The bureau of labour statistics has consistently ranked the IT profession as one of the fastest growing professions. IT offers fascinating, mission-critical, high-paying jobs with the potential for multiple career paths.
While Computer Science will teach how to problem solve and use technology as a tool, it does not equip you with the skills needed to make full use of modern technology. In this way, Computer Science and ICT have been compared to the motor industry: Computer Science is like the engineering component, while ICT is like learning to drive and maintain the car. Not everybody needs to learn how to design and build an engine, but everybody should learn how to drive a car, and in this way, ICT should form the skillset of all future job applicants.
Today, students live in a world of technology and know how to use it. The AQA specification moves from ‘how to use it’ to exploring how technology is created and the effects it has – not just in their daily lives, but in everything from commerce and communication, to politics and the music industry. This course was updated in 2012 and features a fresh and highly relevant course structure aimed at students wishing to pursue an academic entry into either further/higher education or the workplace. The course differs from vocational courses in that emphasis in that a greater demand is placed on the theoretical side of ICT application and requires a deeper level of understanding about the use and role of ICT.
Learn what ideas and resources are needed to create the latest technologies, by exploring companies such as Apple or Google.
Examine how people and organisations solve problems using ICT tools and techniques.
Explore a variety of technologies that interest them, from communication tools, like Facebook and the Internet to tools predicting natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Investigate the impacts that ICT has on society and develop transferable skills such as problem solving and thinking logically and critically.
The units studied are:
Unit 1: Systems and Applications in ICT – Exams Based
Examination unit covering a wide range of current and emerging technology related concepts and theory including collaborative tools, computer systems and mobile technologies, digital media, communications and entertainment and productivity applications.
The Assignment: Applying ICT – Controlled Assessment
Candidates are each required to produce a report that will demonstrate their ability to identify requirements, and make appropriate use of ICT in providing solutions which they will analyse, design, implement, test, produce a report on and evaluate (self-evaluate and evaluate other’s use of ICT).
Practical Problem Solving in ICT – Controlled Assessment
Students will be required to solve practical problems which they may meet in education, the community or in the work place. ICT must be used to solve the problem.
The course is 60% coursework based via controlled assessment and 40% examination based. Work is graded from A* to G.
This course is an ideal stepping-stone into the ICT workplace; however, many of the skills learnt on the course extend well beyond ICT employment and can be used, in conjunction with other qualifications, to build a strong skills portfolio with relevance to many different types of career path.
C grade or above must be achieved to progress to BTEC ICT course or B (including maths and physics/chemistry) for entry onto the GCE Computing course.
A student guide to the course is available from the exam board’s website: http://store.aqa.org.uk/resourceZone/pdf/ict/AQA-4520-W-SG-WHY-ICT.PDF