Brighton graduate credits The Open University with career success

Over 350 graduates in the South East received their degree awards from The Open University (OU) at a ceremony in Brighton on Saturday 28 April 2012.

Amongst them was 41-year-old Jake Smith from Brighton, a Senior Marketing Manager at Hove-based Legal & General who has graduated with a BA 1st Class Honours Open degree.

All the students have much to celebrate: as well as their academic achievement, recent surveys show that they’re among the most satisfied undergraduates in the UK, with good job prospects.

Commenting on his Open degree, which allowed him to focus on technology and music as core subjects Jake Smith said: “My degree has undoubtedly helped me to progress at work. The skills I learned on the way helped me to develop in my role and led to a promotion – I am certain that my OU degree and the six years of study to get there were very positively received in the interview and played a large part in helping me to secure my new position. The OU’s reputation for quality combined with the recognition for my commitment to studying whilst working full time all combined to get me where I am today.”

John Laney who is Head of Marketing at Legal & General added: “Jake started his study for the OU with a course on web design that was supported by Legal & General and gave him an excellent grounding in the skills and knowledge necessary for his role. The company has a policy of supporting wider learning and we were happy to do so for Jake. As his current manager I would say that his personal development during his study and the successful completion of his degree were positive contributions in his career development. A good degree from a respected University is a key factor in today’s world for securing more senior professional positions.”

Because students can study at their own pace, on average taking six years to complete a degree part time, 71% are able to continue working while they study. Amongst OU students under 25, one third have started work in a professional occupation within six months of graduating. Teaching quality is highly rated and the OU is ranked in the elite top 50 of UK higher education institutions for its vibrant research portfolio. Small wonder that The National Student Survey has ranked the OU in its top three for student satisfaction every year since the survey began, with a score of 93% in 2011.

Bruce McGowen, The Open University’s Assistant Director in the South East said: “A degree ceremony is a very special occasion where students are formally recognised for their achievements in front of family and friends. Studying with the OU requires determination and self-discipline, as students manage their own schedules, often juggling academic work with a regular job and family commitments. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to Jake on his success.”

Studying flexibly with the OU is a choice more and more students are making. Over 29,000 Open University students are now under 25, making up 1 in 4 of all its new undergraduates. The OU’s innovative use of technology enables people to study where, when and how they want, fitting with the expectations and lives of OU students.

Anyone who would like to find out more about studying with The Open University is invited along to a free information session on Saturday 19 May from 12.30am-4.00pm at the Jubilee Library, Jubilee Street, Brighton. For more information please visit or email

Posted by on May 1st, 2012 and filed under Education, Jobs, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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