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Postgraduate Stories: How My IT Degree Helped My Career

Wondering where an IT qualification can take you? We spoke to Andy Hinxman, MD of Keybridge IT Solutions, to find out why he studied IT and where it took him...

IT is a vague word used that’s generally used when talking about computers, computer science and design. So why study IT? What will it do for you? Well we could go on about the endless jobs and sectors that rely on IT, or we could mention some jobs that you don’t think require IT skills, but in fact do. However it’s an indisputable fact that IT is quintessential to business, education and government.

At university you can of course delve into the more specifics of ‘IT’ such as, information systems management, software engineering or web science and design, jobs which are extremely valuable to any enterprise. In fact if you’re looking for job security you found it here, IT is the future and although it transforms with the time, it is here to stay.

From personal experience, studying IT was interesting and fun (and I am not just saying that). With my visual impairment I knew it would be difficult to have a ‘normal’ job, if there is such a thing. However IT is accommodating for all needs, and its increased accessibility means that whether you are dyslexic or registered blind like myself, IT is the perfect career choice.

I now own my own business which I couldn’t have accomplished without my degree and masters. My study at university and work placements enhanced my IT skills and knowledge, and after working years as an IT manager straight from university, I took the dive in owning my own company. Here’s a little bit more about me and how my postgraduate qualification helped my career.

 

My Qualifications

I studied Computer Science at the University of Greenwich, and then studied Information Systems Management at the University of Liverpool some 7 years later. Prior to that I got a BTEC National diploma in IT at Bexley College after leaving school at 16 years old.

I chose to study at the University of Liverpool as they had some of the best IT courses in my opinion, and the ability to work / study remotely was essential for my work and family life (and still is). I studied Computer Science at Greenwich due to its location near to home and the courses and modules available to me.

I studied Computer Science as I always had an interest in IT. With my partial sightedness it was also one of the few career paths I felt I could follow. I later studied a Masters in Information Systems Management to advance my career.

 

The Best Thing about Studying IT...

When studying for my initial computer science degree the most enjoyable part would have to be the year work placement, as it gave me a great insight in to the working world and let me put some of my skills to the test.  Other than that, the variation in topics made the course enjoyable throughout. 

The most interesting thing I studied during the Masters had to be Computer Forensics, which is the study and investigation in how systems work and in relation to gathering evidence or information from computers and storage. 

 

Would I Do Anything Different?

If I could change one thing, it would have been to choose slightly different modules in my last year of my degree course. I changed my course at the beginning, but feel I could have got better grades had I stuck to my guns. Other than that I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

My Career Journey...

During my time at university I got a really good placement at Reuters, and after university my first job was at PFJ, a well-known and prestigious Recruitment company, as an IT manager. I was very lucky to get this job straight from university, and I know this is not the case for everyone. However what I studied and where I worked previously helped me get the jobs I wanted, including working for Harvey Nash and the Impellam group.

I’m now the Managing Director, and owner, of company Keybridge IT Solutions, which supports small to medium size businesses. The best part about my job is I can work my own hours, spend time with family more readily and continue to grow the business as I have very good people around me. As Managing Director I manage my own company, and not only deal with customer account, finance, marketing and sales, but I also like to stay involved with the technical side of things too.

 

The Skills You Need...

You need great personal and social skills to run an IT company, as well as being a good judgement of character. I would say great organisation skills are necessary, be flexible, hard working and determined to succeed.

 

The Future...

Over the next 3 to 5 years I would like Keybridge IT to grow significantly and to also delve into other areas of business and industries to increase my own knowledge and experience as well as improve the lives / careers of others.

 

Thinking about studying IT?

Do what you love. If you enjoy IT just go for it, it’s a course that’s interesting and develops so many skills.

 

Your Next Steps

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