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Thread: Returning to study to help me retrain for a new career

  1. #1
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    Returning to study to help me retrain for a new career

    Im on esa at the moment and have been for about 6 months. prior to this ive always been either a student or working, apart from a few short gaps. I dont want to be on long term ESA but getting off it is tricky. I dont want to take any old job, it not work out and me being back at the job centre in a few months.

    Given my problems are largely based about social issues, (social anxiety and awaiting autism assessment) then i think something that minimizes my social contact would be a good fit.

    Ive always had a strong interest in computers and would love to study this to allow me to eventually work in a computer related job. Programming or web design would be great. potentially meaning i could work from home.

    There are two problems with this however.

    I already have a degree so am unlikely to get funding for a second degree.

    What happens to my money whilst im a student

    As much as id love to be a full time student again, Im thinking part time may be the route to go as its less likely to effect my ESA. It may mean id have to fund it myself though.

    Any ideas if DWP will ever fund further study? Them assessing me and putting me into WRAG, Then sending me to an advisor that is clueless and just after a big bonus by pushing me into work is unlikely to help anyone.

    Ive got a feeling that come assessment time, ill probably be put into WRAG as although i have problems, I still feel that given the right position, id be able to work.

  2. #2
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    Have you looked at the Open University? I did a year at uni but ended up going back to work, and I was thinking about completing my degree through OU while working part time, and there was funding available directly through them for people on a low income. I would have qualified for financial help, but decided it wasn't the right time for me as I had my hands full with working while coping with worsening health problems and family commitments/caring for my husband. I don't know if already having a degree would exclude you from applying, but it might be worth checking it out. I've stopped work now and planning on going back to uni full time in Sept, as I should be able to cope now I don't have the added pressure of a stressful job. Luckily I'd only had a year's student finance so qualify for student funding to continue my study. Maybe going through OU would be better if you have social anxiety, as I think most of the study is done independently at home.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Hi Carl30, you've already got a degree and I agree you should go into computer based work.

    I think now is the time to look at work options. In your position you just need to get your foot in the door. Initially look for work as a temp. Future jobs in demand revolve around programming, design and 3D-printing.

    Check to find out if there's a FABLAB near you. http://www.fablabsuk.co.uk

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    Hey Carl30,

    You wouldn't need a second degree to pursue freelance work in programming or web design, although you may wish to pursue studies in computer science for your own satisfaction. However, you would require sufficient skill and experience to complete professional projects in order to compete and secure tenders for work. There are tonnes of free online courses in computer languages and technologies to give you the basic training necessary to get started. A good way of honing and expanding your existing skills is to volunteer with local charities who may be understanding of how autism affects your working practices/relationships. Joining the online group projects in the open source communities is an excellent way of advancing your programming skills - particular attractions being the opportunity to work with skilled professionals and access to working on networked systems.

    Please PM me if you require more pointers/explanation. Wishing you a rewarding and exciting future!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    This is a great website for online training in an area of work you're interested in and at a pace that suits you.

    http://www.lynda.com/IT-training-tutorials/2057-0.html

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    Good idea LightTouch! Lynda and several other sites such as VTC, Video2Brain, Kelby, DigitalTutors, TutsPlus, provide excellent training. However, they are geared towards working people who can afford to pay for short courses. If you search you will find free training...

    Another option, is to find a conversion M.Sc. in a computer related field that interests you, if you feel well enough to take on the challenges. For example: http://www.findamasters.com/search/m...px?course=9062

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmint View Post
    Good idea LightTouch! Lynda and several other sites such as VTC, Video2Brain, Kelby, DigitalTutors, TutsPlus, provide excellent training. However, they are geared towards working people who can afford to pay for short courses. If you search you will find free training...

    Another option, is to find a conversion M.Sc. in a computer related field that interests you, if you feel well enough to take on the challenges. For example: http://www.findamasters.com/search/m...px?course=9062
    This sounds like a good idea if i can find one part time that i can do over a few years. Dilemma would be the fees.

    Maybe if im successful with pip, the back pay might cover the fees.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmint View Post
    Hey Carl30,

    You wouldn't need a second degree to pursue freelance work in programming or web design, although you may wish to pursue studies in computer science for your own satisfaction. However, you would require sufficient skill and experience to complete professional projects in order to compete and secure tenders for work. There are tonnes of free online courses in computer languages and technologies to give you the basic training necessary to get started. A good way of honing and expanding your existing skills is to volunteer with local charities who may be understanding of how autism affects your working practices/relationships. Joining the online group projects in the open source communities is an excellent way of advancing your programming skills - particular attractions being the opportunity to work with skilled professionals and access to working on networked systems.

    Please PM me if you require more pointers/explanation. Wishing you a rewarding and exciting future!!
    Freelance work isnt an option at the moment. My skills just arent up to the job. I know some basics but not enough.

    Im thinking more some kind of training for the future.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl30 View Post
    This sounds like a good idea if i can find one part time that i can do over a few years. Dilemma would be the fees.
    The reason I pointed out that particular course was that it stated it was possible to complete ( p/t) in 3 years and that there was funding available, albeit for well-qualified candidates; I think the funding was through a bursary of £10k. I suppose you'd have to find a course within travelling distance of your home. Please also note that there is mention of a work placement, if you are able to cope with that...
    It will be possible to track down a few suitable courses by adding your own preferences and searching online.

    There is a free (accredited) IT degree course by distance learning! University of the Peoplel

    Edx , Coursera and AcademicEarth also offer free (accredited) short courses run by well known universities.
    Last edited by Redmint; 05-04-2015 at 04:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    What was your first degree in? I don't think anybody has asked that yet. You can always do a Masters or Post-Graduate course as long as you meet the entry requirements which is usually having good grades and a relevant degree (but you don't even always need a relevant degree).

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