Interview with Tiffany Sommerville and her experience working full time whilst studying on the MSc Strategic ICT Leadership course
Why did you choose this course?
I chose the Strategic ICT Leadership course as it provided the opportunity to supplement my technical ICT skills with other key skills which would enable me to perform my current role more effectively, and help me to further advance my career.
In my current role as Senior IT Officer at Shettleston Housing Association, I lead the effective delivery, maintenance and development of ICT systems and services to meet changing business needs and expectations. Facing increasing demands on ICT resources, often with competing priorities, I wanted to broaden my knowledge in the areas which would help me to navigate these challenges whilst delivering my work to a high standard. As the course has an emphasis on aligning ICT strategy with organisational strategy to improve business performance, I felt it was ideally suited to providing me with a deeper understanding of these strategic issues whilst also enabling me to develop practical skills that would be of benefit to the business and to myself personally.
Has this course helped your career?
I feel that I started to benefit from the course from the very first session I attended. The taught modules were focused on current and relevant topics, and I was able to immediately apply my new knowledge in my work. It has strengthened my comprehension of key areas which underpin ICT activities such as ICT governance, leadership and project management, and given me practical skills needed to be able to positively influence delivery of ICT services.
Through completing the course and utilising my new gained skills and knowledge I feel that I am able to demonstrate my capabilities to operate effectively at a senior level. I aim to further progress my career in the future and consider this qualification to be a significant advantage to achieving this.
Would you recommend the course?
I would absolutely recommend the course to anyone who is keen to take their ICT skills to the next level. Whilst the course is demanding, the benefits to both the business and individual are immediate. The work-based element of the course provides you with an opportunity to utilise the skills and knowledge gained through the classroom learning to deliver on a work project. This also helps with managing the required time commitment as you use your existing work as part of your assessment.
I would also recommend drawing on the experiences of other executive master’s students you will meet along the way. I was very fortunate to meet a number of fellow students who helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the theoretical aspects of the course through the sharing of their own experiences. I was also able to pick up many practical tips for academic research methods which were invaluable, particularly at the outset.