I’ve become a tad forgetful recently and forgot to post about the meeting that took place between University of Hull Computer Scientists and the BCS a few weeks ago.
For those who don’t know, The British Computer Society are the Chartered Institute for IT and according to their website they:
promote wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice.
If you are studying a degree that is “accredited” it means that it contributes either fully or partially to the academic requirements required for you to register for “Chartered” status. In other words you will be exempted from some or all the professional exams required to achieve this title.
Unfortunately you wont get “Chartered” status straight away as usually you will need to become a member of the BCS or IET and do at least two years relevant work experience before you can be considered. You may also need to provide evidence that you have sufficient competences to justify this status and could have to sit a peer review panel before it is granted.
To become a full member of these institutions you have to meet their professional requirements and pay an annual fee but once enrolled you are entitled to use the initials MBCS or MIET behind your name. It is possible to get student and associate membership of these institutions.
Having these initials after your name is a good way to show to potential employers or customers that you are a trustworthy, competent and capable computer scientist and know more than just how to code: i.e. you know how to behave in a professional and socially responsible manner. Coming from an accredited degree is much better than coming from a non accredited one.
In order to validate how good the Computer Sciences courses are at UoH they wanted to meet a few students from each year on each course (e.g. A few people from MEng Computer Science, a few from BSc Computer Science with Games Development etc.) I was chosen to be one of these people based on lecturer feedback, so 9am on the Wednesday morning I went to the Robert Blackburn building to meet with the BCS Secretariat as well as two board memebers, one from Birmingham University and one from Manchester Metropolitan, all three of which seemed impressed with the department.
After asking us questions about how the courses and department are run for about 30 minutes the BCS were happy with the information they had retrieved, their final question was “Is there anything you would change about your department or course?” Everyone went silent. After what felt like a few minutes of silence I jokingly replied “I’d put the computer science books somewhere other than the top floor of the library”, which got a laugh. But in all seriousness it was great to see that everyone felt that everything was going great in the department.
The next day Warren Viant, head of department, emailed everyone involved thanking them for their help and telling us that every course had been accredited at the level the university was aiming for. Well done Warren and team! 🙂