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Judith Letcher

IT Applications Programme

Birkbeck was also one of the few colleges in London that offered international students an opportunity to study at a reputable institution at a reasonable cost.

I obtained a National Diploma in IT and since graduating have worked mostly in Microsoft and VBA based roles in various capacities; permanent, contract and freelance. I was interested in web design as a hobby for ages and enrolled on the Birkbeck course to learn a bit more. After completing the course, I decided to pursue web development as a more serious career prospect and have since been involved in both VBA and web based projects on a freelance basis whilst completing a degree in web development.

What made you decide to study for a qualification in computing? When I finished high school, IT was the "in thing". I decided that it would be a good idea to study something that was in demand and would ensure that I had the relevant skills I would need to get a great job one day. I also wanted to make sure that whatever career path I chose, it would provide me with an opportunity to explore new technologies and expand my skill set without having to change my field of work and study altogether.

Why did you choose Birkbeck? I had a definite idea of the kind of course I was looking for before I began my search and was looking for something that would provide me with the technical skills I'd need to become a web developer, but also allow me the creative freedom I'd need to be a good web designer. After months of searching for the perfect course, I came across the web authoring diploma offered by Birkbeck and it stood out immediately for all the right reasons. The course offered a unique combination of web design and development modules that would provide me with all the skills I'd need to turn my web design hobby into a fulfilling career. Birkbeck was also one of the few colleges in London that offered international students an opportunity to study at a reputable institution at a reasonable cost.

How did your qualification help you in your career? This diploma has enabled me to study further and concentrate on the areas of web design I enjoy the most. I have since set up my own company and am freelancing while I complete my studies.

Did your time at Birkbeck help you in other ways? My time at Birkbeck has helped me to realise my dream of turning a hobby into a career. It also provided me with the confidence I needed to walk away from the boring job I was in! Potential employers were impressed by the fact that I was studying part-time and I got more interviews than I would have otherwise.

Which parts of your course were particularly enjoyable or useful? I enjoyed the more creative modules of the course the most. These motivated me to learn additional skills, not covered by the course, which enabled me to push myself beyond the limits of the course guidelines. Because of this, I ended up with a whole new, unexpected set of skills over and above what I learnt at Birkbeck.