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The Corporation

Posted: 13/04/22

Computer scientists look to their future careers

Bringing the best of digital, creative and IT careers into the spotlight has been the theme for West Nottinghamshire College computer scientists.

  • Bags Vargsson, Graham Bird and Will Banton from Linney Group
  • Former student Ashley Bradbury gave students an insight into his career so far
  • Brandon Louth studied Level 3 qualifications in coding and logic, cloud services and business
  • Joe Smylie and Nichola Dodd from Custard Technical Services joined students for a Q&A session

A specialist employability event was organised by tutors and support staff in the lead-up to the half-term break. This event was to enable those studying on programmes such as IT networking and architecture, digital technician, interactive media, coding and logic, and more, to discover more about the various roles in the sector and to learn more about the content of such jobs.

On 21 March computer scientists welcomed ex-students to the team, to speak about their experience in employment since leaving the college. These included Brandon Louth, who completed his Level 3 qualifications in coding and logic, cloud services and business processes in 2021. He now works as a client support specialist at Kappture IT.

Brandon spoke openly about his struggles with academic learning but felt strong with his IT skills on the diploma, on which he achieved double distinctions. Brandon detailed some of the tasks which he undertook as an apprentice at a Nottingham-based school before securing a job as client support specialist at Kappture, a software company in Derby.

He gave students advice on interview skills, suggesting they undertake research into a company and its team member which they are applying for work with to show enthusiasm and to make a good impression, as well as speaking more about his role as a volunteer for a charity called The Wolfpack Project.

Another former student who visited was Ashley Bradbury, who completed his studies at the college 2017 on the BA (Hons) Applied Studies (creative digital media), went on to work at the college as a digital learner e-developer. Ashley showed students some of his work which he has produced in a range of IT packages.

He then moved to work for the Times Educational Supplement in Sheffield and is now an e-learner designer at Remit Training in Nottingham.

Amad Tababa from Autify Digital in Nottingham visited the groups to discuss the range of apprenticeships available at the company, which provides e-commerce and digital marketing solutions to businesses. A number of learners spoke with Amad more about the company and their future career prospects in the sector.

Joe Smylie, chief technology officer and Nichola Dodd, head of human resources from Farnsfield-based Custard Technical Services joined students for a question and answer session. Students were able to speak with them about their roles and the opportunities at the company, which is one of the Midlands’ leading providers for managed IT support services.

It is envisaged that Custard Technical Services will be setting projects and accepting students for work placements in the future.

Students were then able to hear more from the creative world of Mansfield-based company Linney Group. Graham Bird, Will Barton and Bags Vargsson attended from the world-renowned creative marketing company to speak to students more about their careers and industry experience, the organisation and the range of jobs at Linney, ranging from full stack developers to creative media managers.

The trio then challenged the students to design and build two on-screen applications to show live or near-live London Underground and weather information screens. The screens will be part of a seven-screen display.

Learners were asked to think about the best technologies to use, to consider the needs for the web engine version, the assets needed, how long it will take to create and what other skills would be needed from a team of people to activate the project and their results will be delivered to the creative team at Linney Group at a board meeting in April.

Vocational learner development coach for academic, creative, community and digital and professional studies, Paula Hyde, said: “It took months of planning to get such a great selection of IT talent into the college.

“Our students were inspired by the stories they heard and worked incredibly hard over their industry week to produce some very impressive work which I am sure Linney will be most pleased with. Hopefully some of our students might become some of their future employees.”