I might be 31 years old but as they say “You are never to old to further your education” and that is exactly what I have decided to do. I had a couple of ideas as to what I wanted to do but I didn’t know how I was going to do it. My first plan was to go down the legal route and do either a law degree or something similar but after some serious thinking and research I decided to further my IT education. I have jumped into doing a degree in Information and Communication Technology, but rather than go to university I discovered that I could achieve the same goal from home.
There were many factors I had to consider before I decided on an Open University degree, the biggest being the financial strain full time education would have on my family. The OU offer a really flexible approach to learning and allow you to set your own study times. This way I control the pace on which I learn making juggling work, life and study much easier.
The first part of the course is the M150 course which is called Data, computing and information. The course explains how the many different tasks accomplished with the aid of modern computers are performed through the use of a relatively small number of physical and logical mechanisms, and how these mechanisms are embedded into the computer hardware and software that surround us.
This all sounds very intense but from what I have read in the text books and course material supplied it is fairly sedate. The first unit appears to have very little to do with computers but as you get further into the text it all starts to make sense. An example of this is how they start to explain the difference between data and information. They say if someone was to walk up to you in the street and say “50p” you would be quite confused, however if this “data” is linked with the information “a pint of milk costs” it all makes sense. The M150 course also teaches you how to write simple programs and the legal, political and ethical issues surrounding the use of computers.
The course will take around 9 months to complete with 12-16 hours of studying per week and will give me 30 of the required 240 credits to gain my degree. Of course there will be more courses that I need to study in order to acheive my goal and they are:
- Information and communication technologies at work (T121) 30 points
- Networked living: exploring information and communication technologies (T175) 30 points
- Accreditation of certified practitioners 1 (MT127) 30 points
- Accreditation of certified practitioners 2 (MT227) 30 points
- Information and communication technologies: people and interactions (T209) 60 points
- ICTs’ Change and projects at work (T226) 30 points
These courses should take between 3-5 years to complete depending on how many I do at a time and how much work I put into them, I am aiming to get it done in 3 years or less. All this is costing about £2700 which is considerably less than doing 3 years in university and I get the exact same qualification at the end of it.
I will be adding to this section as I progress through the course.
Links to various sites mentioned in this blog.
 Open University M150 course description