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Gloucestershire College T Level case study

What is a T Level and what is it like to study one? Find out from one Gloucestershire College T Level student.

Charlie Hart is a first year digital infrastructure student, who has been doing a work placement at SLG Brands in The Brewery Quarter, Cheltenham.

He said: "We do a lot of networking. We learn about how computers work and how data is transmitted from point to point. For example, in the business here, we look at how the computers are connected to the cloud, how the computers communicate with each other within the business and then outside the business if they wanted to.

"It does get very complicated when you go into it, because there's always another deeper layer and it keeps going and going!"

The course also covers lots of valuable business context, including how businesses work and what types of changes would affect a business, such as economic change and environmental change.

Charlie continued: "Being in the classroom with teachers with industry experience has been good for me and my classmates. They have their experience and can tell us how things happen and why it works. They deliver their knowledge to us, and sometimes we give knowledge to them, as computing is evolving all the time and new things are coming up now and again. It's really nice to have that bond between you and the teacher."

T Levels are still fairly new and not everyone knows what they are about. So why did Charlie opt for a T Level?

"I chose a T Level because of the work experience that it offers. There's only so much you can learn in a classroom, and being on the job and seeing what you learn in the classroom and then putting that in a business context, is more valuable than looking at a textbook and reading the words.

"When you're in the business environment, it makes it so much easier to understand where your teachers are coming from, because you get to learn all the ins and outs of how the business works, how all the networking works and the computers and everything like that.

"I'm working at SLG Brands for my T Level. It's been amazing. I couldn't have asked for better work experience, the environment is amazing. I'm part of the IT team.

"I've been able to work on their network. I've been able to help other people round the business with their IT issues. I've been able to help with the data and all of that, the inside information of the business.

"It's really nice to be in a business and see how it really works. I've learned 10 times more in the business than I would've learned in say, an A Level classroom. It's hard to just look at a textbook and take it in."

He is looking forward to working on cybersecurity for SLG.

He said: "Being able to learn how to prevent attacks and also how the attacks work in a real live context is just really important and really a valuable skill."

He said T Levels keep pace with changes in technology and business much more effectively than A Levels.

"T Levels are just so much more attuned to teenagers and learning and it's a lot more modern as well. We learn so much about the up-and-coming technologies such as cloud, AI, VR, XR, as well within our course. I think that's really valuable, especially with computing, because it's always changing, and the course is moving along with that.

"With T Levels, each new thing that comes along, we learn about it, and we understand it and we go through it. It's a lot more practical as well.

"We've got hacking suites, we've got VR headsets, we've got drones, we've got all of that stuff that we use not just for fun, obviously it's just for learning purposes and being able to have hands-on experience with all of this new tech that's coming up has been great."

Find out more about T Levels with Gloucestershire College here. 

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