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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 214388 9-May-2017 13:13
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Hi all
I am 27 and currently employed in the automotive industry (qualified mechanic but have done parts, admin work and have management qualifications/experience all in the automotive industry). I have decided that I would like a change and am interested in pursuing a career in IT of some sort. I don't know a huge amount about computers etc but consider myself more knowledgeable than the average Joe. I am currently teaching myself about some forms of coding (starting playing with html originally but am now teaching myself python) as I am interested in coding/programming etc.
I am looking at doing some form of qualification and at this point the one that seems to suit my needs would be the open polytechs bachelor of information technology. I can't really stop working and study full time (due to mortgage etc) but would be able to study part time whilst working. I don't think I want to do something more specific like software engineering as I would like a broader knowledge base and then learn specifics from there depending on where I can be employed. I think with my knowledge of the automotive industry I could probably work with dealer management systems or similar.

So my questions would be, has anybody here done the open polytechs course and what did you think?/any other comments on this course?
And also, what other options do people think I would have and what would you recommend I should pursue to get into the IT profession, keeping in mind that I can't really study full time?
I look forward to any replies.
Thanks

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693 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1778454 9-May-2017 13:37
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Not an Open Poly student but the curriculum they offer will be consistent with the equivalent courses offered at all the NZ Polytechs (What was NACCQ in my day, and is now http://www.citrenz.ac.nz/, will have a big say on that consistency.

 

 

In my case I went to Manukau Institute of Technology, entering at the Certificate in Business Computing (CBC) level, which was at that stage one of the entry vectors for the Bachelors course (the others being a good grade out of 7th Form / Year 13, which I didn't get).

 

 

I chose the programme in part because it was modular - you progressed year-on-year and would have 'something' to show for your time even if you didn't opt to progress all the way through and complete the degree course. As it worked out, I did 2 years fulltime and only completed ~18 months worth of material (thanks to also needing to work to support myself, in part) but was able to use part-time study to complete the compulsary prerequisites for CBC and several of the relevant-to-my-career higher level (more advanced) papers from the 2nd year curriculum (Diploma). I was lucky enough to find a job and work my way up on the basis of my to-date study achievements and work experience, and worked my way upward without the degree. But even having completed CBC has helped me tick the 'tertiary qualified' box enough to ensure I could get to where I am now.

 

 

If you find a programme that you can fit around your work, family and financial committments, I say go for it. As a hiring manager I will look for the completion of a relevant tertiary qualification, of which something like what you propose is a perfect fit. The trick will be accepting that you're likely to only be eligible for entry-level roles (with commensurate income) until you've built relevant experience in the workforce. If you do manage to find a role in the Automotive periphery you'll have a good leg-up with your past experience, though.




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1710 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1778679 9-May-2017 19:09
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I did a Diploma in IS & technology from approx 2011-2014.

 

I was very disappointed in the quality, particularly the age, of the study material.  Some modules, eg networking, were woefully out of date with exam questions such as asking how you'd decide between hubs and switches in the design of a campus network.  A lot of the material hadn't been updated since the course was introduced around the turn of the century.  I and another student gave consistent "feedback" about this, with the result that the OP suspended all their Information Systems courses for a while.  If they have now modernised them, then I would cautiously recommend this as a way to study.

 

The other problem I had was the high emphasis on "academic rigour", when what I was after was a refresher and consolidation of what I had studied and picked up through experience.  I already have a MSc, so don't feel the need to prove myself academically, but there was more emphasis on that than learning useful material.  But, that depends on your background and qualifications so far and what your goals are.

 

I had the impression that the staff are very busy, with not much time to spend per student, and this coupled with the observation that few of them have English as their first language meant that the quality of tuition was not what you'd expect from a mainline tertiary provider.


 
 
 
 


693 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1778699 9-May-2017 19:50
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Probably fair to ask if you have the option of part time study at a different Polytech?




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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 1779057 10-May-2017 13:04
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Thank you for your replies, definately gives me more to think about!

I could study from another institute part time, the open polytech course just seemed to be the best course I could find that was broad and didn't specialise in one particular area

6615 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 1779066 10-May-2017 13:19
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shk292:

 

I did a Diploma in IS & technology from approx 2011-2014.

 

I was very disappointed in the quality, particularly the age, of the study material.  Some modules, eg networking, were woefully out of date with exam questions such as asking how you'd decide between hubs and switches in the design of a campus network.  A lot of the material hadn't been updated since the course was introduced around the turn of the century.  I and another student gave consistent "feedback" about this, with the result that the OP suspended all their Information Systems courses for a while.  If they have now modernised them, then I would cautiously recommend this as a way to study.

