Looking to upskill within the IT industry, Victoria studied a part-time Higher National Certificate in Computing at The South Central Institute of Technology. As a result of her studies, she has since started a role working within the Connells Group IT Department.

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Starting in Administration

I am originally from Ukraine but moved to the UK in 2016 to pursue a career in IT. I had been working in administration for a few years with little prospects when I decided to enrol at The South Central Institute of Technology to study a Level 4 HNC in Computing. I was a bit anxious as this is historically a predominantly male field, however, I did not let this stop me.

Developing my expertise

During my two-year course, I learned the fundamentals of computing that have helped pave the way to getting my first job in IT. The first year was an Introduction to IT. Even though I was mainly focusing on programming before I had started the course, the HNC provided me with the opportunity to explore Networking, Programming, Software Development Lifecycle, Analytics, Math, Business Management, and more.

I then decided to focus on the route in networking during my second year and I have not changed my decision since then. I studied part time over the duration of 2 years, however there was the option to do a 1-year full time course if I wished. I was self-funding my studies and, hence, I could only afford to study while having a full-time job during business hours.  

I am grateful to The South Central Institute of Technology as it is one of a few educational institutions that offers a part time course with evening lessons. I would also like to highlight the very supportive environment created by teachers at the College. When I told them that I was looking for a job, they helped me with guidelines to prepare for interviews and provided me with references. They went the extra mile when they showed me a list of vacancies that were appropriate for my knowledge and skills. 

I also found the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA1) free course to be a great addition to the Computing course offered by The South Central Institute of Technology. It took me a semester to complete CCNA1 between January and May, which worked well together with the HNC in Computing to stand me in good stead of getting a job in IT. Learning about Cisco switches and routers helped me a lot when job hunting and interviewing for roles. One tutor even offered me a part-time job in the College as a Teaching Assistant for Computing students studying BTEC Levels 1-3. Unfortunately, I was only able to do this for a short time due to the Covid outbreak. This happened 6 months before my graduation.

Achieving my goals

Graduating from The South Central Institute of Technology has changed my life and given me an opportunity to break free from a sequence of menial jobs to kick start a better future for myself in a sector that I love. I currently work for the IT Department at Connells Group, one of the largest mortgage broker companies in the UK. I work with the IT Helpdesk for Connells employees, serving thousands of branches across the UK. The majority of my work involves fixing Windows and Mac based computers remotely, meaning I can enjoy the benefits of working from home.

Currently, I am at the top of the stats charts and manage to resolve around 30-35 cases a day. I am working on my personal development plan with my manager and considering different options for further progression.

If I could give any words of wisdom that would be to find something you are passionate about, be dedicated to your progression, and above all be persistent.