Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    Hi everyone, I'm currently at college studying a level 3 extended diploma for IT. Just finished my first year and got the maximum grade D*D* and I start my second year in September. I've been spending some time lately looking at the degree courses at Birmingham City University and theres two that have caught my attention. 'Computer Networks' and 'Computer networks and security'. I'm unsure which would be a better degree to do since I want a job in computer networking in the future. Is the one with security modules a better choice as I know computer security is a hot topic at the moment? I've also been told by many people that uni is a bad option for computer networking and that apprenticeships give you more opportunities. Opinions?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    I think the security tag might help a bit more with employment.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    In my opinion you should first try and get an apprenticeship but if it doesn't work out or you finish the apprenticeship and cant find a job you could apply for uni. Uni will always be there regardless of if you apply straight after college or a few years later.

    i would say try to get into network and security over just computer networks, security is definitely important in the IT field right now.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by NoEaze)
    In my opinion you should first try and get an apprenticeship but if it doesn't work out or you finish the apprenticeship and cant find a job you could apply for uni. Uni will always be there regardless of if you apply straight after college or a few years later.

    i would say try to get into network and security over just computer networks, security is definitely important in the IT field right now.
    Yeah I'll definitely try an apprenticeship first as I have nothing to lose by doing that. If I don't like it I can go to uni, cheers
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Hey thomasnottingham ,

    I just finished my second year of BTEC Level 3 IT and I am going to uni in September later this year to do Computer Science.
    In response to your message, it depends what you want to do. For me, I quite enjoyed Computer Networking and Security fields, however, there are so many different fields you could go into in the computer industry. I too, was unsure of what to do, so for me, I decided to do Computer Science in uni. The most important thing, is to decide whether or not you could be in this field in the next 20 years. You don't have to decide now what field you want to go into, because in a few years time, your opinion could sway in a different direction.

    The computer industry is a fast and rapid growing industry, so there will be many employment opportunities in the future.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pixels123)
    Hey thomasnottingham ,

    I just finished my second year of BTEC Level 3 IT and I am going to uni in September later this year to do Computer Science.
    In response to your message, it depends what you want to do. For me, I quite enjoyed Computer Networking and Security fields, however, there are so many different fields you could go into in the computer industry. I too, was unsure of what to do, so for me, I decided to do Computer Science in uni. The most important thing, is to decide whether or not you could be in this field in the next 20 years. You don't have to decide now what field you want to go into, because in a few years time, your opinion could sway in a different direction.

    The computer industry is a fast and rapid growing industry, so there will be many employment opportunities in the future.
    Thanks for the insight, I personally do enjoy programming but then again I can't see myself enjoying it as a career as it would become a chore eventually so I'm aiming towards network engineering for now, I guess i'll finish my second year and have some time to think
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    thomasnottingham


    Have you done any work experience recently? Or are u going to?

    Doing work experience in a networking company allowed me to experience what it is like to be in the workplace.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pixels123)
    thomasnottingham


    Have you done any work experience recently? Or are u going to?

    Doing work experience in a networking company allowed me to experience what it is like to be in the workplace.
    I haven't got any work experience yet and can't since I'm at college full time and my health isn't in the best place at the moment either :/
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    @thomasnottingham,

    Hmm, sorry to hear about that.

    Another tip I would recommend is search around for jobs in particular with your career. Normally, job websites will list what they will require and what you might expect. For example, if you like Network Engineering, then search jobs that are related or similar, it may give you an insight in that field.
    You said you finished your first year with a D*D* didn't you? There are many universities which accept BTECs and can offer you a networking career. These are my recommendations,
    - Newcastle University (5 GCSEs at 6 / B or over) - Computer Science and Networking / Security
    - Coventry University
    - Southampton University (They do Security, but you must get D*D*D* by second year) not sure whether you will get in as they are pretty high in ranks for computing
    - Northumbria University
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    With your grades you could target a lot stronger universities than BCU. I'd always advise that a Computer Science is a stronger degree to pursue as well, and keeps all your options open for the future.

    If you're interested in Security, take a look at the 2 GCHQ accredited degrees:
    Royal Holloway - BSc Computer Science (Information Security) - D*DD-DDD
    Warwick - BSc Cyber Security - they say to contact for BTEC grade requirements

    If you want to go into Security these will be much stronger courses and you'll be fully making use of your good grades.

