Wherever you live in the UK, you are sure to find a number of fascinating Information Technology courses right on your doorstep (or no less than a keystroke away!). Technology degrees, scholarships, apprenticeships, IT training courses, higher education diplomas and free training... take advantage of every opportunity at your fingertips!
But it's no good us preaching to you about how beneficial IT courses can be to you, you need to know just how advantageous being accredited with these technical business skills are for someone in your position. It's not just the skills that these courses teach you that are important - but the doors that they open too. The qualification itself is important - and so it is really important that you choose the one that is right for you.
Keep reading to find out about the various types of courses you can enrol on, the benefits they each offer and where you can find classes in your area.
Why Take ICT Courses?
Most people leaving school will already have an ICT qualification under their belt, whether it be a GCSE, A Level or both.
One of the reasons why IT as a subject is compulsory during the many stages of your education is because of how valuable a tool it is to advance a career. So much so, that the government offers a range of funding options for those wishing to further their IT skills for professional purposes, just like it does with vital subjects like English and Maths.
Many organisations that offer basic education for adults will now offer courses in IT alongside English and Maths. IT will be one of the basic skills required in life in the future, owing to the fact that much of our lives are spent - and will increasingly be spent - with these technologies.
ICT Can Help You Advance In Your Chosen Career
You might be fooled into thinking that Information Technology is only of benefit to those wanting a career in IT within the technology sector, but you could not be more wrong! From smartphones to websites to wifi, technology is all around us and is present in each and every office, no matter how big or small and regardless of the company's primary role.
If you are a middle-aged professional, you are probably very aware that there are younger workers entering the workforce with far more know-how than you in this discipline.
So, why not put yourself one step ahead of your peers and build on your IT skills, so that you have something extra offer at that next staffing reshuffle?
What you need to ask yourself is, though, are you interested in knowing more about hardware (i.e. the physical parts of computers and other devices) or are you keen to learn more about software and digital information? Where your interests lie could be a determining factor in the type of IT course you should be pursuing post-school or college.
Being a Microsoft certified engineer may open up many professional doors while gaining a graduate certificate in telecommunications may also be an advantage for your career.
Other areas of IT you may wish to study and specialise in are information assurance, cybersecurity, Cisco network devices, certification programs, CCNA security, automation, java programming, system administration, systems analysis, cloud computing, and hardware deployment. You may even like to become a certified ethical hacker, helping to make the life of an unlawful hacker much harder!
Regardless of what it is that you specifically want to study in IT, these skills will be hugely helpful for you in no matter which position you end up. And for the next job application, evidence of self-development and commitment to personal learning will set you apart from the rest of the candidates too.
IT Offers Many Transferable Skills
With any type of computer or technology course, you are going to acquire some great practical skills, which will not only be applicable in your chosen workplace but also beyond the four walls of your office (like solving technical issues in your home, for example). Learning about things like programming or coding can help to enhance your numeracy skills and your problem-solving skills and will impress all of those around you, not just potential employers! So why not look for coding courses right here on Superprof?
Let's face it, in this technology-driven world, it is almost a necessity to understand IT!
Do remember, though, that some courses may require a certain level of prior learning before you can be accepted as a student.
Different Types Of IT Course To Consider
As we've touched upon already, there are many different areas of Information Technology that you can focus on. For instance, did you know that IT, ICT and Computer Science are all different?
Confusion occurs because all three of the subjects overlap and share significant similarities, but try to remember that ICT is more about how we use technology whilst IT and computer science are often about computer theory and how computers and programs work in the background.
Are you following the pace? Don't worry, as we have provided a brief introduction below to the different types of courses you might be interested in applying for.
But before we do, do you know what kinds of careers you can look forward to with a wealth of IT training? Opportunities include becoming a:
-Cisco Certified Network Associate
-Microsoft Office Specialist
-Computer Support Specialist
-Project Management Professional
Computer programming courses are designed to help people develop a good understanding of computer networks, operating systems, challenging algorithms, database systems and web design. A couple of the programming languages that you will be taught about during a course like this are HTML and CSS.
Some of the most common topics to be featured on standard computer programming courses are:
Hardware and software
It's quite a specialised course yet there's absolutely no harm in upskilling yourself and furthering your knowledge for your own personal benefit and interests.
Computer coding is the process of writing computer language, like those mentioned above. This language creates the infrastructure of software, applications, and websites so can be likened to the bricks and mortar that build a physical structure.
Many people teach themselves to code through trial and error (if you ever had a MySpace account, you may even have dabbled with coding yourself to personalise your profile) but the quickest way to learn the skill is through a course.
Learning to code is like becoming fluent in a new language so takes some time.
The main coding languages include:
Website Design Courses
Web design requires a vast range of skills (graphic design, authoring, interface design, user experience knowledge, SEO) and is focused around the production and maintenance of websites.
Website designers use a variety of different tools and software depending on what part of the process they are involved in.
