Jack Stephens

Computing (Systems, Support & Networking) Level 3

jack-stephensPrevious school
St Aidan’s Church of England Academy, Darlington

What did you enjoy about your course?
I thoroughly enjoyed the course as a whole, as I found all of the units engaging and interesting. Having hands-on elements of the course was also very enjoyable, considering I got to experience using hardware that is used in business environments that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to use. Finally, having the ability to complete work experience for a week during my course was also very useful. It gave me the experience of what it’s like to work in a business IT environment which helps me prepare for life after completing my course.

What attracted you to Darlington College?
As someone that has a strong interest in IT hardware and networking, the course was the main attraction for me. As the course covers three main elements of IT (hardware, software and networking) I found it very attractive as it would allow me to progress into any area of IT for further education or employment, and would not limit myself to a single sub-category.

What are your career aspirations?
I plan on having a career within IT, specifically within networking and cybersecurity. I aim to become a Cyber Security Analyst as this is a field of IT that is constantly expanding and becoming more critical these days.

What is the next step in your education?
After the completion of my BTEC Level 3 Systems, Support and Networking course I will be progressing onto a degree apprenticeship with Virgin Money. This outstanding opportunity gives me the best of both worlds. The experience that comes with an apprenticeship along with the advanced in-depth education provided by a university degree. At the end of the 4 ½ year degree apprenticeship, I will have earned a Digital and Technology Solutions BSc (Hons) degree. This degree covers a wide range of IT subjects, once again ensuring that I am not limited to a small area of IT.

How has this course prepared you for the next step?
This course has prepared me for my next step by providing opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. An example of this would be completing a Cisco CCNA certification, as without the college I wouldn’t have been able to get access to the hardware required for gaining this certification.

What advice would you give to other students?
One thing to remember is although the course is fairly advanced if you apply yourself it becomes significantly easier.

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