    Hope this helps
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yt7777)
    With your grades you could target a lot stronger universities than BCU. I'd always advise that a Computer Science is a stronger degree to pursue as well, and keeps all your options open for the future.

    If you're interested in Security, take a look at the 2 GCHQ accredited degrees:
    Royal Holloway - BSc Computer Science (Information Security) - D*DD-DDD
    Warwick - BSc Cyber Security - they say to contact for BTEC grade requirements

    If you want to go into Security these will be much stronger courses and you'll be fully making use of your good grades.

    Hope this helps
    For me, BCU is local and I don't plan on moving out and racking up debt when I don't need to. The only other option is the University of Birmingham but it's about 9 miles from my house and the commute would be quite long. Does the university you go to really matter if you get a good degree?
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thomasnottingham)
    For me, BCU is local and I don't plan on moving out and racking up debt when I don't need to. The only other option is the University of Birmingham but it's about 9 miles from my house and the commute would be quite long. Does the university you go to really matter if you get a good degree?
    It wouldn't really cost you anymore or affect your student loan repayments by moving out. You'll still pay back the same amount each month once you're earning the only benefit of minimising how much you borrow is that it makes it quicker to pay it all off but the majority of people will never pay it back anyway. So this really shouldn't be a factor that affects the standard of education you will receive.

    I can't speak for BCU because I'm not familiar with their programmes, but a lot of universities (generally low ranking ones) make their degrees pretty easy and the standards of what you learn can differ massively between that and going to a good university. You'll easily find many grads of good unis who have 2:1s or 2:2s that are far better than grads with extremely high 1sts from poor standard institutions. You see this from peoples transcripts, I see on LinkedIn a lot of people posting their module grades from not so great unis and it shows strings of 95%+ grades, whereas at good unis you'll find extremely able and intelligent students struggling to hit 70%. But obviously this isn't a certain rule, you'll obviously still find very intelligent students who choose to go to low ranking unis too.

    I just think why waste the opportunity to reach your full potential, if you get D*D*D* and choose to go to a uni that requires DMM it's fairly safe to say you'll breeze through it. Why not challenge yourself and take a degree of the level that you're at i.e. Apply to unis that require DDD+. The tuition fees are the same between unis so the only real value for money you get is based on your academic performance deciding the quality of institution that you attend. If you were on track for a final grade of DDM-DMM then BCU and other unis of similar standards would be worth going for, but as you're hitting top grades then you could get onto a much stronger degree course.

    When I applied to uni, I was set on only applying to one choice near my hometown and living at home still (a uni of similar standard to BCU) and I changed my mind and pushed myself to apply to 5 with 3 more ambitious choices and ended up going to a top 20 for my BSc and a top 10 for my MSc both in Computer Science and it was so worth it as a lot of my friends went to our local uni and the standards were awful and the courses seemed extremely easy. It wouldn't have challenged me. I also got D*D*D* and that course required DDM, I would have really sold myself short if I had pursued it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yt7777)
    It wouldn't really cost you anymore or affect your student loan repayments by moving out. You'll still pay back the same amount each month once you're earning the only benefit of minimising how much you borrow is that it makes it quicker to pay it all off but the majority of people will never pay it back anyway. So this really shouldn't be a factor that affects the standard of education you will receive.

    I can't speak for BCU because I'm not familiar with their programmes, but a lot of universities (generally low ranking ones) make their degrees pretty easy and the standards of what you learn can differ massively between that and going to a good university. You'll easily find many grads of good unis who have 2:1s or 2:2s that are far better than grads with extremely high 1sts from poor standard institutions. You see this from peoples transcripts, I see on LinkedIn a lot of people posting their module grades from not so great unis and it shows strings of 95%+ grades, whereas at good unis you'll find extremely able and intelligent students struggling to hit 70%. But obviously this isn't a certain rule, you'll obviously still find very intelligent students who choose to go to low ranking unis too.

    I just think why waste the opportunity to reach your full potential, if you get D*D*D* and choose to go to a uni that requires DMM it's fairly safe to say you'll breeze through it. Why not challenge yourself and take a degree of the level that you're at i.e. Apply to unis that require DDD+. The tuition fees are the same between unis so the only real value for money you get is based on your academic performance deciding the quality of institution that you attend. If you were on track for a final grade of DDM-DMM then BCU and other unis of similar standards would be worth going for, but as you're hitting top grades then you could get onto a much stronger degree course.

