Ger Joyce

Ger JoyceLocation: Denver, Colorado, USA
Programme of study: BSc (Hons) Computer Science (online)

Having decided to fulfil a life's goal and complete my BSc (Hons), not to mention the doors that would open for me by holding a degree, I weighed all the pros and cons of each option I had, finally deciding on the BSc(Hons) Computer Science online programme with the University of Hertfordshire.

I was very apprehensive before I started the course as I had completed online courses before, some of which were very poor in structure and support from tutors, with zero interaction with other students.

I need not have worried. The course offered by University of Hertfordshire turned out to be an excellent experience. Many different choices in several very interesting fields in the area of computer science were offered, so it was easy to select modules that suited me.

While there is a need to put in the many hours of study required to successfully complete the programme, the flexibility of the online programme, mixed with a little time management, allowed me to balance my life and ensured that none of my employment, hobbies and family commitments were neglected.

As the support from the tutors, and indeed fellow students was tremendous, I felt there was no loss of learning whatsoever by completing the BSc(Hons) online in comparison to the two years I studied in a classroom setting in Ireland.

How has your online degree helped you?

I currently work as a Project Manager where I manage localisation projects specialising in the field of Life Sciences. While in theory my newly gained BSc(Hons) in Computer Science should not have any effect on the life sciences aspect of my job, nor in my role as a project manager, or even have any influence in the area of localisation, I found that my time studying with the University of Hertfordshire has benefited me very much.

I say that as while other project managers without a Computer Science degree struggle with file formats such as HTML, XML and so on that we increasingly receive from our clients and a lot of mistakes are made as the files are localised in up to twenty eight European and Asian languages, I am very comfortable with these formats having completed modules such as "Principles of Web Services", which taught the ins-and-outs of those very same file formats.

Each module on the BSc(Hons) also has its fair share of reports that need to be handed in with each practical assignment. That has allowed me to write my Project Management and business reports in a more structured and concise way.

Completing other very interesting modules such as those that concentrated on 'e-Learning applications' and 'Rich Internet Applications' has allowed me to create training-related intranet sites to assist our growing team in knowing more about the vast amount of information and software that we need to know to successfully manage highly complex projects, as well as to create blogs that are easy for all team members to use, thus ensuring that all stakeholders and globally-distributed teams are kept fully up-to-date with the status of the many projects our team manages.

As I found the BSc(Hons) online programme extremely interesting, I have decided to continue my studies at a postgraduate level with the University of Hertfordshire. With the whole area of computer science becoming so ubiquitous, my decision has been to specialise in mobile computing.

As with the BSc(Hons) online programme, the MSc online programme allows me to study, to learn a huge amount about the current trends and advances in the area of mobile computing which can only help to advance my career in the future, yet it also enables me to continue in full-time employment and to spend time with my family.

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