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themattgreen

Open university: is there any point?

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themattgreen    132
As always, I''m not sure if I''m posting in the right place. I''m thinking of doing an open university degree (or at least, attempting one). I''ve considered going to a real world university, I have the requirements to get into the courses I want to do, but I''m to attached to the money I earn from my job. Anyway, my question is: do employers respect the OU qualifications or will they laugh in my face when I attempt to obtain a job in software development? I was considering doing one of these three: B13 BSc (Honours) Information Technology and Computing B14 BA/BSc (Honours) Computing and Mathematical Sciences (I especially like this one as it covers more than just computing, but it might be the worst one) B29 BSc (Honours) Computing and then possibly (if my brain hasn''t fallen out by that time) this one: D69 Postgraduate Diploma in Software Development or if I feel up to it, this one: F26 Master of Science in Software Development. Does this seem worth doing or will it be a complete waste of time?

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stevie56    145
A 'real world' university (especially a Maggie Thatcher's ex-polytechnic one) might not maintain anywhere near the standard that is rightly demanded by the OU.

It has been around long enough to have gained an extremely high reputation and their qualifications stand up to international scrutiny.

Being in employment and doing a degree will place a lot of strain on your time and, unless you are self-employed, you may be advised to inform your employer of your intentions, so he will understand you can't do overtime or work late in the evenings.

The OU does have counsellors and advisors if you are uncertain about your next step. Perhaps a call to the OU will set things straight for you?

Good luck in your endeavours.



Stevie

Don't follow me, I'm lost.

[edited by - Stevie56 on August 11, 2003 2:22:26 PM]

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Shannon Barber    1681
Unless you have ivy-league intentions, a degree is a degree is a degree. xsp for undergrad, where 50% of everything is the same for everyone, and 25% more is the same for all technical majors.

I wouldn''t get an engineering degree from a school known for business (nor vice-versa), otherwise how well you do in the program is more important than where you get it from - again barring UCLA, MIT, Waterloo, Oxford, etc...

I''d rather see someone get B''s in honors than A''s in a normal program. Makes you think "If you''re getting all A''s, why aren''t you doing something more difficult?" Makes ''em seem like a slacker.

Over here a degree in Information Technology translates into a server and/or database administrator position - it''s not application development. I''d ask about the BA for B14 - is that a B of Arts as in Mathematics? What''s the deal, why isn''t it a BS? Is there a professional option or something you can add to make it a BS? It sounds like a dual degree, in which case I''d list as two separate entries - BA Mathematics, BS Computing (which I think we call Computer Science).

I''d have to recommend the math option if the BA has a reasonable explanation; I''ve had a number of offers based on my mathematics background - actually all of the job offers I considered the employer specifically mentioned they were interested in my math background. I live near Detroit though, so there’s quite a bit of automotive engineering related software demands – the math background probably isn’t a big selling point for business process and integration software.

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Bagpuss    122
Most people doin g an OU degree are also holding down a day job of some description. This means that to pass an OU degree you have to be serious about doing the work, dedicated and disciplined. Those people I know that have done an OU degree have had nothing but positive feedback from employers.

On the downside, are you sure that IT and software development is the right career choice. Witht he current economic climate, and the trend to ship all processes to cheaper code shops (Even some of the Top 100 FTSE companies now have all software development done in places like India). This has hurt the business I was in so much that I have changed careers. If you still decide it is for you, then good luck !

Bp

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OrangyTang    1298
quote:
Original post by Magmai Kai Holmlor
... BS Computing (which I think we call Computer Science). ...


Nah, Computer Science is still Computer Science here in the UK, ''Computing'' courses tend to be watered down somewhat from what i''ve seen, focusing on much higher level concepts.

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flangazor    516
MKH, it may be worth noting that all degrees from Cambridge are ''of Arts.'' There''s no real difference between BS, BA and BEng in any specific major in the UK, although some people seem to think BS is ''more sciency'' -which is bollocks, IMO. e.g. Programming: it is a craft. You can be scientific about it, but how you approach the science side is also a craft.

I think B14 would be the best bet since most programmers don''t get enough higher* maths in their diet.

* beyond A levels

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