Unsure for what to do after A Levels

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Report Thread starter 4 years ago
I am looking for a future in computing. I did not take A level maths (nor can I, I'm too dumb) and I was just able to achieve a 6 at maths in GCSE.
I don't want to be doing something like programming or anything too heavy with maths for a future.
I have recently taken a shine to networking and was wondering what would be better to pursue a future in it, computer science degree, networking degree or an apprenticship in networking.
Can anyone advise me please?
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Report 4 years ago
Firstly, programming isn't a mathematical discipline, it's an analytical and problem solving discipline which rarely involves much more than basic algebra unless it involves a niche which is mathematical by nature (e.g. games, scientific modelling or financial software).

Most of the vocational computing/computer science courses ask for a grade B or C in GCSE maths, so you should be fine with a 6. (if a 6 translates to a B). The 'top' universities in the country have heavily mathematical and theoretical computer science courses which require A or B in A-level Maths and maybe other science A-levels. All of the rest offer vocational degrees which focus more on non-mathematical topics like programming, networking, databases, web development, security, hardware, project planning, etc.

With that aside if your interest is in networking, then the "gold standard" for Network Engineering would be the Cisco CCNA and CCNP certification, so it would be a good idea to look at universities who are partnered with Cisco and offer those certificates as a core part of the degree.
- Have a look at the Higher Education list of Cisco academies here: https://www.netacad.com/web/uk/education/

UCAS Codes beginning G42x tend to focus on networking and security - e.g. G420, G423, G426, but it's fine to choose the 'general' computing degrees as long as you still get the option to choose CCNA/CCNP related modules; however by doing that you'd end up with very little difference between doing the generalist computing degree vs the Networking degree.

Also, I'd recommend choosing a university which offers a 12-month industrial placement as part of the degree because that real-world experience will count for a lot once you graduate.

There's a degree apprenticeship programme called Digital and Technology Solutions which has a Network Engineering option. The apprenticeship programmes are good if you can get accepted onto the scheme, although the competition for placements is tough due to high demand and sometimes a high calibre of people applying to the placements who already have a self-taught background or a strong mathematical background. Don't let that put you off applying however.

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