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The IT Diploma October 2006. Agenda. Timeline Objectives Employer & Higher Education views Level 3 architecture and outcomes Discussion. Overall timeline – tranche 1. Oct 2005. June 2006. Sept 2007. Sept 2008. Design Diploma. STAGE 1. Develop qualifications. STAGE 2.

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The it diploma october 2006

The IT Diploma October2006


  • Timeline

  • Objectives

  • Employer & Higher Education views

  • Level 3 architecture and outcomes

  • Discussion

The it diploma october 2006

Overall timeline – tranche 1

Oct 2005

June 2006

Sept 2007

Sept 2008

Design Diploma


Develop qualifications


Prepare for delivery


First teaching

Diploma objectives
Diploma objectives

  • Develop talent and help students fulfil their potential in life, learning and work

  • Boost students’ achievements in education

  • Boost students’ employability, whether directly or after Higher Education

  • Encourage more students into technology-related careers (especially girls)

Reflecting a changing world
Reflecting a changing world…

  • The global IT industry

    • UK IT industry growing 5 – 8 times faster than UK average

    • Programming and ‘traditional’ roles -> India, China

    • UK demand is up the value chain - business innovation, IT-enabled process change, customer support roles

  • The knowledge economy

    • Increasing needs for higher-level skills and lifelong learning

    • Adaptable workforce managing constant change

    • IT skills across the workforce (technology in business / technology strategy)

Some facts and issues
Some facts and issues…

  • 1.2 million people in the IT workforce: growth + replacement = 150,000+ a year.

  • 80% of IT workforce is male and 80% of IT undergraduates are male.

  • Employer recruitment into IT professional roles shows strong preference for experienced hires and graduates. Only 9% in the last year recruited college / school leavers.

  • Of the graduates entering IT careers, 55% are from degrees other than IT.

  • The HE IT curriculum tends to be technical computing, not integrated IT and business (which is the predominant employment requirement).

  • Computing A-level decline – 28,000 students in 2003; 6,200 students in 2006.

  • The school IT (ICT) curriculum is predominantly IT user oriented.

  • Misperceptions about IT professional careers abound.

The it diploma
The IT Diploma…

  • Equipping all students with the capability to thrive in the e-economy

    • - Future IT workforce

    • - Future business managers and leaders

    • - All individuals

  • Focus on technology in business (not IT user skills)

Example jobs post diploma
Example jobs post-diploma

  • Non –graduate entry

    • Small business ‘IT Doctor’

    • Network Technician

    • Graphics Designer

    • Web Designer

    • Systems Operator

    • Technical Support

    • Entrepreneur

  • Graduate entry

    • Trainee Business Analyst

    • Trainee Project Manager

    • Trainee Technical Specialist

    • Trainee Application Designer

    • Web Developer

    • Sales or Marketing

    • Entrepreneur

  • Or many other careers in any other sector!

The it diploma october 2006

Employer views

Current issues:

“You don’t know what you are getting – what can a person can actually do.”

“I don’t understand the qualifications structure.”

“Standards are not high enough, especially in English.”

“Need more focus on building and assessing competence.”

The Diploma must…

“Seize the opportunity for clarity and simplicity.”

“Be the preferred route for employers and universities, and exciting for students.”

“Set a clear standard so employers know what a person can do – must reflect

achievement and employability.”

“Be business / IT, not just technical IT, and create well rounded students.”

“Include meaningful work-related experience.”

“Be properly supported by employers – we need to contribute more.”

The it diploma october 2006

Higher Education views

Current issues:

“Standards are not high enough. English and Maths present significant issues.”

“Need to develop critical thinking and depth of understanding.”

Very concerned about drop off in applications.

The Diploma…

“Is spot on…the subject matter is right. There’s no point knowing a lot about

technology if you can’t apply it”

“ Is just what is needed…provides an excellent grounding…”

“ Looks good…this combination of technical, business and practical is right”


“Finding teachers is going to be really hard”

“Computer Science tends to be separate from business in HE”

“Realistically, we are likely to take a “wait and see” approach…”

The it diploma october 2006

Critical Success Factors

  • For the IT line of learning to succeed, it must:

  • Blend business, technical and interpersonal competencies

  • Be the preferred route for employers and all universities

  • Provide a broad, rounded education (changing world)

  • Demand clear standards of achievement (including English!)

  • Have rigour, integrity, relevance – a truly new approach

And there needs to be coherence between the Diploma and IT-related A-levels

The it diploma october 2006

Level 3 Diploma

  • Overall architecture / balance of content

  • Mandatory Learning (Generic + Principal)

    • High level Learning Outcomes

    • Transferable skills

    • Module specification

  • Additional / Specialist Learning

  • Discussion

The it diploma october 2006




The potential of technology

Understanding organisations

Professional development

Making projects successful

Creating technology solutions

Managing technology systems

Core technology skills: programming / data analysis / security


Extended project



The it diploma october 2006


Understanding organisations

Professional development

The potential of technology

Making projects successful




Creating technology solutions

Managing technology systems

Extended project

Maturing transferable skills
Maturing Transferable Skills

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

English and Communication

Team Working

Critical Analysis & Problem Solving


Creative Thinking

Reflective Learning


Use of ICT

e.g. Written English

business letter -> short business report -> detailed investment case

L3 mandatory content high level outcomes
L3 mandatory content: high-level outcomes

  • Assess the contribution of technology in the global business environment, and create business cases for technology-enabled business solutions.

  • Identify and describe the fundamentals of how organisations operate and key factors underpinning business performance.

  • Communicate and operate effectively in the business environment, demonstrating use of English and Maths to the standard required in the professional workplace.

  • Identify key factors in the success or failure of projects and develop high quality project plans relevant to realistic work environments.

  • Design and develop software solutions that deliver identified business benefits, including demonstrating competencies in programming, data management and security.

  • Support small-scale system operations, including systems management, technical problem solving and change management.

  • Demonstrate effective inter-personal skills including team working, critical analysis and problem solving, self-management, creative thinking and reflective learning.

Module specification
Module specification

For each module of the Diploma, we are setting out:

  • Purpose

  • Module descriptor

  • Learning Outcomes

    • Knowledge and Understanding

    • Applied competencies

    • Transferable Skills

  • Example content

  • Example employer contribution

  • Guidance to support delivery and assessment

The it diploma october 2006

Additional Learning (Level 3)

  • Options, supported by guidance on HE / employer relevance):

  • A. A-levels (any except Computing or ICT

  • B. IT-related qualifications

  • B1 Specialist Learning units building on Principal Learning

    • Level 3

    • Stretch content (created with HE)

  • B2 IT professional qualifications (approved list)

  • C. Modules from other Level 3 Diplomas

  • Discussion

    To ensure this is highly attractive to HE…

    • What are the Critical Success Factors?

    • Any input on structure or content?

    • Any input on grading and assessment policies?