Information and Communications Technology is everywhere. Our whole lives are lived through communications technology now and anyone who wants to be successful must be literate in multiple forms of software. The world is now a digital platform, it’s hugely exciting.
Mr Islam (Teacher of IT)
Exam Board: Edexcel
8 or more GCSEs at grades A*–C, including English and Maths. If you have studied GCSE or BTEC Level 2 ICT or Computer Science, you should have achieved a minimum grade C or Merit. Any prior ICT skills or knowledge will be beneficial.
ICT has become a vital part of society and underpins major aspects of our everyday lives. This subsidiary diploma involves both theoretical and practical study of computer and ICT related topics. It is an exciting course that includes a wide range of units designed to provide an excellent understanding of ICT specialisms and platform for students wishing to progress towards a higher education or enter the world of work in IT. Over the two year programme, students will cover topics such as Computer Systems, Digital Graphics, Games Design and Website Production. The flexibility of the course structure also allows the qualification to be tailored to meet interests and aspirations. Students will develop and use both technical and transferable skills such as communication, analysis, and evaluation. Students will also have the opportunity to work with others to analyse, design and implement ICT solutions across a range of vocational scenarios. The BTEC Certificate, completed in Year 12, is recognised as equivalent to one AS Level. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma, completed in Year 13, is recognised as equivalent to one A Level. Both attract UCAS points as such.
Britain’s technology sector is currently expanding nearly twice as fast as any other industry, with employment projections from tech companies at their highest level for the last six years. Again our geographical position in West London puts our students at an advantage as Reading, the M4 corridor and East London are key areas for tech industry growth in the UK. However more than 40% of IT or telecommunications professionals work outside of the IT industry, in areas such as retail, finance, manufacturing and the public sector. Within the IT industry there are also jobs in business, marketing, human resources (HR) and finance.
- Software (for example, mobile app developer, engineer, systems analyst)
- Counselling Psychology
- Databases (for example, database developer, data scientist)
- Hardware (for example, electronics engineer, after sales specialist)
- Education (for example IT trainer, lecturer)
- Design (for example, CAD-CAM operator, graphic designer, web developer)
- Cyber Security (for example, information risk manager, penetration tester, ethical hacker)
- Telecommunications (for example, data engineer, solutions architect)
- Support (for example, IT consultant, technical author, helpdesk professional, network manager)
Entry & Training
The BTEC IT qualification is an excellent route towards a technology focussed degree at university, and there are a huge number of options out there. You can opt for straight Computer Science, or choose from subjects such as Systems Engineering, Game Design, Computing and Philosophy, Data Analytics or Forensic Computing.
Top universities in this field include many of the usual contenders, however there are also a number of less prestigious universities that are perceived by the industry as world-leading. For example, Abertay Dundee University launched the first UK gaming degree and is now at the heart of a well-developed UK gaming industry hub in Scotland:
- St Andrew’s (P)
- Oxford (P)
There are plenty of excellent apprenticeship opportunities in this sector and at Hammersmith Academy we have a particularly good relationship with an excellent entry level training provider based in Hammersmith, Arch Apprentices, who specialise in IT and digital apprenticeships with a range of businesses, including Google, Facebook and Hewlett Packard. Our close relationship with our sponsors the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists means that HA students are able to access a range of opportunities, including mentors and potential work experience.