Finding out about IT

You met Dean earlier in the course.

He’s 28 and cares for his mum, brother and grandad. Dean has decided that he’d like to find ways to develop his career. He knows that the better employment he finds, the better placed he is to support his family and fulfil his caring responsibilities. Combining his paid work and his caring role has been challenging and he has felt unsupported by his employer and trade union, despite being a workplace union representative. In order to progress his career, Dean has decided to reduce his work to four shifts a week so he can combine his employment with his Open University studying and his caring roles. He faces continuing challenges with his own health, but is clear and focused on his long-term aim to work in IT.

Listen to Dean talking about his experience of studying.

Download this video clip.Video player: dean_snippet_4.mp4
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Eh I’m enjoying it the now. I’m enjoying it a lot actually. I thought it was going to be more um, school like, you know it’s no like that. I’m comfortable in the house you know em, I can concentrate. Doing all my caring for my mum, because I have to take her shopping. My brother, take him to the hospital. And my granddad I look after full time. So basically get all the housework done. And then at night is my time to do all my studying. And so I wouldn’t be able to do that in a brick college. It’s just not possible.
I started studying IT back in high school. Um and I was really good at it. So I took it up at em, at college. And em it was going really well. Eh passed it, I passed it actually really fast, really quick. I was finished a lot faster than everyone else. But em we were hitting some financial difficulties so I had to leave. I’ve always kept my hands in a bit of IT, thereabouts, taking computers apart, putting them back and fixing software that have got problems. Em but yeah it’s always been a hobby of mine that I would thought that I could turn into a career because it was something that I was quite passionate about.
Yeah, well I’ve started off on the ‘My Digital Life’, that’s part one, and I’m going to the, well I’m hoping to go on to the software development route and maybe after that hardware. But for now, software, that’s the main important one.
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These are the steps Dean has taken towards his goal.

  1. His girlfriend helped him realise that he wanted to progress his career in order to better support himself and his family.
  2. He knew he could study, but realised his skills and knowledge were out of date.
  3. He realised he needed to find out how and where to pick up where he left off.
  4. He researched courses online as well as local college options, and distance learning opportunities through The Open University.
  5. Health problems meant delaying a return to study.
  6. He negotiated part-time working, and started studying two courses.
  7. Financial demands mean he has to increase his working hours, so he dropped one course.

Dean has experienced setbacks on the way to taking up his studies in IT, but he has persevered and is enjoying his studies.

He has chosen to study an introductory level 1 module with The Open University, TU100 My Digital Life [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which is an introduction to the future of computing and the internet.

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