 

The other problem I had was the high emphasis on "academic rigour", when what I was after was a refresher and consolidation of what I had studied and picked up through experience.  I already have a MSc, so don't feel the need to prove myself academically, but there was more emphasis on that than learning useful material.  But, that depends on your background and qualifications so far and what your goals are.

 

I had the impression that the staff are very busy, with not much time to spend per student, and this coupled with the observation that few of them have English as their first language meant that the quality of tuition was not what you'd expect from a mainline tertiary provider.

 

 

 

 

Similar issue with the tech i went to around the same period. We were being taught on windows vista well after the 7 release and 8 was in beta. During my time at tech W8 came out and we were still playing with Vista and XP.
Woefully out of date as said above, Tuition was average.

 

Half the info the tutor was teaching the class he asked me if i agreed or had any further comments on the subject.. Everything was very text book. Learnt nothing, Got a piece of paper and a student loan.

 


When raising issues with tuition it got interesting, The tutor was just reading the book word for word and he didnt have any fundamental knowledge himself. Raised the case with the management and it went to the tune of F-off blah blah no one else has complained. I explained that I and the other 3 in the room raising the issue were the only tech minded individuals on the course cause everyone else was there on a Winz benefit and didnt want to be there. They sharpened up quickly. 
This was Avonmore on the North shore. Don't send your kids there or yourself. 


6615 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 1779070 10-May-2017 13:23
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Rodon: Thank you for your replies, definately gives me more to think about!

I could study from another institute part time, the open polytech course just seemed to be the best course I could find that was broad and didn't specialise in one particular area

 

 

 

I have a few friends that are consultants etc.
Their advice to me since i have obtained my Level 5 Computing and networking blah blah A+ and N+ is to get Vendor certs. The main one they emphasize is VCP (VM Ware certified Pro) Microsoft certs.
The money is apparently in specializing.

The general IT guy like myself with one broad paper is good for a basic desktop admin job or fixing PC's at PB tech...


2091 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1779074 10-May-2017 13:36
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Do you have an end goal/job you are working towards?

 

You mentioned you were teaching yourself some coding - but not interested in software engineering.

 

Having a broad basic skillset is great, having vendor certs is great, but what are you actually working toward?

 

Are there jobs you have in mind?

 

A programmer?

 

A desktop support person?

 

A network person?

 

A small business IT support person?

 

What attracts you should inform what training you do/require to be considered.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek

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  # 1779077 10-May-2017 13:41
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Tests are often out of date, even vendor ones. The exams for the Amazon Web Services certs haven't been updated in at least two years.

 

Given your limited time to study perhaps you could try to decide what you want to do and get qualifications in that. eg programming, network, sys admin, etc. A broad base is nice, but takes a lot of time. I did a 4 year degree, 20 years ago when I was 18, but I'd been using computers for 10 years and could already program and understood how they worked quite well. From there I decided to go into software development, and it was another year or two of experience before I was really able to do high quality professional work. Six years. My technology degree included all kinds of things though, chemistry, general engineering, etc, it only specialised properly in year 3 or 4.


693 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1779368 10-May-2017 22:27
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wasabi2k:

Do you have an end goal/job you are working towards?

 

You mentioned you were teaching yourself some coding - but not interested in software engineering.

 

Having a broad basic skillset is great, having vendor certs is great, but what are you actually working toward?

 

Are there jobs you have in mind?

 

A programmer?

 

A desktop support person?

 

A network person?

 

A small business IT support person?

 

What attracts you should inform what training you do/require to be considered.

 

 

 

 

This, sorta.

 

Sometimes you need to get exposure to a broad base of things to determine what it is you want to progress with. If you don't already have a feeling for the kind of role you have in mind (systems integration is different from software engineering is different from network engineering is different from support roles is different from analysis roles) then a generic course is good to start with, but be prepared to evolve your path as you go.

 

I for one liked the Polytech model because in the earlier years they expose you to a wide variety of things (so, like, 100-level papers on everything from Business Accounting to Ethics to Programming to Operating Systems to Hardware to Networking) and then as you progress you have to select 'make up's (beyond compulsary papers) at various levels (200-level then 300-level etc etc) where you can select the papers that interest you. The outcome is the same bit of paper but the actual skills you build are different.

 

 

A firm recruiting a Systems Engineer where they run VMWare will be looking for VCP. A firm looking for someone to manage their Microsoft server farm will want people who've done Microsoft courses. RHEL users will want RHCE. Etc etc. But until you know what technology stack you really are interested in, don't go too deeply into the vendor stack, and consider too that a company looking to hire a network engineer with a specialism in Juniper isn't going to favour a CCIE over a JNCIE. Some of the vendor courses are good and generic, others aren't... so having a clear picture of your passion and your desired aspect of IT is key. BIT (or its components) will help you form that view.




