For Callum Staley, the flexibility of studying the BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree at University College Isle of Man (UCM) whilst continuing to run his videography, photography and web design business, was an important factor which encouraged him to remain on island for his education.
A passion for computing
Callum began his journey at UCM, studying the BTEC Extended Diploma in IT (Level 3), which enables students to learn the initial basics of key computing components such as programming, website development and IT service delivery.
Callum shared, “I decided to study at UCM because I had always had a strong interest in computers, and knew that it was the area I wanted a career in. Instead of pursuing A Levels and having to continue splitting my time studying multiple subjects, UCM allowed me to focus on my passion.”
A fresh start
After completing the Extended Diploma, which is equivalent to three A Levels, Callum decided to progress to higher education, and complete the BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree, where he utilised the knowledge he had previously acquired, and continued to grow his computing abilities.
“As I had already started my own business, it was important to me that I remained on island to continue my studies whilst still growing my business, and UCM offered the degree which I was genuinely interested in, so I didn’t feel the need to go to the UK.”
Callum added, “Although I had already studied for three years at UCM, starting the degree felt like a fresh start.” He added that the opportunity to study in an environment such as the Nunnery was great, as it is not only has a stunning landscape, but is also very tranquil, and provides an overall calm and mature atmosphere, which is ideal for studying.
The degree involves undertaking a either a five- week work placement in an IT-based environment, or a project, Callum chose the project, which required him to build a website for the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.
Opportunities such as these, enable students to apply learnt skills in the work place and within a project team, whilst also allowing them to build valuable industry connections.
Callum recently graduated from UCM and was awarded ‘Student of the Year’ at the 2020 Higher Education Awards to recognised his continuous hard work and dedication to his studies.
As the Manx IT sector accounts for almost 20% of the Manx economy, job prospects in IT have never been better, but for Callum, he had always known what he wanted to do. Callum’s business, Aerial Mann Multimedia, offers website building services, as well as photography and videography with a drone.
“It’s my first few months of full time work since finishing my degree, and although things can be a bit stressful, I’m really enjoying it so far. As long as the work is there, I will continue doing what I’m doing.”