As most businesses and brands have a website, this is a great skill to have under your belt. Not only can help maintain existing websites either on your own or alongside a team, you can also help companies with rebranding and create sites for new starters.
Computer Repair Courses
A PC Maintenance qualification is probably high up on your desirable list if you are looking to enter the ICT industry as a technician or engineer.
Such a course provides a general grounding in basic hardware maintenance and software installation so that you can work on hardware in offices or for clients at home. You will also develop invaluable troubleshooting knowledge and skills.
This isn't just an ideal qualification for school leavers looking for a step into the ICT industry or adult learners looking for a change in career, it is also great for individuals who simply wish to get better at carrying out home maintenance on their computer.
During the course, you'll learn about:
Dismantling, assembling, installing and maintaining a desktop computing system
Computer Science Course
Computer Science, as we've discussed, is about understanding computer systems and networks at a deep level.
A Computer Science course will help the pupil to tell a system what they want it to do, to mathematically prove that a computer system does what they want it to do, think about how computers can act as models to investigate other complex systems and consider the limits of computing.
While it may sound like a lot of theories, well-respected instructors can explain just how all of the above questions and theories can be applied to the design new computers, programs, networks and systems that are transforming our world.
Where To Find Computing Courses In...
Since there are so many courses to be found in this subject, we have picked out a couple of remarkable courses or workshops from each of the following regions to give you an idea of what you could find in your area.
Many of the courses on offer are similar - or at least fall into the same categories - across the country. These are generally university courses, professional training, further education classes, and adult education courses - and you'll find them in pretty much all of the cities listed below.
Here's a little taste of what you can expect from each city - but follow the links under each of the cities to find a whole lot more information on what each place has to offer. Have fun, and we hope you find a course that you love!
London IT Training, East London
Java OCP is an accreditation offered by the above college which can open up many opportunities such as becoming a Java Developer and/or a Java-based web/business designer. The qualification will result in you formally being perceived as an Oracle Certified Java Programmer.
This particular course last 60 hours in total, held from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on a Tuesday and Thursday across the space of 10 weeks. Alternatively, if you cannot commit to evening classes due to your shift pattern or for childcare reasons, you may be interested in weekend classes, which run from 10.00am to 5.00pm each Saturday for 10 weeks.
The Manchester College, Northenden Campus
The Manchester College's Diploma in Computer Science with Mobile Applications Development is a real eye-opener for those interested in the computing of handheld devices. The course explains mobile platforms and works towards developing applications for them, a fast-growing area in technology.
As well as keeping up with the latest technologies and trends and developing your skills with PHP, HTML 5, CSS 3 and databases like MySQL, you’ll also be given the chance to develop your very own apps for both Android and iPhone devices.
Find more IT courses in Manchester.
Leeds City College, Printworks Campus
This course, the Basics of Setting up a Computer and Installing Security, teaches you how to install security features to protect computers and other devices from hacking and how to improve the system's performance. You will learn how to set up an IT system, Optimise IT System Performance, and learn about IT Security for Users
All of these areas will help you to develop the skills necessary for a variety of computing sectors.
The course lasts 10 weeks and is offered on a part-time basis starting in September 2018.
University of Birmingham
For a more extensive learning experience, why not consider enrolling for a Computer Science BSC at the University of Birmingham?
This undergraduate course is all about computational systems and, during your 3 years there, you 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.
Find out more by consulting your careers advisor or by visiting the university's website.
Find IT classes in Birmingham.
For a short web design course, look no further than the above training company which offers a web design training courses for groups.
During the sessions, you will explore HTML5, CSS3, HTML & CSS from web designers and also create projects for your portfolio.
The course is designed to help delegates understand the basic and advanced concepts of Web Design, allowing some one-to-one time with a tutor according to your learning needs.
The courses are offered at times to suit your busy schedule, whether that be in the evening or on weekends. This short Web Design course is hands-on, instructor-led and classroom based.
Find an IT course in Glasgow.
As the capital of Scotland, there are an awful lot of different opportunities in Edinburgh for you to choose from in the field of IT and computer education. From university education to professional training, from college courses to free workshops in digital literacy, there is something to suit literally everyone.
Let's take a couple of examples.
Firstly, there is CodeClan, a Scottish IT training service that operates between Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness. They've won awards for the quality of their classes and they have a range of courses - in UX web design, in data analysis, and in software programming - that are usually in pretty high demand. Over the years, they've grown and grown and grown, and they promise a pretty comprehensive education to all their students.
Then, for those who want something a little more basic, there's the Edinburgh library service's drop-in classes in the fundamentals of computer use and internet navigation. Running in many of the libraries across the city, you can have one-to-one support in everything that you hoped to get out of your computer.
Find out more about IT courses in Edinburgh!
