City College Norwich is delighted with a successful first year for its revamped Information Technology and Computing course, saying that the input of employers has been crucial in preparing its students for a wide range of tech job opportunities.
Computing returned to the college’s course offering last September, following an overhaul which saw employers consulted on the skills they wanted to see in college leavers and the key technical areas they said were most important to include.
That input from 20 employers has directly shaped what students learn on the 1-year Level 3 course, ensuring that web development and mobile app development both featured as units on the course.
Employer involvement has extended beyond the set-up of the course to include industry experts giving workshops on key topics, employer-led careers talks, and employers coming in to the college to judge computing challenges.
This engagement has helped students to better understand how IT projects are carried out in real business environments, as well as putting the students in direct contact with potential future employers.
The level of challenge on the course has been high, but its first cohort of students are on track to successfully pass the BTEC qualification. Crucially, all are now set to enter the labour market – directly into jobs or apprenticeships – or to complete an optional second year of study to further their computing knowledge.
Computing student David Peck feels that the course has helped him become clearer about which area of IT he wants to work in, saying:
“I knew I was interested in tech and computing, but I wasn’t sure what specific area. This course has shown me that web development is what I am interested in. I have applied for a fair amount of jobs because of this course.”
He continued, “I definitely think the course is relevant. We’ve had contact with Aviva, who specifically contacted us because of the course that we are doing. So a few of us have had interviews there for apprenticeships that they are running.”
Fellow student, Daniel Hayes, 20, added:
“A big part of it is definitely relevant to getting a job in IT. They’ve taught us real world things, how projects go, how everything works within say web development or building an app. They’ve taught us the steps in doing it, like how they would do it in a job. So it’s made it very relevant, showing us the skills and what you need to do in a job.”
Information Technology Lecturer Laura Flood, commented:
“The support we have had from employers to help us get the content for the course right has been fantastic. Having employers and IT professionals coming in to contribute to sessions has added to the links to the world of work. We are now looking to build on this success and we would love to hear from other local employers and tech professionals who would be interested in getting involved with the course next year.”
To find out more about linking up with the Information Technology and Computing course at City College Norwich, contact Laura.Flood@ccn.ac.uk.