IT has become one of the most popular things to study due to its limitless possibilities. Businesses all over the globe are taking advantage of current technological developments. Whether for business or pleasure, there are currently a huge 5.3 Billion internet users in 2019; meaning that the business of IT is truly booming. However, with so many uses for computer science, there are equally as many IT courses to choose from and many reasons to study them! If you are planning on becoming a computer science student, however, you should check out our list of the most important things to know before you start studying an IT course!
Know What You’re Getting Into
Depending on the level you’re studying at and the course itself, the demands of the information technology course you are considering can vary. As IT is such a broad area with many courses specialising in just one area, it’s vital to read through the course programme thoroughly to get an understanding of what you will be studying and what is expected of you. From learning about using Google for SEO to learning the complexities of programming languages such as Python; what you learn on one IT course can be vastly different from what you learn on another.
If you are planning on gaining an IT qualification to boost your CV (which it will) then be sure to opt for a broad course which teaches the basics such as an Office course which covers Word, Excel and Powerpoint to help you gain a basic understanding of commonly used programmes for business. If you know the basics and want to go into a specific area such as IT security or web development, then make sure you are at the IT level you need to be before enrolling in the course.
Check out the ‘entry requirements’ or the ‘Who’s it for?’ section and access the course guide for a complete overview of what you’ll be studying. Don’t get caught up in a course which isn’t for you, and make sure you get the most out of your course.
You May Need to Learn Computer Language Basics
Depending on the type of course you are enrolling in and your current IT level, it might be a good idea to familiarise yourself with commonly used IT languages. For higher education courses and bachelor’s degrees, you will likely already have a basic understanding of IT and computer science acronyms and abbreviations. However, if you don’t know your ROM from your RAM, then check out an online IT Terminology Dictionary, to decode common abbreviations and words used in computing.
Some courses such as A Level IT may take you through these acronyms, however it’s always good to get a head start before you embark on your course, as it will greatly help you to understand how these terms interact with one another and what they mean for you in the world of IT.
Find Out What You’ll Need Before You Enrol
If you have a high-tech computer that you know can handle the programmes you want to learn on your IT course, then you’re all set. However, if you are planning on embarking on an advanced coding course and have a computer that can only do the basics, now might the time to invest in a new PC or laptop. For most basic and intermediate courses, any modern PC or laptop should be fine; and the course guide should tell you if there’s anything you need to do to ensure you have access to the things that are required for the course. If it doesn’t however, and you aren’t sure, get in touch with the institution running the course and they will help you find a computer appropriate for your course.
Also, if your computer is known to be temperamental, now is probably a good time to either take it to the shop or get a new one, as one of the worst things that could happen is if your computer crashes and you’ve lost all your hard work! This is true when you enrol in any online course, however, for IT courses, many assignments rely solely on specific programmes, so if you lose your work you may not be able to get it back.
For high-level master’s degrees, you will likely need a computer that has more capabilities; however, speak to your tutor or institution to make sure.
Have a look below for our top tips for finding a laptop for your IT course!
For coding students, a larger screen is a must. Coding on a small screen can be tricky and often leads to mistakes, therefore investing in either a PC or laptop with a larger screen is a good idea.
Although some courses require certain programmes, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. Find out exactly what you need from your new computer and find one within your price range, without any fancy extras you won’t need.
Invest in storage space
Go for a sizeable hard disk and RAM, if possible. Having enough storage space will be essential to many IT courses, and therefore getting a computer with at least 1GB hard drive and 6GB RAM will save you having to fork out for an external drive and risk losing work. If your current computer doesn’t have much space, then you can consider an external drive to take on your IT coursework.
Get anti-virus software
Don’t forget to protect your computer with anti-virus software. Whether you think you can’t possibly be at risk from a computer virus or not, having anti-virus software is essential to anyone studying IT – or any online course at all from GCSE to a degree programme. It doesn’t have to be the expensive software but finding an anti-virus software to protect against malware and regularly scan your computer for risks will help protect your computer and work.
Remember That You Won’t Stop Learning Once You Qualify
If you gain an IT qualification and are keen to jump into a full-time job in IT, then don’t forget that you will likely have to keep learning for years to come. One of the most exciting parts when you study computer science is that there are so many facets within it, and with technology advancing daily, if you learn something in an IT course you did in January, then by December there are probably already new things to learn! This doesn’t mean you need to stress about having to know every little development in the computing world but know that sometimes you might have to adapt and learn to work with new programmes as technology develops. However, the course you do will be a great starting point for your career in IT, and you will be able to learn new programmes quickly with the base knowledge that you already have!
Careers That You Can Go into
IT qualifications are known to carry many amazing advantages and be true door-openers in terms of different lucrative careers. Some of them are:
As you can see, there are a few things for you to ponder before you dive into an IT course. Don’t let them scare you, though, as all of that pays off and you get out tenfold of what you put in with an IT qualification.
So, why not get started today? Browse our list of IT courses and become a success story!
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