From education to employment

Friends Re-unite and Praise IT Courses

Two friends and former students of Brecon Beacons College recently re-united in their old classroom and gave its IT courses the thumbs up!

Jamie Smith (left) and Luc Zimmer (right) studied BTEC Extended Diploma in IT from 2017 to 2019 and have since moved on to apprenticeships in their chosen careers. The two friends came back to college for a visit to their tutor, Helen Griffiths, and wanted their stories to be told about what they learned from the course.

Jamie decided against doing A Levels after his GCSEs and finished a Level 2 diploma in IT at another College. When he moved into the area, the BTEC Level 3 was available for him to continue his learning. He achieved an overall merit and a place on an apprenticeship with an e-commerce company. Now he works as a Customer Service Team Leader for the same company he had the apprenticeship with.

Jamie wanted to emphasise that “studying IT doesn’t mean you have to go into an IT career. Learning skills in Microsoft Office Excel, for example, means I can get on with my work a lot faster.”

Jamie also said: “One of the best things about the course is you learn different aspects of computing. We had lessons on web design, gaming and cybersecurity. I’ve helped with web design in work since then.”

“I remember enjoying a lot of the work, like me and Luc doing a presentation about cybersecurity and Fortnite, and going on trips to universities for workshops. Our classes were also small, which meant we had more time with the tutor and could focus easily.”

Luc, meanwhile, found the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma through Careers Wales. He’d wanted to move on to something different to his work in hospitality and enrolled after a successful interview Since passing the BTEC, Luc has moved on to a Technical Support apprenticeship in Cardiff.

On his visit, he said “I could have settled for the easy option of staying in my job in hospitality, but I decided to push myself and do something different. I now use something that I learned on the course every day in my apprenticeship.”

Luc added he “learned a lot aside from technical skills. Our tutors would always want work done on time, which gave us experience in working to deadlines; something I’d be struggling without in my apprenticeship as we have to work to Service Learning Agreements.”

On what she is most proud of, tutor Helen Griffiths answered: “Seeing how my students have taken our guidance and forged a career. Every student who has returned to visit expresses that ‘meeting deadlines’ was one of the most important skills they learnt as well as IT.”

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