

Also don't forget you also have vocational options such as apprenticeships which can lead straight into careers also.
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yt7777
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What is you want to do in the future?

You should do what you want, not what your parents want if it will make you unhappy

Here are the pros of both:

A level:
- easier to change progression pathways
- more widely recognised
- study a variety of subjects

BTEC
- higher emplyment rates for both graduates and non graduates
- accepted by 95% of unis now
- early specialism; good if you know exactly what you want to do
- relevant work placement included in the course

I went for the BTEC option because i knew exactly what i wanted to do, i could have done A levels bit the Computing and IT A levels seemed sub-par to the BTEC version and i would have had to pick a third subject that i wasnt interested in, i am now a second year Computer Science student at a top 20 university so it worked pretty well for me

What BTEC and A levels are you deciding between?
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Amy_May_Bingham
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I want to be a computer programmer. I am deciding between computing BTEC and maths and computing a-level, I have no idea what I could do for the third option
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yt7777
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(Original post by Amy_May_Bingham)
I want to be a computer programmer. I am deciding between computing BTEC and maths and computing a-level, I have no idea what I could do for the third option
Same as me then i am hoping to pursue Software Engineerig or Information Security when i graduate

People will tell you to go for A levels but in my personal opinion the Computing BTEC is much better than the A level it covers pretty much the same content except it is a lot more practical and industry related, especially with the Software Development modules, they teach fundamental skills for software engineers and you dont get that with the A level

I wont say the BTEC doesnt limit you somewhat, the top 10 or so unis for Computer Science will want to see A level Maths alongside the BTEC but it is still very much widely accepted on its own too by excellent unis aswell e.g. Kings College London, Bath, Surrey, Manchester(IT), Southampton(IT), UCL(IT), Royal Holloway, Queen Mary, Newcastle, Cardiff, Liverpool and loads more good unis, if you were to take maths A level alongside the BTEC you could also access the likes of: Oxford, Durham, Bristol, Southampton(CS or SE), Manchester(CS) or York for Computer Science or Software Engineering

If you dont want to go to uni, I would say the BTEC is better for gettig on to a Higher Apprenticeship programme, i know people who did the IT/Computing BTEC who are now working for large software engineering and IT companies without even going to uni for example the 5 year programme with Capgemini which results in you coming out with a degree (fully paid for by the company) in software engineering and 5 years work experience aswell as a 16k salary for the 5 years, I would go as far to say that if you covered programming and software dev / systems analysis modules on your BTEC you would be much better prepared for something like this than someone with A levels in Computing, Maths and one other.

However, the A level route is giod if you want to go to uni, probably better in some cases (although i did BTEC and am doing better than some people on my degree with maths/science A levels), Maths and Computing are both excellent subjects to choose, if you decide to follow the A level route possible third subjects could be Further Maths, Electronics, ICT or Applied ICT, Physics, DT: Systems and Control, Statistics or mayve Economics

Personally, if you know you want to have a career in IT and Software Engineering, i would go for the BTEC, most people on the course will be aiming towards the same thing and the class atmosphere where everyone is engaged and excited by the subject is really really motivating and pushes you to do well, i really found that aspect good and also you will have to do a 2 week placement as part of the course, you could do this at a Software Engineering company? This gives you automatic experience and I found it looked very good on my CV when applying for summer undergraduate internships, almost every interviewer i have had has mentioned it, one of my friends actualky got offered a job as a software developer straight from his 2 week placement on completion of his course and they are now paying for him to do a degree.

You shouldnt do A levels just because your mother is telling you to, the emplyment statisics for BTEC are so much better for both graduates and non grsduates, also as I saif you can access so many good unis - i am currently a second year at Royal Holloway, personally I think the BTEC is much better especially in Computing! and was the best decision I have ever made I made good connections from the course who are also all at university again aspiring to the same goals and we still stay in close contact and give eachother support when we need it, its a great system because, like I said, all the motivated people on the course are genuinely excited about the subject and it doesnt feel like you are being forced to be there as all tje lessons and generally the work is interactive, we had several practical sessions for computer sytems and networks aswel las we would all do group programming as well as the individual programming tasks and this is great - i couldnt reccomend the course more highly, but also check the units offered by the college and make sure there are programming or software dev modules included as it is not a set syllabus nationwide.

Hope this helps and let me know what you decide to do, any further questions i would be happy to help if i can
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Amy_May_Bingham
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I had a college interview yesterday for BTEC computer science software. I've been accepted as long as I keep my grades up, also the tutor said she will help me convince my mum to let me do it. I thinks it's going well and I'm taking BTEC:yay:
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yt7777
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(Original post by Amy_May_Bingham)
I had a college interview yesterday for BTEC computer science software. I've been accepted as long as I keep my grades up, also the tutor said she will help me convince my mum to let me do it. I thinks it's going well and I'm taking BTEC:yay:
That's excellent!

Also you shouldn't have to convince your mum, the BTEC is a better qualification than the A level for Computing/CS or IT, not only that, you're an adult and its ultimately your future and your decision
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Amy_May_Bingham
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(Original post by yt7777)
That's excellent!

Also you shouldn't have to convince your mum, the BTEC is a better qualification than the A level for Computing/CS or IT, not only that, you're an adult and its ultimately your future and your decision
Thanks for all the help you have given me with this.
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yt7777
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(Original post by Amy_May_Bingham)
Thanks for all the help you have given me with this.
No worries, good luck!
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