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General Chat Thread, IT Job + HND OR Degree in General; Hey, Brilliant forum here, i've enjoyed reading the opinions of others about topics relevant to myself. Here's my situation. I'm ...
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    IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Hey,

    Brilliant forum here, i've enjoyed reading the opinions of others about topics relevant to myself.

    Here's my situation. I'm currently studying my A-levels ( I had an ABC in I.T , Business + Electronics at AS-level ) and planning on what to do next year. I've had alot of spare time in sixth form so I have been working as a website administrator & general IT guy for quite a large company ( £50m turnover + growing quickly ). I've also had some work experience with a web design agency.

    A few weeks ago, the directors of the company were talking to me about what i was going to do after this year. They feel the company is lagging behind in the IT department - they have no real IT staff. The guy who deals with the IT also does the finances etc. They said there is an opportunity for me to take control of the IT for the company. Great? Job on a plate!! But, I'm worried about not having a degree and what would happen if the company sold out or something. I have researched into my local collage to see if they have any HE courses.

    I found a HND in I.T on a day release course for 3 years, i really like this option because I will be getting Education, Experience & Money all at once. There is also a CCNA course available which I would like to take.

    If I decided to take the university route, I'd lose my current IT job. I've contacted the university also to request a detailed description of the modules in the course and I found that the HND modules appealed to me more than the university ones did. Heres a few details on the HND:

    HND Information Technology

    90 credits from:

    * Multimedia Systems Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Audio Visual Computing 2 (15 credits)
    * Application Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Information and Knowledge Based Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Web Application Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Project 2 (30 credits)
    * Programming 2 (15 credits)
    * Computer Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Computer Networks 2 (15 credits)
    * Database Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Systems Analysis 2 (15 credits)

    HNC Information Technology
    Level 1

    * Computer Systems 1 (20 credits)
    * Programming 1 (20 credits)
    * Information Systems and Databases 1 (20 credits)
    * Computer Networks 1 (20 credits)
    * Multimedia (20 credits)
    * Professional Skills (20 credits)

    Level 2

    * Database Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Systems Analysis 2 (15 credits)
    * Application Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Information and Knowledge Based Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Web Application Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Project 2 (30 credits)

    Options

    * Programming 2 (15 credits)
    * Computer Systems 2 (15 credits)
    * Computer Networks 2 (15 credits)
    * Multimedia Systems Development 2 (15 credits)
    * Audio Visual Computing 2 (15 credits)

    Modern businesses require trained systems analysts and network managers so after one year's work experience the world's your oyster. This course provides a springboard to get you that all important starting job.
    Sounds good to me. I dont want to stop learning after finishing my A-levels. I want to carry on with education even if i work.

    I would also like to eventually work on getting certificates and learning other skills. At the moment, I read up alot on web development using PHP SQL etc. Hopefully, I'd like to be a freelancer in my spare time someday.

    What would you guys do? Job + HND or degree?

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    Friez's Avatar
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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    If you plan to just IT Tech and the job is offered on a plate, I'd go for that. You can take a degree at any time of your life. To be fair, degree level qualifications aren't essential for an IT Tech job.

    That said.... I have a degree in computing and have coded commercial video games yet I ended up working as an IT Tech in a school. How'dd that happen?

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Me personally I would do the job and the HND. You will be getting the extremely valuable experience and a decent level qualification. You can work your way from there easily.
    By time your friends get out of uni you will have 3-4 years experience which will put you at a major advantage and you will also have your qualification.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Take the Job. I had great difficulty getting any decent IT job when I finished Uni simply because I couldn't back up the theory with any experience. If you can get the company to pay to continue your education in IT then even better. After a few years you will have both experience and qualifications and you will be in a stronger position than those coming straight from education.

    The alternative is go to uni and have fun but come out with no money. Great times though

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    zag
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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    I got a similar job after I left uni and would recommend it to anyone.

    In a growing business where you are the only IT member it is a great position to be in.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    If the job looks sound, take it. Your first job in IT is always the hardest to find. As others have said, you can always do a degree later, even part-time. Try to get your employer to agree to (and fund) further qualifications on a part time/self-study basis.

    Assuming you see a long term future for yourself in IT, I would be tempted to look at 'vocational' qualifications (MCSA, MCSE) that will underpin your practical experience while doing the job as a means of building your CV.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Usually i'd say go to uni get the degree especially if you want to progress further than tech.

    In this case however i'd say get the job and do the HNC especially if the company will support you. I think all colleges that offer HE course have to be accredited by a University and most then offer progression to the final / second year of the degree. This seems the best option. In the 3-4 years you take to do the HND you might be happy to take a year out to do the final year of the degree, the uni may offer evening classes for it, etc.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    I don't have a degree - I haven't missed out on any jobs I've applied for, I'd really like one though as everyone else seems to have one!

    HND is fine and frankly experience seems to count more these days than a degree once you've got 2/3 years under your belt. Professional qualifications such as CCNA/MCSA etc all mean more to most employers than any degree, partly because there's so many degrees and just about anyone can pass at some level these days.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    I've had some experience in the area you are discussing. You see I went to Uni after leaving school, and pursued a Science Degree, as I really was not to sure what I wanted to do.

    After completing this, I went to work for a electronics retailer, and it was here where I picked up my interest in IT.

    I went looking for a job, without ANY luck! So I decided at the time, the best thing to do was to increase my qualifications so I could get into IT. I did a Masters in IT and then again went looking for work. No luck! The qualification was not specific enough to persuade anyone to hire me.

    So I started working for PC retailer and then went and increased my qualifications further. This time I did an A+ in Hardware and Software, my Microsoft Certified Professional course, A Help Desk Analysis Certification and my Novell Netware certifications.

    One thing that REALLY helped me getting my job was the last course than ran. It was Job interview skills.

    The main point I got from it (which I hadn't been doing) was to ring the prospective employer and find out about the job, and then tell them what you have been doing. I always got a job interview out of this.

    After 2 weeks, I had 3 Job offers. I accepted one in a School, and after 9 months I became the IT Manager. I have never looked back. Its a great job, and it get even better throughout the holidays!!

    So my advice? If you've been offered a job, take it. Experience counts for a lot more than the qualification. If you can fit it in whilst doing your job, Increase your qualifications by doing a degree, so you can get better pay.
    Then do the extra qualifications if you want to branch out.

    Good luck!

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    I think I will take the job & I've sorted out with the employer that I'd be able to do the HND on day release also.

    Being offered an IT manager's job at 18 is just to good to refuse.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    jammy git, congrats though
    you must be made out of strawberries

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Well you certainly have your head on your shoulders. Congratulations on having so many options.

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Glad to see you made what I'd consider to be the correct choice.

    You have the opportunity of the job with a large employer and a great role to fullfill.

    The experience will stand you in good stead for the future and who knows you may not even need to move but you can do when it suits you, having that kind of security is good.

    Just make sure you get a proper contract and everything and epxectations/job description is also there for you.

    Just keep learning as you go.

    Ben

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    Thanks for all your advice :P At every forum I frequent, theres alot of people who want to work in IT and have a degree but are unable to find a job. I dont want this to be me in 4 years time so I'm grabbing the opportunity with both hands. Hopefully I'll be a few step closer to my ferrari!

    However, as a contingency plan I keep all my options open. What are the requirements for getting a school technician job? Is a degree necessary for that kind of job?

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    Re: IT Job + HND OR Degree

    No degree necessary.

    I'm currently studying my second year of Network Engineering...so i'm slightly biased in these situations.

    Have you considered a part time degree and the job and negotiating this with your employers?

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