Computer genius graduates with teaching aim

Published: 12 November 2008 at 11:32

Mature student makes it in business, scoops first class degree and prize and then moves into teaching

Mature Anglia Ruskin University student Barny Shergold has graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Computer Science and Internet Technology, an industry prize and the aim to move from a career in business into a life dedicated to teaching.

The 40 year-old, from Ashwell near Baldock, has always been driven in business, working on the development of data bases and computer systems for a number of companies before ultimately becoming a director of a large Internet Service Provider. He was fortunate to become financially secure after the owner of the business he worked for sold the company to a larger group to facilitate taking the business to a new level, and rewarded the directors for their hard work and loyalty.

He had worked in IT from the age of 18, was self-taught and worked ‘extremely hard’ throughout his business life.  

When he reached this change-point in his career, he decided he wanted to fulfil a long held wish to become a teacher and found that he would have to formalise his knowledge by getting a degree before training as a teacher.

He began a full time degree course in 2005, encouraged by his wife and six-year old son, and was determined from the very start of the course to gain a first.

Barny explains:

"I was privately educated but I didn’t enjoy education. I was just not interested which is why I subsequently focused exclusively on work and worked very hard to achieve my business goals."

"Now having witnessed the way education has changed, it is my aim to become a teacher, helping to engage others and encourage them to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them."

"I made many friends at Anglia Ruskin University and had no problem with coping with the age difference between myself and many of my fellow students despite being twice the age of most of my classmates."

"I would recommend higher education study to anyone of any age. It really is never too late to learn a new or familiar subject and you will find through the learning process that you change as a person, becoming much more focused on what is really important to you. I have am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified teacher, helping others and achieving what I feel is the ideal work/life balance for me."

During his third year of study, Barny won the British Computer Society (East Anglia Branch) prize for being the ‘Best Year Two Student’.  He will collect this prize at the same time as he collects his degree award.

Barny is currently undertaking a Graduate Teacher Programme at Denbigh School in Milton Keynes and at the University of Bedfordshire.  When he completes his training he plans to go on to take a Masters Degree in Education.