In Belfast, the number of tech professionals is steadily growing and the size of their monthly cash package is growing pretty steadily too. With its claim to be the best city in the UK in which to work in tech, Belfast is, quite obviously, a great place to study computing and IT too. As Northern Ireland's educational hub, you'll find everything you need there to get yourself into the exciting world of tech.
One of the best places to study computing in Belfast is Belfast Met, one of the UK's largest further education institutions. With their forty thousand students, they can accommodate for all of your technological needs - from CompTIA to Cisco, from games development to cyber security. If you want a proper, professional education in IT, one of these courses from Belfast Met will give it to you.
For those who have finished one of those courses - or have just come out of school - the next step may well be a degree in computing at either Queens or Ulster University. Both offer rigorous training in computing over a course of four years, and both offer a year in industry. These are the best qualifications you'll get in computing in the whole of Northern Ireland.
Remember, there are always private tutors to help you out too! But, for more information, check out our article on IT courses in Belfast.
As one of the cities with the fastest growing technology industries in the UK, Cardiff has a whole load of assets that can prepare you for your journey into computing, IT, and communications technology.
The main types of organisation offering training in Cardiff are the usual culprits - universities, professional training organisations, governmental adult education initiatives, and private tuition. Generally, the training is pretty great across the board - luckily enough for you guys.
As an example, there is the Adult Community Learning Service, a project set-up by the Welsh Government to provide educational opportunities to those people who some often forget might want to continue to learn. They offer computer skills for life and for work - running two parallel courses dealing with each. With them, you'll be learning web design, all sorts of skills with the Microsoft Office suite, social media and more.
Another great organisation offering IT training is CCW - or Career Change Wales. These guys have one of the most comprehensive portfolios of computing courses in the UK, with all the qualifications, certifications, and accreditations you might need - from Ethical Hacker to CompTIA to Cisco.
Read more in our article on IT courses in Cardiff!
Why Online Computer Courses May Be An Option?
If you simply cannot find the right seminar or programme in your region, then your options don't end there. And we don't mean you have to travel for miles to get the tuition you want!
Have you ever considered online tutoring?
Superprof is a tutoring platform that features a range of qualified individuals seeking to pass on their knowledge and expertise to students in a mutually convenient way. Once connected to an educator, you will gain a free session to discuss your aims and aspirations from hiring the tutor and to set out a schedule of lessons.
Lessons can take place face to face in an agreed location, via internet feed or you can arrange for your tutor to send you digital notes to work from. Similarly, you will benefit from homework tasks, revision sessions and more to offer you a solid foundation on which to keep building on.
You may decide to hire a tutor to simply advance your knowledge or you may decide to go down this path alongside a qualification that you are working towards. Either way, an online tutor can offer you the tailored support that you need to find success in this field.
While you may know people who have taught themselves how to code or used the hands-on experience to further their knowledge, learning from an IT professional via instructor-led training is a sure fire way to familiarise yourself with your chosen subject matter rapidly.
The Different Ways to Learn IT.
So, as you have seen, earning IT certification can come in many different forms, with different organisations and types of institutions offering different qualifications. When you are considering which course to take, it's really important that you pay attention to which qualification, which certification or accreditation it is with which you will be rewarded.
To summarise, here are some of the different qualifications that you will have to navigate:
- Undergraduate bachelor degree. These, including the Bachelor of Business, the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, and the Information Technology Degree, are all types of degree-level qualification that you can gain in computing and IT. Degrees require three years of study (at a minimum) and, in computing, often come with a year in industry.
- Postgraduate Master's or Doctoral course. In IT, the Master that you will receive is most likely to be the Master of Science, whilst you will receive a PhD if you do the doctoral training. Masters are a year minimum, whilst doctoral training usually takes a further three years. Once you have done this, however, you will be a total specialist in your field.
- Online degree programmes. If you take an online degree with an institution like the Open University, your qualification will be of exactly the same value as a degree taken at a conventional higher education institution. However, in this context, you will have the benefit of being able to do it flexibly, remotely, and at a schedule that suits you.
- Certificate program or certification course. There are a huge amount of certifications that are industry-led, specific, and professional - and they differ between the sort of training that you have taken. For instance, you can take CCNP certification or PMP certification. Whilst these are of the same value, the uses that you can make of them. With a CCNP certificate, for example, you may not necessarily be able to be a Microsoft Office specialist, for example.
- Diploma courses. In the world of education, diploma courses are usually considered to be one step down from degrees. They are often vocational, they are seen to enhance your career, and they help to get you into university if you want to return to study later in life. The HND is a diploma that many further education institutions offer - including colleges - along with advanced diplomas and all sorts of other varieties of qualifications.
- Apprenticeships. Whilst a qualification at the end is not guaranteed, an apprenticeship in the tech industry can be a brilliant way of getting yourself into an IT career. Working as an apprentice, you'll get a hands on education in everything you will need to excel in that particular industry. Make sure, however, that you are paid for it - because many placements are used as opportunities to take advantage of unpaid labour.