Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Take the Fast Track to a Professional Life; Advertising FeatureThe UK College of Business and Computing Offers a Faster Way to the Workplace Than University, Allowing Local Study without the Huge Costs of a Degree

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Take the Fast Track to a Professional Life; Advertising FeatureThe UK College of Business and Computing Offers a Faster Way to the Workplace Than University, Allowing Local Study without the Huge Costs of a Degree

Article excerpt

Byline: Niki Chesworth

THE UCAS deadline for university applications to be submitted is only days away. If you are still considering whether you want to take on such a high degree of debt (tuition fees alone could cost you up to PS27,000 in student loans), then perhaps you should look at some alternatives.

While a degree is highly valued by employers, it is by no means the only way to professional advancement. Highly respected vocational qualifications can do the same -- but you can complete them in less time and for a lot less money.

A Level 5 diploma or HND takes two years full-time, costs PS12,000 at the UK College of Business and Computing, which can be funded by the Student Loans Company, and can lead straight into employment. You still have the option to top up to a degree by spending an extra year at university.

The UKCBC offers Edexcel BTEC Level 5 diplomas in computing and systems development, travel and tourism management and business -- with options of an accounting, HR, law, management or marketing pathway. The advantage of these qualifications is that while they can give sufficient UCAS points for a one-year top-up for a degree, they are also highly valued and respected by employers. An Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification is also highly valued, with part-time evening courses in central London starting at PS400 per paper. Alternatively, Association of Accounting Technician qualifications start at just PS260 per module for beginners.

The UKCBC offers a choice of five London locations, so you can study near home or close to work. As well as smaller classes, on average, than at most universities, there is also plenty of access to and support from experienced tutors, who all have postgraduate qualifications in their relevant professional field. Flexible learning options mean that those who succeed in gaining work before they have finished studying can still continue their studies, through flexible transition between campuses and study times.

"A school-leaver could, for example, study full-time at a campus near to where they live for the first year -- perhaps in Gants Hill, Park Royal or Cricklewood -- and then, if they found employment, continue with the same course at a different campus, studying in the evenings after work. …

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