I’m 33, so I’m an adult learner. Before coming to college, I spent seven years in logistics and worked as a warehouse manager. I started off as a driver and then worked my way into the office and up the management structure. I soon realised it wasn’t the job I wanted to do so I started looking at my options and decided to go back to college and study IT, which has always been my passion.
I’ve been interested in computing ever since I was a kid, I used to build my own computers. I’ve got an affinity with technology. You could sit me in front of a computer with a problem and I’d sit there studying that problem until it’s fixed, I enjoy troubleshooting it and won’t be happy until its solved.
I didn’t do very well at school. I left in year 10 without any GCSEs so I didn’t go to college and ended up going to work instead. When I came to Reading College for their open day, I explained my story to the tutor and with my experience they agreed to accept me on the course despite my lack of GCSEs. Since I’ve been here, I’ve achieved distinctions in everything which has felt amazing. I’ve also had the opportunity to do two GCSEs, in maths and English, alongside my course.
The teachers are supportive. If you go to them with a problem, they’ll help you but they also encourage you to work off your own initiative. It’s not like school, you don’t get your hand held and that teaches you more responsibility but if you have a problem or a question, the help is there if you need it.
From my point of view as a mature student, it’s been great to get on with the other people on the course despite the age difference. Everyone is very friendly, we get the work done and have fun too.
My understanding of IT as a sector has grown exponentially since I started. The first year of the course has been heavily theory based which builds a foundation for what’s to come. It’s a great introduction to the sector and we’ve covered topics that are relevant to today. I’m looking forward to next year as we’re going to start getting into more of the practical side of things.
My intention next year is to go to university to study computer science. After that, I’d like to get into software development. In five years’ time I hope to have achieved my Level 3 Computing at distinction and completed a degree. Bearing in mind I left school 15 years ago, that’s quite an achievement.
Courses like this are important for getting into the industry, they’re a good steppingstone, in my case, for going to university. They also give you that foundation in the subject area to go away and find your niche. Choosing to come back to college and study computing has been a great decision, one I don’t regret. Without sounding corny, it has to come from the heart, if you’re passionate about computing then this course is a definite step forward in getting a good career.