How high does an OU degree actually rank? Watch

ionic285
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I know that a degree from the OU is the same type of degree offered by every other university and I know that most employers don't care about where you got your degree from as long as you've got one, but there are some that do take into account university prestige.

My question is, in your unbiased opinion how high does a degree from the open university rank, is it the same level as a Russell group university or is it among the ex-polytechnics or is it somewhere in between?

I'm not expecting people to say it is near the top because I know its supposed to be an alternative to people who can't go to a brick university for whatever reason but I feel that information about how good the degree itself really is, is one-sided and slightly biased which is unhelpful to people like myself who are considering picking it over my insurance option which is an ex-polytechnic.

Thanks to anyone who answers.
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Souljer
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Theres too much uncertainty surrounding OU degrees I had to not pursue it, too much money to risk, just feel they are seen as mickey mouse degrees.


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laalNick
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I wouldn't say they were a 'Mickey Mouse' degree. As for cost, overall it works out a lot cheaper than attending a conventional brick uni but there are pros and cons to both. You still have to work towards the degree it's not a case of paying and being awarded a degree like some uninformed people very wrongly believe.

I went to brick uni and the OU so think I can make a decent comparison.

A lot will come down to subject, OU lacks practical experience if doing a science etc. compared to a brick uni where you spend a substantial amount of time in a lab. OU did have residential schools for practical skills but unfortunately they are now dwindling and even as good as they were, (I never personally took one) it can't compete with practical experience at a brick. But that's still not to say they aren't good, the bonus with an OU degree is that you can fit it around work and work experience so you can always gain practical experience in other ways. (As an OU student you can be applicable for experience and lab work at traditional universities too by helping with research during non term times etc.).

However less practical subjects fair pretty well. I finished a joint honours in Mathematical & Computing Sciences back in 2014 and I don't feel it was a waste of time & money. It wasn't without it's faults; like some course material was a bit out of date (e.g. Applets) but the theory and groundwork was there and the maths doesn't really date and other general irks with the OU but they were not insurmountable problems. I got to work and save money whilst completing my degree which helped immensely so I haven't ended up with the debt like I did first time around.

The degree has personally helped me move into an entirely different career (software development) and three years later I'm still doing it and don't feel disadvantaged by doing an OU degree. My employer actually took me on before I completed the degree, I just had a couple of modules remaining and the modules I had done so far were job relevant. They even sponsored one of the final modules.

A fair number of employers do sponsor people to do courses and do like the fact you can work and study as it does show a degree of determination and hard work, which are always good traits!

You can get a degree from anywhere but that's not the only thing that makes a CV stand out amongst other applicants. Yes other universities may stand out to employers like traditional 'Doxbridge' or universities that have a very good rep for particular subjects. There will always be some bias. It's hard to rank the OU amongst them at times because it operates in an entirely different way to a conventional university. And a lot of it will come down to subject choice like I said above.

A CV will be more appealling if there are other things to support the OU degree like work experience, projects etc. It all depends what you want to do with the degree.

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...pen-university
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Doones
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As an employer, I was always impressed to see people with OU degrees. It takes a very significant amount of work and dedication to complete one on top of whatever other commitments someone has.

Employers are looking for good people, not "good" universities.

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BizzStrut
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(Original post by jneill)
Employers are looking for good people, not "good" universities.
Law, banking, management consulting.
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Doones
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(Original post by BizzStrut)
Law, banking, management consulting.
Employers are looking for good people, not "good" universities.

"Legal" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni

21k "Finance" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni

28k "management consultant" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni
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BizzStrut
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(Original post by jneill)
Employers are looking for good people, not "good" universities.

"Legal" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni

21k "Finance" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni

28k "management consultant" via OU
https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?...av-menu-alumni
Could you show me an OU (only) graduate that works or has worked for one of the following after their degree:

JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, (Any Buldge Bracket) McKinsey and Co. (big 3 consulting), or any magic circle law firm?
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ByronicHero
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I broadly agree with laalNick, and jniel's opinion is one that I know many employers share in my experience. Like jniel says, if a person has studied alongside working, perhaps while also raising a family or doing whatever else might reasonably command their attention then I am particularly impressed. It will not be an ideal route into some professions, but that is true of many universities and courses. You do need to consider what you might want to do in the future.

