Now that ICT in schools has evolved into core computer science, as a result of government policy changes and a new national curriculum, many pupils are confused about the options when faced with choosing a degree in computing. The result has led to many students being put off ICT as a degree subject.

Evolving a computing-related subject in schools is of course positive, but in the real world companies continue to run their ICT services to aid business performance and productivity. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is therefore an essential survival ingredient for businesses and our evolving societies, and employers are no less thirsty for ICT graduates.

“Having researched the modules on the course beforehand, I felt that studying ICT would provide me with a rounded skillset and skill level in IT. I was doing something I already enjoyed and that matched up to the course I did at college, but at a more advanced level. I enjoyed the practical element of the course, as I tend to learn better from actually doing rather than just theory.

 The University overall feels like they care about their students, and clearly a lot is being invested into our futures with new campuses and equipment. My time at the University has been pretty seamless and straightforward with little or no issues that I can remember.

 I now have a graduate job working for Tesco head office in the role of ‘Technology Leadership Graduate’ – this involves working in their IT department on various projects, managing projects, creating smart phone apps, and administering and improving the websites. It also includes a three-month placement working in a support role in Bangalore, India. “

 Tumpe Moyo. BSc (Hons) Information and Communication Technology 2014

ICT at degree level is a wide-ranging course not to be confused with soft-skill based ICT found in secondary education. Undergraduate ICT fits squarely into the Computer Science and Computer Engineering disciplines, offering students access to multi-arena technical skills whilst ensuring they are employable at the end of their degree. ICT incorporates a wide range of disciplines including electronics, enterprise systems, infrastructure management, application development and network engineering, to name just a few.

Over the past decade the BSc (Hons) Information and Communications Technology course at Birmingham City University has focused on developing graduates who possess computer science and engineering skills for multi-faceted industries. We have worked hard at engaging industry, encouraging innovation and have involved employers in the development of course content to ensure the degree focuses on the needs of industry.

BCU, Birmingham City University

Students have the opportunity to learn current programming languages and the mathematical skills needed to underpin those activities. In labs, individuals are trained in how to use technologies that are in the workplace today, allowing them to gain globally recognised professional certifications.

At the heart of our ICT degree is accreditation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – which allows students to meet the educational requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer – and recognition of our status as a leading academy for industry behemoths like Cisco and Microsoft. These features ensure that the technical skills being taught to students are current and industry-relevant, maximising our students’ employability in a hugely competitive graduate pool. Students who have studied ICT at BCU have gone on to work at market leading companies including IBM and 3M. Practical skills are developed throughout the student journey, through labs and collaborative activities, ensuring students have the ability to put their newly acquired technical capabilities into practice. Combining this with the teaching of business and entrepreneurial skills also further enhances the ICT experience here.

So, while the new computing curricula in schools are very much welcomed by universities, it is important to recognise the vital and continued importance of ICT as a degree in the real world of industry and business.

Want to find out more about studying ICT here at Birmingham City University? 3rd year ICT student Imaan is here to answer any questions you may have. Just use or search the hashtag #BCUstudents on Facebook and Twitter and ask away!

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