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Old 01-19-2010, 07:42 AM   #1
leejames04
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Default Unsure of A-Level/ UK College course to take

Hey everyone, been a while since I have been on here. I am now in Sixth Form at my local school, however I am really hating the school and the course and am finding it frustrating and just want to leave yet still get A-Levels, I am currently doing A-Level Computing however it is far too slow paced for me and due to its openness for all abilities we are learning vb.net which is good in its own right I personally see as pointless.

I am looking at 2 different courses, one that on the surface looks just as bad as A-Level computing if not worse to the fact that there is even less programming involved, however my older brother did this course and is now doing a Games Course at uni and said that in comparison to other that took the other course I'm interested in he is finding it easier due to covering many fundamentals for example networking and databases etc. Course: here

The other course is more games focused from the get go and does seem more me yet as I have said before my brother at uni has said that other that did this kind of course are having troubles at uni, also it is harder to get to which does make the other course more desirable: details here

The big question is, I do not know which one would be better or if there is a course I am completely missing altogether.

Thanks for your time

leejames04
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:54 AM   #2
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Are you intending to go to University afterwards?
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:35 AM   #3
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Most probably yes
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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I think you may find the article How To Make A Decision Grid useful.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:43 PM   #5
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First one gives a broad base in the IT field. The second gives a broad base in the creative field.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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Don't worry about what your brother or others have done. Do what YOU want to do, take the courses YOU want to take, and if you have the initiative to pursue what you want you'll be fine.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:35 AM   #7
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I am just unsure as around here there aren't many courses that are close to what I really want. In an ideal world there would be a course nearby that is to do with programming but in a relevant language, VB.net is good but it is a bit more of a beginners language and I personally see no real gain from it especially as we use 2005 which isn't very OO. But as I have extremely basic knowledge of C++ and objective-C is feels like I'm taking a step backward especially when the theory behind the language and projects is good up to a certain extent but, like I said, VB.net 2005 is not very OO and so isn't a good as it could be. The only benefit to the course would be SQL next year but I just do not like the school and feel I made the wrong choice last year and don't want to do it again
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:45 AM   #8
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Does it matter that much? You go to University to really learn the stuff you want. There are very few A-Levels/BTEC courses that are that specialised because they are meant to be slightly broad.

Just do the one that you like to do. If there are any holes in that knowledge, then just fill them in in your own time.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leejames04 View Post
In an ideal world there would be a course nearby that is to do with programming but in a relevant language.
Out of interest, what other A Levels are you currently studying?

Do you enjoy them? If it is simply the school you don't like, have you considered finishing your A Levels at a different school? Have you considered cashing in Computing as an AS level at the end of term and do a different AS level next year?

In my opinion, if you really want to learn programming in a specific language, you could always just take it up as a hobby and learn something else at school. You don't need a computing qualification to study computing at university.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leejames04 View Post
[It] feels like I'm taking a step backward especially when the theory behind the language and projects is good up to a certain extent
I don't mean to dissapoint you, but most Computer Science courses in the UK will teach programming from scratch. Going right down to basics such as weeks of lectures on simple loops and conditional statements. This is because a lot of students will not have come from a technical background. Furthermore, it is becoming less and less common to see languages like assembly or C++ being taught since it seems it is easier to teach C#, Java or Python. So make sure you really do your research when choosing a course in the future! Also, ensure to ask that they arn't going to suddently change the language they teach when you start!
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:24 PM   #10
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I'm doing Maths and History, they're alright but it is more of the school however I don't want to go to another school, there is an open evening tomorrow so I was going to ask about carrying on my Maths A-Level there but then I am not doing too well at that so depending on my final AS grade and points I can get for it as one of the uni's I'm looking at wants 60 points from Maths
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