Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
... a) Would you recommend going to uni? ...
This is really a personal question, I went to Uni and got my degree, so I would say yes. However you're not me, so I can't tell if it'll suit you

Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
...b) what different options do i have to build upon the experience i already have - ie Microsoft courses etc? and could you named a few ...
Ok... There are a whole heap of different option out there:

Full time, part-time (this is what I did) and the work based route (eg BA (Hons) Learning through Technology; An online degree offered through the Ultraversity scheme at Anglia Ruskin University, UK). You also have the option/choice to get the HNC (1/3 of a degree), HND (2/3 of a degree) and the full degree (with or without honours). You also have the option to use professional certs (eg certain Microsoft certs to gain credit for the degree, take a look at MT127 and the TM227) or you can use your degree studies to gain professional certifications (see the TM128 for example).

I believe vocational education is great, but it is under appreciated. Under normal programs, NVQ 2 and 3 is the norm - but they aren't degree level. However NVQ 4 and 5 are, these are harder to find, but they are out there. It's just a case of looking for them.

Further Education:
There are degree level qualifications out there but they are mapped to the QCF instead of the FHEQ, for instance the SQA Level 4 Certificate In ICT Support in Education for Managers qualification is comparable to the level of a 1st year HE/degree course or the HNC, breadth wise it's not (the HNC is made up of 10 modules).

Professional (Academic):
Apart from degree's and NVQ's, you also have the option to do professional diplomas that are directly comparable to the full degree, for instance: Professional Graduate Diploma in IT from the BCS.

Professional registrations/Chartered Status:
You have the ICTTech professional registration from the ECUK and the CITP status from the BCS.

City & Guilds Senior Awards:
Depending on your experience (level and length) you can gain the LCGI (comparable to a NVQ 4/Master Craftman) and/or the GCGI (comparable to a degree).

And that's not even mentioning all the vendor neutral/vendor specific certifications out there. However there are pro's and con's to them:
Pro's work/job specific, Con's most of them will require to renew after 3 years... Certain Comptia certs are like this, as well as Cisco and even Microsoft is starting to follow suit with the new versions of the MCSA and MCSE...