The Open University offers new Higher Technical Qualifications

The qualifications offer pathways for software developers and network engineers, and provide a solution to the digital skills gap employers are facing

The Open University offers new Higher Technical Qualifications

A recent survey conducted by The Open University (OU) revealed that three-quarters of IT employers claimed their company has a digital skills gap. The OU has recently launched two new Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs). These offer a high-quality route for students and employees to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for roles to help them develop their careers and make an enhanced impact in the workplace.

The OU surveyed 425 senior IT decision-makers based in England with more than 20 employees, finding that more than half of employers say they plan on upskilling their staff to meet the skills gap in their company in the next two years. 

Survey respondents revealed their commitment to finding solutions to these challenges by revealing their plans to reskill their existing staff into new roles (46 per cent). When asked about the possibility of higher education programmes providing solutions to these problems, 84 per cent of employers think that HTQs are a good way to meet the digital skills gap in their business. 

Approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and available in England, HTQs offer one solution to this skills gap and are aimed at both college and school leavers or those who are retraining and upskilling. HTQs are developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to offer the specific training, knowledge and skills required for certain careers.

The OU offers two pathways, one in software development and one in network engineering. They are based on the same employer-developed occupational standards as apprenticeships but don’t require employment as an apprentice. Key features include a high-quality alternative to other routes, such as apprenticeships, traineeships or degrees. Students can choose to study full time for two years or part time for four years.

In the two OU programmes, students will first build a foundation of computing and mathematical knowledge and skills. Then, they will learn the fundamental technologies and skills relevant to each role.  

HTQs are only available in England, but candidates outside England can study the same modules as part of the Diploma of Higher Education in Computing and IT. Read more about HTQs on the OU website or download the full brochure below.