    When I applied to uni, I was set on only applying to one choice near my hometown and living at home still (a uni of similar standard to BCU) and I changed my mind and pushed myself to apply to 5 with 3 more ambitious choices and ended up going to a top 20 for my BSc and a top 10 for my MSc both in Computer Science and it was so worth it as a lot of my friends went to our local uni and the standards were awful and the courses seemed extremely easy. It wouldn't have challenged me. I also got D*D*D* and that course required DDM, I would have really sold myself short if I had pursued it.
    I really appreciate the detailed response, there is one thing I worry about. Despite my grade being really good for my current college course, me and my friends agree that the content of the course is extremely easy. Even though I have top grades I feel very unprepared for uni level work as I imagine it will be a lot more difficult. This course really hasn't pushed me and I'm scared to aim for a better university in case i'm inadequate compared to the people there with good A levels. Our college pushes us towards apprenticeships for IT jobs and there are some very lucrative ones available at level 4 and above which makes me question university sometimes. I don't want to go to uni just because everyone else does, I want to make sure its what I really want/need. Sorry for being so indecisive haha. I want to be smart enough but I feel like i'm not, i'm no maths genius and lime I say, I've learnt a lot less on this course than I expected to, I just don't want to waste a degree.
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thomasnottingham)
    I really appreciate the detailed response, there is one thing I worry about. Despite my grade being really good for my current college course, me and my friends agree that the content of the course is extremely easy. Even though I have top grades I feel very unprepared for uni level work as I imagine it will be a lot more difficult. This course really hasn't pushed me and I'm scared to aim for a better university in case i'm inadequate compared to the people there with good A levels. Our college pushes us towards apprenticeships for IT jobs and there are some very lucrative ones available at level 4 and above which makes me question university sometimes. I don't want to go to uni just because everyone else does, I want to make sure its what I really want/need. Sorry for being so indecisive haha. I want to be smart enough but I feel like i'm not, i'm no maths genius and lime I say, I've learnt a lot less on this course than I expected to, I just don't want to waste a degree.
    I'm going into University of East Anglia this September, and when I went to their open days, they said that in the first year, they will teach everyone topics that they may have previously may have learnt, or not, to get them everyone on at the same level. This was the response I got from the staff. But, this may be different in other universities. I may not be a maths genius either, but if I was in your position, go have a look at some open days, ask loads of questions, make sure the feeling in this university is right for you, and not just about the location. There are so many excellent universities around the UK. When I was in Year 12, I went to around 3-5 open days (up and down the country) to have a glimpse of what life would be like if I was a student in that uni.
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thomasnottingham)
    I really appreciate the detailed response, there is one thing I worry about. Despite my grade being really good for my current college course, me and my friends agree that the content of the course is extremely easy. Even though I have top grades I feel very unprepared for uni level work as I imagine it will be a lot more difficult. This course really hasn't pushed me and I'm scared to aim for a better university in case i'm inadequate compared to the people there with good A levels. Our college pushes us towards apprenticeships for IT jobs and there are some very lucrative ones available at level 4 and above which makes me question university sometimes. I don't want to go to uni just because everyone else does, I want to make sure its what I really want/need. Sorry for being so indecisive haha. I want to be smart enough but I feel like i'm not, i'm no maths genius and lime I say, I've learnt a lot less on this course than I expected to, I just don't want to waste a degree.
    You may feel like that but, it's the universities that determine what grades you need to be suitable for the degree, and if you meet / exceed them then with the right amount of effort you should be fine. I was in the same position, I was going to choose a rubbish university (which I wont name oh here) just because it would have been easier and was very local to me. But pushing myself to go to a good uni (top 20 at the time) was the best decision, I learnt far more advanced topics than I would have at the other uni, which ultimately led to me not struggling to secure internships/graduate schemes. Most people find these hard to come by, but I managed to do 3 IT/Software Dev related internships as well as receiving 5 offers for grad schemes. Also, by having a solid degree it pushed me to further to do a Masters (MSc) at a top 10 uni for CompSci, as I have previously mentioned.

