Former BCS HEQ student, Nigeria
At the age of 24 and determined to launch a professional career in technology, Julius Godslove began his computing education after hearing about BCS Higher Education Qualifications on the radio.
He continued to work throughout his studies, completing the full BCS programme and acquiring the skills and knowledge to progress to a master’s degree. Now in the final semester of his MSc in Information Technology, Julius tells us about his IT journey so far and his plans for the future.
How did you discover BCS Higher Education Qualifications?
I remember listening to the radio and hearing about a programme of ICT study that was starting in the state of Plateau. It instantly grabbed my attention as something I wanted to do. I’d always been interested in IT and recognised the opportunities that could come my way by following this study programme. I felt so compelled that I contacted the training centre, Compunet Limited, straight away. That was the start of my IT higher education journey.
Which qualification levels did you study?
I started at the very first level of the programme, the level 4 Certificate in IT. I didn’t have a specialism in mind at this point. I then progressed through the full programme completing the level 5 Diploma in IT followed by the level 6 Professional Graduate Diploma in IT. It was when I reached level 6 that I focused on web engineering as my specialism.
Did you self-study or study through a centre?
I chose to complete my studies with a centre, studying daily at Compunet Limited. This meant I had the support of lecturers in a classroom environment for my three years of study, giving me the full academic experience.
Were you able to work while studying?
Yes, I was self-employed throughout, offering cell phone sales and maintenance services. On weekdays I would work for seven hours then attend classes for five hours, and at the weekend I’d work for 13 hours.
It was quite tough but it enabled me to finance my academic studies. The business venture was mine at the time and that made it easier for me to manage.
Did the other students on your course have similar backgrounds to you?
No, the students had very different backgrounds. I would say around 95% of those studying alongside me were already graduates of the University of Nigeria. Then there were others who were not graduates like me, although I had previously sat some other courses with universities in the past.
What did you enjoy most about the HEQ course?
I liked the richness of the content and syllabus, and knowing that I was acquiring and developing professional IT skills. The way the lectures were delivered was so interesting, I was always fascinated to know more. I just wanted to keep broadening and deepening my IT knowledge.
Did your career ambitions change during your study?
The IT discipline that interests me most is software development and that didn’t change while I was studying. A friend had introduced me to wider aspects of IT and expanded my horizons on software development. The course helped me realise there are many further elements to explore and understand.
How did you feel when you completed the programme?
Once I’d taken my final exams and received my project feedback, it felt like I’d crossed a milestone - it’s a moment in my life that I’ll always remember. I know how high the professional standards are that are set by BCS and that they’re not easy for everyone to achieve. So when my results came in and I received my certificates I was quite overwhelmed; it was one of my life dreams come true.
How relevant are your BCS qualifications to what you’re doing now?
My BCS Level 6 Professional Graduate Diploma in IT gave me the foundation I needed to progress to where I am now. I’m currently studying MSc Information Technology at PDM University in India.
I’ve found the content from the BCS programme very relevant to what I’m doing now. It’s so thorough that I think it would be hard for anyone who’s studied the BCS course to be unprofessional when it comes to IT service delivery!
BCS continually updates the syllabus which is why it stays so relevant and has helped me get to where I needed to be today.
Are you a BCS member? If yes, how has membership helped you?
I was able to upgrade to Professional (MBCS) membership after completing my Professional Graduate Diploma and that’s helped me to start gaining recognition among other IT professionals even while I’m still studying.
What are your plans now?
I’m now in the last semester of my MSc and would then like to do a PhD which will involve a further three years of study. Alongside this, I’m planning to apply for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status with BCS.
My intention is to specialise in ‘big data’ and research into how data can help the health sector with faster diagnosis and assist in reducing accidental death rates.
Would you recommend BCS higher education to someone thinking about a career in IT?
Absolutely yes, I would recommend this programme a thousand times for its quality, standards, and how it can open doors for you. If you’re looking to go through higher education, BCS is the ideal recommendation from me as someone who’s been through all the qualification levels. The course has made me confident in my competence and ability to deliver professional IT services at the highest standard.
If you had one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
My advice is to be passionate and determined as this is what will keep you going through challenging times. My passion and determination helped me during my BCS exams and final project. Also take the time to find out where you truly belong and function best, and pursue it! And finally take every little step one at a time, these are what count.
“I would recommend this programme a thousand times for its quality, standards, and how it can open doors for you.”