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2659 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1779373 10-May-2017 22:38
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I'm currently doing Computer Systems Engineering, but after a semester, I am thinking about transferring to CompSci. I researched more about the courses that CompSci were offering and so far I like what they're offering as I'd like to learn more about data and networking, as well as coding etc. which I can take papers for. I can also do some business courses within that degree such as InfoSys so to get some business analysis knowledge too which I think would be a good combination in today's world. I didn't really like Computer Systems Engineering as it was more embedded systems and working on PCBs etc whereas I like to do more of what CompSci offers.







3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 1780153 12-May-2017 13:23
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wasabi2k:

Do you have an end goal/job you are working towards?


You mentioned you were teaching yourself some coding - but not interested in software engineering.


Having a broad basic skillset is great, having vendor certs is great, but what are you actually working toward?


Are there jobs you have in mind?


A programmer?


A desktop support person?


A network person?


A small business IT support person?


What attracts you should inform what training you do/require to be considered.


 



To be honest I'm not sure exactly what my end goal is and I guess like others have said, by doing more general study that will expose me to a few different things so I can see what I like and go from there. I guess I am interested in software engineering in general but at this stage I don't think I'd do a software engineering degree as it is very specific and I don't know if I would want to do just that or do the general course to get a bite of everything.
I guess I probably need to put more time into researching different areas and things that I can do and see what interests me. Networking is something that is definitely of interest to me but I don't feel that I know an awful lot about it at this stage.

Thank you everyone for your replies so far. I'll be doing more researching and reading about some of the topics/ideas you have all talked about so it is great food for thought.

59 posts

Master Geek


  # 1790415 27-May-2017 23:22
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I am currently doing the Bachelor of Information Technology myself at open poly and I am a year and a half into it and I have to say it has been great they give you all the support you need, but I am doing it distance learning and I would have to say for myself it would probably work out better if I was in class doing it.

 

 

I have tho found out recently from my wife looking around that you would be stupid now to do a course for this learn of work any where in new zealand, everything in the Bachelor can be found free online from with almost the same structure as the course I am currently doing.

 

 

But in saying that to make it easier on yourself to get a bachelor go around from what the bachelor involves you to learn study it free to them pay for it to make sure you have a good ground and also how good are you at maths, I suck at maths myself and having a really hard time with it

5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 1791499 30-May-2017 08:25
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WinNZ90: ... I have tho found out recently from my wife looking around that you would be stupid now to do a course for this learn of work any where in new zealand, everything in the Bachelor can be found free online from with almost the same structure as the course I am currently doing. But in saying that to make it easier on yourself to get a bachelor go around from what the bachelor involves you to learn study it free to them pay for it to make sure you have a good ground and also how good are you at maths, I suck at maths myself and having a really hard time with it

 

I wonder what your job prospects would be like if you applied for an IT job and did not have any qualifications at all?  

 

Even though you might be able to learn a lot of the content free online, I wonder what an employer reading through dozen's of CV's will think if your CV said "Completed 3 years of free online courses in Computer Science".  

 

I also wonder how proficient your IT technical skills would be doing free courses versus doing a degree course?  

 

Just wondering? 


2659 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1791606 30-May-2017 11:01
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Colossian:

 

WinNZ90: ... I have tho found out recently from my wife looking around that you would be stupid now to do a course for this learn of work any where in new zealand, everything in the Bachelor can be found free online from with almost the same structure as the course I am currently doing. But in saying that to make it easier on yourself to get a bachelor go around from what the bachelor involves you to learn study it free to them pay for it to make sure you have a good ground and also how good are you at maths, I suck at maths myself and having a really hard time with it

 

I wonder what your job prospects would be like if you applied for an IT job and did not have any qualifications at all?  

 

Even though you might be able to learn a lot of the content free online, I wonder what an employer reading through dozen's of CV's will think if your CV said "Completed 3 years of free online courses in Computer Science".  

 

I also wonder how proficient your IT technical skills would be doing free courses versus doing a degree course?  

 

Just wondering? 

 

 

It would probably say to the employer that you are a self-directed learner! :P

 

But yes, at the end of the day, you are paying for uni just to get a piece of paper at the end of your degree with your name on it. Not just any regular piece of paper but one which gets you in the front door of an employer potentially.





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Wannabe Geek


  # 1806284 25-Jun-2017 01:01
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lol, i got degree from that school, but now i don't use any skill i have learned from there, because it wasn't something you can use for your job, i had about 12 class mate, only 4 of them now working for a IT company..... good luck with school.


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