Daniel Kitchen, a recent graduate in Engineering Business Management BEng (Hons) talked to us to explain how his Top-Up degree has supported his industrial career development.
My career began with a welding apprenticeship in 2002. During that 6-year period, I gained a Foundation Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Since then I pursued a variety of different roles within different industries but in the summer of 2016, I made the decision to return to my engineering roots and pursue a career change to the automotive engineering industry sector.
I spent the subsequent year attempting to secure employment within a local vehicle manufacturer or supplier but without success. I determined that this situation was due to the lack of experience within the automotive sector and the fact that I did not have a full degree.
I decided that to improve my CV, I should embark on finishing the degree I had started and begin pursuing local universities to establish how I might access a relevant degree programme. I presumed that my level 6 foundation degree would give me access to the first year of a degree programme if not the second year. In reality, I was told I would not be eligible for degree programmes and would have to consider access courses.
This was a considerable blow as being in my thirties with a family to support, the thought of a 6 to 12 month bridging course followed by a 3-year degree before I could begin the process of applying for roles didn’t seem a viable option, especially when I would be repeating content that I had already covered years before.
However, in the August of 2017 I found the Engineering Business Management BEng (Hons) Top-Up course on the Coventry University clearing website. The course is designed specifically for students like myself who had achieved some higher-level academic qualifications, perhaps as part of an apprenticeship scheme, but had not had the opportunity to obtain their full degree. This top-up course was exactly what I needed to engage a shift in career by enabling me to apply for work with full bachelor’s degree.
I am grateful to Cyrus the course director and all the lecturers involved for their continued work in improving and developing the course each year. I have really valued the opportunity to engage with academic study at a level that reflects both my previous academic achievements and the professional experience I have gained from my career so far. I fully expect that this course will give me the edge that is required when applying to automotive engineering roles in the future.