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Acceptance of distance learning | Reply
Hello everyone!

Does anyone of you have experience with grades obtained by distance learning? Is it well accepted in companies or not so well?

I have the problem that it's extremely hard to get an acceptable job without a bachelor or comparable, so I'm thinking about making a bachelor on the UK Open University but still have some concerns about the acceptance of these universities.

It takes 3-6 years and isn't really cheap, so I don't want to put so much effort into something where I'm not sure if it's usefull in my carreer.

Acceptance by students is extremly high as I've read in official statistics, but there was nothing about employers.

Best,
Alex
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
I don't know if an OU degree is as "good", but the fact you've put in a lot of effort and time around things like work/family shows very high motivation. That should definitely be of interest to employers.
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Well, that's true. The next courses starts in September and I think I'll give it a try :)
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
I don't know your situation, but many companies will allow employees to study one day a week at a 'real' university - and even sponsor them in some cases.
Assuming you are working, is it as a programmer or similar - maybe you're wanting to break into software by doing a degree?
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
At the moment I'm working as a programmer. I'm working in the mobile games sector and have the feeling being trapped there. Finding a job in a more "serious" sector without a degree seems to be harder than expected ;)
Even if I'm able to change the sector, I will have the same problem the next time I'm trying to change the job.

I started reading through BSc Information Technology and Computing degree, it seems to fit to my interests and skills quite good. Maybe I'll exchange the Level 1 courses with other Level 2 courses (if possible), because they sound a bit like "Computer for beginners" ;)
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
I can see why that might be tough. Can I ask how long you've been working as a programmer and what language(s) you develop in. Also do you have skills with PL/SQL or TSQL, and things like web programming?

I think the hard part is getting your CV read when it doesn't have "degree" on it. I'd recommend getting a great CV and a great covering letter, which shows that you are smart, productive, passionate about programming, and self motivated. I'd definitely mention TC contests and any other stuff you do outside work. I would even acknowledge my lack of degree but use that to talk about your self-motivation and thoughts of doing a degree around work.

But keep looking for jobs, don't give up and get a degree instead - plan to get the degree but keep searching in the meanwhile.
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
Of course I'm not giving up ;)
That's why I want to make a distance learning course, so I can do that in parallel to my work.

I'm working for 4 years as a programmer now (started with 17). I'm mainly developing in C++ and Java. No real web or database programming experience but I don't see a problem learning such things.
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
If you've 4 years commercial C++ & Java experience you should be beyond the point where employers look at the degree so much. They only do that to get an indication that you might be capable - but 4 years experience is much more important.

Are you applying for lots of stuff, and what kind of level? Do you have a ratio of jobs applied for : interviews given? Are you going through a recruitment firm or direct to companies?
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by d000hg) | Reply
I just started looking for a new job, so it's not so much atm ;)
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
I'm not sure what you mean by 'serious' sector' but within the city of London (and I am guessing all other financial centres) Mathematics degrees (or degrees in a mathmatical discipline such as Physics or Engineering) are amongst the most coveted by employers.

Assuming you meet the course requirements I would consider one of these disciplines. You will almost certainly get an opportunity to do plenty of programming during your studies.

In the UK at least many IT graduates struggle find decent jobs.
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by Stroker_Ace) | Reply
I don't think a pure mathematics degree is something for me, but I could think about taking one or two mathematic courses and do a mixed/open degree.
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
Out of curiosity, what are you thinking of studying? Do you have a particular degree in mind, or are you going to choose whatever courses interest you for an "open" degree (one of the great strengths of the OU)?
Re: Acceptance of distance learning (response to post by AlexB) | Reply
I have no personal experience of using an Open University degree in a CV, but my general feeling from looking at the Open University forums, I would say the majority of students have positive experiences. Many employers seem to appreciate the extra commitment required to complete a distance degree, particularly since most people are doing it at the same time as working/bringing up children/etc, as well as valuing the quality of the degree.

There are still employers out there that do not seem to think an OU degree is worth as much as a brick university degree though :-(

Things to bear in mind if you would be studying in Germany: tutorial support tends to be more limited (fewer students, longer distances compared to UK students) as well as the cost due to funding differences.
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