Are you interested in becoming more literate in the world of information systems? Do you want assurance on what more you could be doing with apps? And use Internet shopping to find great bargains? Do you just want to build on the knowledge you acquired during your communication technology module studied at college?
In this fast-growing digital world, information is being driven by technology and we rely on it for almost everything – paying our bills, setting our favourite TV programmes to record, switching our heating on when on the train home… some houses are even fully automated with apps controlling the doorbell, lights, and household appliances!
Since there are still many things we do manually, though, a vast understanding of technology isn’t required just yet, but wouldn’t it be nice to keep up with the trends and to not be taken by surprise by all of the magnificently wonderful (and sometimes scary) things that technology can do?!
IT courses aren’t just computers, they are also designed to help you better understand handheld devices like phones and tablets. Photo on Visual hunt
There are many different types, of course, you might look at enrolling on as a prospective student: an accredited IT Skills short course, degree programs (including undergraduate degree/bachelor’s degree, masters degree), instructor-led training (as in Microsoft Certified training, Cisco training courses, etc…), online training (like webinars), scholarships and apprenticeship to prepare you for an occupation working with computer systems…
However, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are also some free courses or resources that can enable you to gain knowledge and skills in the IT field, to help you in the workplace and beyond. You don’t have to study at and graduate from the best universities in the renowned university rankings to get employed or improve your prospects! This kind of outcome is within reach by looking at other respected faculties too.
The BBC is committed to advancing knowledge and boasts the fabulous BBC Bitesize Revision website designed for pupils studying towards a GCSE and covering a number of disciplines and subject matter. However, if you want some extracurricular technical training, then you may wish to look at their resources which cover a range of topics such as broadband speed, how to stay safe on the Internet, how to send emails, and how to send online forms.
Also, their WebWise resources directory introduces ‘a range of video and written guides to help you to get connected and develop the online skills to make the most of your mobile, tablet, computer or interactive television.’
See below for a few more examples of the type of information you might find on the BBC pages:
Informing yourself about technology can help you to keep your children safe when surfing the Internet. Photo credit: Lupuca on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
As you can see, the experts at the BBC have covered all bases and thought of the needs and concerns of all of the members in any given household.
You may already be quite clued up and have a range of IT skills, so what if you want to put this knowledge and skills to good use and further your education and career at the same time? Professional development is one of the main reasons why people undertake paid courses, but some also choose to enrol on a course because they are passionate about the programme on a personal level.
Below, we have listed a range of education courses for you to consider as your next step in your higher education.
University of Birmingham
For an extensive learning experience, why not consider enrolling for a single honours Computer Science BSC at the University of Birmingham?
This undergraduate course is all about exploring computational systems and, during their 3 years there, the applicant will learn about their theory, design, development, and application. As such, you will learn about programming languages, artificial intelligence, software engineering, operating systems, robotics, databases and much more as part of your assignment.
“Computer scientists design and create search-engines, social networking applications, software applications used in the financial world to map customer profiles and expose credit card fraud, and software applications used in the medical sector to identify cancers through the analysis of medical images.
At a deeper scientific/mathematical level, we look at the theory underpinning complex algorithms, or the difficulty of implementing solutions to complex problems in a provably reliable way. At the engineering level, we ensure that complex systems are built to appropriate standards, are properly tested and run efficiently. Then at the human level, we ensure that applications are easy to learn and use and are well matched to functional expectations.
At Birmingham, we have world-leading research in terms of originality, significance and rigour. We provide specialist teaching and are committed to supporting our graduates in establishing their careers.
The School of Computer Science is committed to the student experience, offering student alumni mentoring, a dedicated welfare team and a dedicated careers and employability officer. We’re keen to welcome you to our friendly, inclusive and multi-faceted School.”
Find out more by consulting your careers advisor or by visiting the university’s website.
If the classroom isn’t for you, and you’d rather get stuck in with some hands-on work, then an apprenticeship may be the best choice for you.
It can be very hard to know where to start when looking for opportunities for apprentices, but thankfully BMet posts a list of the current vacancies in all of the leading industries. Take, for instance, an apprenticeship in IT Telecoms.
Higgs & Sons Limited is just one of the companies advertising for an advanced level apprentice to join their team. Working Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, you could be gaining a weekly wage of £274.00 (i.e. a five digit salary!) over the course of two years whilst you carry out leaver tasks, assist with the upkeep of the Higgs IT asset location register, undertake any other relevant duties as may be reasonably requested by the IT Manager/Director and any other duties deemed commensurate with this role.
You could be starting your next adventure as early as September 2018 so get applying now!
An apprenticeship can prepare you for life in the professional world. Photo credit: SurfaceWarriors on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
South & City College Birmingham
In figures released by the above institution, there are about 1.2 million Brits working in an IT occupation, with 87,000 of those being in the West Midlands. Since Information Technology is central to global economy, the IT field is highly relied upon by many businesses.
The sector expects a growth of nearly five times faster than the UK average over the next ten years, which will in turn provide more jobs in the West Midlands and across the whole of the United Kingdom. There is a wide variety of career options within the industry, from computer programming, computer networking, data processing, internet servicing provision, web development, and more. For example, the college suggests that you might work as:
-IT security coordinator
-Computer repair technician
Just a few examples of IT course offered by South & City College Birmingham equipping you with a diploma are:
Furthermore, if your circumstances means that you cannot commit to a full-time course spanning across the academic year, then you may like to consider discovering some online courses. This doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice getting a recognised qualification or accreditation, you can undertake online degree courses (undergraduate and postgraduate) or college level tutoring taught in a distance learning format.
Not all courses cost the earth, you can also find a range of courses for free, teaching you fundamental technical skills like an Introduction to Computer Science. Free college courses may be offered with some kind of government funding scheme, or via a scholarship. Meanwhile, some are set up by local authorities like your local library with the incentive of upskilling people in the area.