    It's really good that you are questioning everything and exploring all the other options available to you. I think the new degree apprenticeships are great! But, it depends what you want out of it. I considered applying to a few but the degree you get isn't your choice. I wanted to study for a degree in Computer Science as its the strongest and most broad for the industry, whereas, the degree apprenticeships put you through a degree in Digital & Technology Solutions. Which is still very good considering that you are not paying for it and you'll earn a salary at the same time.

    I would suggest not just taking any apprenticeship though, make sure if thats the route you go for that the apprenticeship is definitely the one you want and what you set out for. I believe quite a few companies (e.g. Capgemini, CGI, Microsoft? etc.) do their degree apprenticeships through Aston which is near you in Birmingham? And also, you shouldn't feel 'pushed' by your college, you should choose the route that you feel is best. There are benefits to both routes, uni or apprenticeship, i.e. I hear people say that the degree apprenticeships can be very hard to balance with working a full time week and relying on evenings, weekends and study days to complete all the degree work combining the stresses of both, whereas arguably by taking a Computer Science degree compared to a Digital & Technology Solutions degree, the level of content in Computer Science may be more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding. In my opinion though, if you're considering the Computer Networks course at BCU vs a Digital & Tech Solutions Apprenticeship then I would definitely go for the apprenticeship. If you are applying for a stronger university/course thats when to start to consider university over the apprenticeship, in my opinion.

    In terms of not thinking that you're clever enough, I'm pretty sure thats how everyone feels before applying to uni. I certainly felt the same with Maths. I did the BTEC Extended in IT like you without doing A level Maths, but its honestly fine, as long as you put in a good amount of time once you're there anything can be learnt. I didn't do great in my 2 first year maths modules but I passed both and surpassed my expectations for what grade I thought I was going to get, then in my second year my maths module was actually my second highest grade out of 8 modules. Just put in the work and you'll be fine. It's definitely worth pushing yourself to do well at the best university you can go to rather than taking the easy option.

    Hope this helps
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pixels123)
    ...and not just about the location. There are so many excellent universities around the UK. When I was in Year 12, I went to around 3-5 open days (up and down the country) to have a glimpse of what life would be like if I was a student in that uni.
    I totally agree with this!

    UEA is great btw, are you doing the BSc Computing Science degree? I almost applied for that 4 years ago.

    I believe UEA have 2 maths modules in first year where you can pick either one of them depending on your background i.e. they have 1 module for people with A level Maths and one module for people without A level Maths. A really good idea in my opinion. thomasnottingham
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yt7777)
    I totally agree with this!

    UEA is great btw, are you doing the BSc Computing Science degree? I almost applied for that 4 years ago.

    I believe UEA have 2 maths modules in first year where you can pick either one of them depending on your background i.e. they have 1 module for people with A level Maths and one module for people without A level Maths. A really good idea in my opinion. thomasnottingham
    Yeah, I'm doing the Bsc Computing Science degree with a year in industry. They still do 2 separate math modules like u said. Btw, A year in industry degree also gives you some work experience which lasts for 8 to 12 months. This is handy for those who may not have much experience in the workplace. If you do really well in 1st and 2nd year, you may even get the chance to be upgraded to a Masters degree course depending on spaces. thomasnottingham

    What are the lectures like at UEA?
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pixels123)
    Yeah, I'm doing the Bsc Computing Science degree with a year in industry. They still do 2 separate math modules like u said. Btw, A year in industry degree also gives you some work experience which lasts for 8 to 12 months. This is handy for those who may not have much experience in the workplace. If you do really well in 1st and 2nd year, you may even get the chance to be upgraded to a Masters degree course depending on spaces. thomasnottingham
    I agree the year in industry is very useful and usually results in a grad job/scheme on completion of your degree. I personally did a few summer internships and two part time internships which got me the same amount of experience as if I had done a year in industry but still allowed me to complete my BSc and MSc within 4 years, instead of 5 years. This is always another option.

    (Original post by Pixels123)
    What are the lectures like at UEA?
    I didn't go to UEA, I almost applied 4 years ago because the Computing Science course looked great and the uni consistently ranks well on the league tables.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: August 14, 2018
The home of Results and Clearing

3,195

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year

University open days

  1. London Metropolitan University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 18 Aug '18
  2. Edge Hill University
    All Faculties Undergraduate
    Sat, 18 Aug '18
  3. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 18 Aug '18
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.