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Arguably a global capital in finance, London has long-since been earning its reputation as an emerging leader in the digital sphere and a centre for digital innovation and excellence.
Home to more than a third of Europe’s tech unicorns (that is, billion-dollar tech businesses), the UK’s capital is no stranger to the start-up work culture either. In fact, London’s startups are viewed by many as being on the frontline of a new movement in the tech industry and creative coworking spaces are on the rise. Plexal at Here East (formerly part of the 2012 Olympic Games Park) has been transformed into a hub for creatives in the tech industry, and coworking spaces can now be found across the city – from Croydon’s Tech City to Brick Lane’s Second Home.
With over 300,000 tech jobs in London, over 7,500 start-ups and some of the world’s major tech companies set to create even more digital jobs in the UK, there’s no time like the present to brush up on your computer skills in London.
There’s no denying that we’re living in a digital age: even the most reluctant adopters are coming around to the benefits of technology in our professional and personal lives. Across the capital employers are seeking a computer-literate and tech-savvy individual to join their teams, no matter the sector.
For certain roles, a degree in computer sciences (or a related subject) is essential to finding a post:
It’s not only the inhabitants of Plexal, the Biscuit Factory or Second Home who are seeking digitally minded employees. If you’re a budding digital copywriter, IT trainer, nanotechnologist, network engineer, social media manager, sound designer, supply chain manager, technical author or web content manager, you could really benefit from learning a thing or two about computers.
In fact, even if your role doesn’t revolve around computers, an understanding of how they work will still help you to stand out from the crowd. Tech-smart individuals tend to display the kind of transferable skills that employers just can’t get enough of: a methodical, meticulous and creative approach to problem-solving or the ability to break mammoth tasks into palatable chunks, analysing potential outcomes before taking any action. Studying computing also equips individuals with strong commercial awareness and you’ll find that you become more adaptable – especially when it comes to new technologies.
Not to mention, studying computing is fun! Exploring the world of computers involves combining your creativity with your technical know-how; you make something out of nothing and that can be incredibly rewarding, like one big puzzle. It’s also much more sociable than you’d expect, although not always in the conventional way… We’re always exploring new possibilities for what we can do with computers, often breakthroughs are made collaboratively with individuals the world over making contributions to the development of a concept.
Most of us have busy schedules that make the idea of taking up new studies feel daunting, but learning computer skills doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Thanks to technology there’s a tonne of opensource learning resources available online for you to take advantage of without paying a penny. Whether you want to learn more about coding, SEO, data analysis or a specific computer programme, there are sure to be some resources out there to point you in the right direction.
If you have a busy schedule, learning computing skills online from the comfort of your home might feel like the best option. Thanks to a national growing hunger for knowledge about computers, there are loads of resources for you to learn from whether you prefer to watch instructional videos or to complete a series of structured lessons. Websites like W3schools make an excellent basis for your research (think of it as an encyclopaedia of coding), but structured courses from organisations and institutions such as FutureLearn and MIT Open CourseWare might be more suitable if you’re looking for a sustainable progression path.
Free online courses are a great starting point, but you’re limited by subjects and more niche areas or in-depth expertise is not always available. Pay-for courses (like those on CodeAcademy) are a great alternative. Fairly inexpensive, they give you more scope to choose your area of study and enable independent learning.
Studying computing online is ideal if you want to work at your own pace, at a time and regularity that suits you and from the comfort of your own home. However, there are limited opportunities for feedback in this learning style, you must be careful of checking your sources for information and you’ll need to find out the answers to any question by yourself. If you enjoy independent learning, online courses might well be for you. If not, why not try learning computing skills with a teacher or tutor?
If you don’t know your mouse from your keyboard, let alone your html from you CSS, studying computing in a group class will give you the support you need to develop your skills. If you’re already at an advanced level in computing and want to explore new areas with your peers, a group computing class will provide you with the stimulus and social environment that you need! Either way there are many options for learning computing skills in London.
Westminster Adult Education Service offers Computing and ICT courses for beginners, teaching computer users the fundamentals such as how to use a mouse and keyboard, Microsoft Word, etc. – before moving onto spreadsheets, surfing the web and sending emails. These courses are aimed at complete newcomers to the computer world and are available in many Adult Learning institutions across London.
If you want to take your computer skills further, City University of London offers range of 10-week courses in Computer Science and Design to help you work towards your digital career goals, including:
These courses are designed to be practical and commercially relevant, ideal if you want to go into the tech industry. Sessions are tutor-led and you’ll have opportunities for guided practice and detailed constructive feedback throughout the course. Similar courses are available across London in institutions such as CityLit, UAL and West London College.
If you’re looking for completely personalised education in computer studies that fits into your schedule, why not consider studying computing with a private tutor?
Private tuition is one of the most efficient and effective methods of learning, offering a level of personalisation to your studies that you just can’t get from group sessions or online resources.
Your tutor will work with you on a one-to-one basis, which means that the lessons can move at your pace and according to your learning goals. If you’re struggling with the concept of a FlexBox in CSS, your tutor can take the time to help you understand it and even set you targeted practice exercises to hone your skills. If your goal is to build a website for your business, your computing tutor could help you with the process. You’re in control of what you learn, and what could be more empowering than that?
Life in the capital is busy! Private tuition can fit into your schedule so that learning a new skill doesn’t feel like a chore. Learn to code from the comfort of your home or in your tutor’s workplace for a change of scenery. If you don’t have time to meet your tutor in person, you could conduct lessons online instead. However you want to learn computing, private tuition can fit into that vision.
Finally, in individual tuition sessions your tutor has time to track your learning, discuss your progress with you and give you constructive feedback for improvement. This can be incredibly motivating, making your studies more sustainable, enjoyable and productive.
If you are keen to learn computing, you’re probably already aware of how incredible a resource the internet is. That said, it can be a bit of a maze too! Tap ‘computing tutor in London’ into a search engine and you’ll end up with myriad results but few clues to which ones are credible!
This is where Superprof comes in. We have a pool of over 150 computing tutors operating in London with all kinds of professional backgrounds – from postgraduate students to tech-industry veterans. Our tutors set their rates based on their experience, the ability taught, subject demand and location, so there are prices to suit every budget.
Browse our tutors’ profiles, read through their methodologies, experience and qualifications or compare their recommendations from other learners, then drop them a message to organise your first session: most of our tutors offer a free taster lesson to help you get the feel for their teaching style.
Could you take the internet by storm with your new website concept or design an app that becomes essential to everyone’s phones? There’s only one way to find out!