I have never studied with the OU so cannot offer first hand experience of the course(s) but do know several university lecturers/professors personally who think that an OU degree (at least in non-STEM subjects) would provide a perfectly reasonable basis for postgraduate study. There have been several OU students on TSR who have progressed to "top" universities, notably Cambridge, for their postgraduate studies and I know several people personally of whom the same can be said. If nothing else, this suggests that the OU degree will equip its students with the same academic skills as most other universities.

You also need to consider how you think you learn best, and the kind of environment that will motivate you. I think most people would benefit from attending a brick university if possible, but some people (like myself) prefer to teach themselves.

Best of luck.
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Doones
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(Original post by BizzStrut)
Could you show me an OU (only) graduate that works or has worked for one of the following after their degree:

JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, (Any Buldge Bracket) McKinsey and Co. (big 3 consulting), or any magic circle law firm?
You are shifting the goal posts.

Anyway...

McKinsey : dude did BSc Maths at OU, then MBA at UCD.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-...authToken=iPT_

JP Morgan : BA Business Studies at OU, now an Associate https://www.linkedin.com/in/monika-m...authToken=gxvu

Another JP Morgan : https://www.linkedin.com/in/ieneko-o...authToken=4vx6

Magic Circle (Allen & Overy) : https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabell-...authToken=3rwm

Another Allen & Overy - an associate
https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabet...authToken=gDGh
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laalNick
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(Original post by ByronicHero)
I broadly agree with laalNick, and jniel's opinion is one that I know many employers share in my experience. Like jniel says, if a person has studied alongside working, perhaps while also raising a family or doing whatever else might reasonably command their attention then I am particularly impressed. It will not be an ideal route into some professions, but that is true of many universities and courses. You do need to consider what you might want to do in the future.

I have never studied with the OU so cannot offer first hand experience of the course(s) but do know several university lecturers/professors personally who think that an OU degree (at least in non-STEM subjects) would provide a perfectly reasonable basis for postgraduate study. There have been several OU students on TSR who have progressed to "top" universities, notably Cambridge, for their postgraduate studies and I know several people personally of whom the same can be said. If nothing else, this suggests that the OU degree will equip its students with the same academic skills as most other universities.

You also need to consider how you think you learn best, and the kind of environment that will motivate you. I think most people would benefit from attending a brick university if possible, but some people (like myself) prefer to teach themselves.

Best of luck.
Agree ^^

Just to add even with STEM subjects there have been people who have gone on with OU degrees to do postgraduate study at respected universities. A degree is only as good as the person who has done it it.

Some of the material is written by lecturers and professors from brick universities, some stuff is in collab with other universities and there is an external examiner for each module who comes from a respected university to ensure the quality.

The OU is a very good choice for those who can't afford brick university or need to work around families, careers, illness as it's more flexible.

It depends on how you want to use your degree and what kind of end goals you want that can affect how you choose to do it too.
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999tigger
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It's regarded well. A rank against a traditonal uni isnt the best way to go about it, because it is different. Theres no reason to think it should hold you back and employers have always respected the fact that someone with an OU degree will have gained good skills in managing their time, organising themselves and being a self starter. They are also older and tend to come with experience.
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laalNick
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https://www.timeshighereducation.com...united-kingdom according to the list the OU is in the middle but have to take with a pinch of salt as like I said before the OU operates in an entirely different way to brick universities.
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999tigger
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All people need to know is that they are accepted and respected by employers as much as doing a traditional degree. Distance learning is not easy at all, especially if you dont have the extra resources and teacging support you get in a traditional uni setting.
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Independent123
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(Original post by 999tigger)
All people need to know is that they are accepted and respected by employers as much as doing a traditional degree.
Also, generally speaking, they are equally respected by postgraduate admissions committees.
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