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    HI all,

    I am 32 and already have a degree in natural science. I work as a pharmacy tech and quite high up the ladder but looking at doing an IT related degree.

    My two options are computing and IT or computing and IT with a second subject (business/maths/design/statistics)

    I don't have an exact job in mind I would like to go into once finished, so was wondering if anyone would give pros and cons. My preference would be C&IT with business as I guess this would give a bit of insight into an important subject. I also like maths but haven't done any since A levels 14 years ago so I would have to do a lot of refreshing on all the various forms you don't use in day to day life. Design and statistics are a no no. The other option is just to go for the singe C&IT degree.
    If I did the dual subject for IT I would start with a basic introduction to designing and building programs, year 2 would be OOP with java and python. year 3 would probably be mobile and cloud technologies.
    Business side would be basic introduction ot business management, then year 2 business functions in context. year 3 business strategy.

    Alternatively I would do a single C&IT degree aimed mainly at computer science and program design with mobile technology as well.

    Many thanks for your help


    Hi there!

    From the description of the courses, it sounds like you're looking at the Open University? I'm a network engineer, and I'm starting the Open University Computing & IT course this autumn.

    In the context of the Open University courses, one important question is if you'll be studying full time or part time. As you're saying 'year 2' and 'year 3', you might be planning on full time study, which makes this next advice irrelevant. However, if you are studying part time, you can always put the decision off for another year. You can take one path or the other this year, and take TU100, then if you decide you want to take the other path, call up and switch it over before enroling for the next 60 credits.

    I still haven't 100% made up my mind, either. I'm still considering the second subject of business, because it would be very useful for management positions. But then I remind myself that I hate management positions and like my family. But I still flip-flop. (From experience in the industry, management in IT means a LOT of personal time disrespected by all employers. But it's very attractive financially.)

    I also can't take design, which is a shame, because it would dove-tail well with website creation. But I'm a colour-blind perfectionist, and I just don't hate myself that much. So I'm in the same boat as you, there.

    Going the maths route makes good sense if you're intending to do actual computer science, or work on designing graphics engines. But the OU courses don't do a terrific job of preparing students for either of those. I've used Khan Academy for both refreshing old and forgotten maths, and learning new maths, and was floored by how effective it was. It may not be as tough as you fear.

    Statistics would lead you to data science, which is a hot industry right now. They're kind of the accountants of the computing world: Not overly exciting, but great earning potential. M248 might be a great module on its own even if you don't take the Statistics route. (All in all, though, still a no from me, as well.)

    For me personally, I'm having enough difficulty just choosing from all the options in the second and third stages of the Q62 straight Computing & IT course. I'd love to finally formalise the bits and pieces of CCNA information I use, but taking T216 means I can only take another two modules at stage 2, and I'd really love to take M250, M256, and TT284. Similarly, if I took those three, there wouldn't be anything else for me to take during that stage except M269, and that's not overly exciting to me. (That said, I did just finish a MOOC that spent a lot of time playing with creating number systems, and binary search tree data structures, and I was positively loving it, so who knows. When you're told you can't use any number keys on your keyboard, but have to make functions to add, subtract, multiply and divide, it opens up entirely new ways of looking at things.)

    If you don't have a career path in mind, just look at the individual courses, and pick the path with the most fun courses. Chances are, if you enjoy studying those things, you'll like working in a career with those things, too.
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