This post compiles FAQ related to the MSc. Business Systems Integration course, which I took at Brunel University. I feel the necessity of writing this post as I have received few comments/emails regarding my personal experience during and after I completed the course. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that my answers will be purely based only on my personal experience and there might be different opinions and perspectives from other alumni and current students of this course. Hopefully, this post will be useful in helping future potential students with their final decision, whether to take this course or opt for another course. (Ps. please refer to my chapter 18, chapter 23, and chapter 27 for further information regarding this course)
1. The experience you are having in your job search, how typical is it for graduates of MSc. BSI course from previous years?
As far as I know, some of my classmates (particularly international graduates) are still struggling in finding jobs in the UK. Some of them already returned to their home countries to find a job over there (which I suppose should be easier). I reckon that the reason of why most graduates are struggling in finding a job is because we don’t have enough working experience in SAP, as there are only few available SAP vacancies for graduate/junior level. Most of the available SAP vacancies in the market required working experience of minimum 1-2 cycle(s) of SAP implementation. As a result, fresh graduates like me, who only have short amount of IT working experience, have to opt for other IT opportunities (such as graduate developer position). However, although there are many available vacancies for graduate software developer, I think it is still difficult to compete against fresh graduates of Computer Science course.
2. How much development/programming is there in this MSc. BSI course?
For the first and second term, there is no programming at all. However, for some modules, such as Service-Oriented Architecture and Semantic Integration Framework, it is important to understand source-code and SQL syntax to some extent for the purpose of explanation in the assignments. Nevertheless, the example regarding this are available within the respective lecture notes of each module.
3. Is the industrial project for your dissertation a paid undertaking? How typical is it that a dissertation project will involve development?
Unfortunately it is an unpaid industrial dissertation project. Beyond six students, who involved in this project, it is only me, who developed an application. However, there was only 1 company that arranged these projects and there were no projects related to ERP/SAP as I expected when I decided to take this course. However, this industrial project is quite useful to boost the resume of fresh graduates like me.
4. Now that you are through with the program and struggling to find work, would you make the same decision about the program if you were to do it all over again?
Well, for me, I would still say yes. Because this course offer a BI module, which is an interesting module for me, as I could not find it within the study modules of other courses in other schools. However, the study contents and modules of any course are always updated, so there might be other universities offering BI as well at the moment. Also, there is an opportunity to gain the TERP10 certification, for the similar course fee in comparison with other courses that do not offer this opportunity. However, this certificate only acts as a foundation to give a little boost for my resume. As I already mentioned before, in order to apply for SAP jobs, work experience in SAP is usually required. Compare to other universities that also offer the TERP10 certification opportunity within their courses, I believe Brunel provides a better training before the certification exam, as one of the lecturers is an expert of SAP ERP systems and some of the foundation/basics of SAP ERP had been introduced within the ERP modules in the first term, so that students can easily understand and follow the TERP10 training after the second term is finished.
5. You mentioned that those with good grades in the first period could get industrial placement for their dissertation. How does that really work?
It is simple. There are 4 modules in the first term, and all you have to do is to make sure that you can secure 2 grade of B’s and 2 grade of C’s for these modules. Later in the second term, when the course director send email regarding these industrial projects, you can opt to apply for them only if you have already secured 2 B’s and 2 C’s, as they will double-check your study results in the first term before processing your application.
6. From the training you got in this program, what other options do you have for jobs besides SAP?
As I mentioned before, even I already certified in TERP10, it just acts as a foundation to give a small additional boost towards my resume. Regarding my jobs hunting process, I’m still relying more on my previous short working experience, although the other elements of my resume are also important for the consideration of potential employers.
7. Do you really feel adequately prepared for the SAP world of work?
Honestly, I don’t feel adequately prepared. However, I receive a chance to join graduate SAP scheme from big companies, I believe that these companies shall provide an initial SAP training. Alas, the competition to get the job role from these companies is very tough, despite the fact that I have already obtained the SAP TERP10 certification.