DevNetSkills by The Open University

Interested in a career in one of the hottest areas in digital? Here’s how to get started

As part of the Department for Education’s Skills Bootcamps programme, we are offering you the opportunity to develop your skills and fast-track into a digital job. If you are aged 19 or above, resident in England and can code, then DevNetSkills by The Open University could be the right choice for you.

The programme is due to start on 3rd October 2022. There is no cost to individual participants.

DevNetSkills by The Open University

Applications for this programme are now closed.

What is DevNetSkills by The Open University?

It is a 16-week part-time training programme combining the Open University’s fifty years’ experience of promoting education for all and supporting busy working adults to learn, with real-world careers insights from Cisco, one of the world’s largest IT companies.

The programme is for individuals who want to develop their skills in preparation for achieving an interview for a new digital job by March 2023. Does this match your ambition? If so, you’ll gain knowledge, skills and employability support to help you access digital jobs with Cisco’s partners and a range of other employers in different sectors of the economy.

You’ll work towards the internationally recognised Cisco DevNet Associate industry certification, which will give employers a clear understanding of the skills you’ve developed.

The Cisco DevNet Associate certification is one of the most in-demand certifications across Cisco’s Partner Network and Dice predict that demand for Cisco skills will grow 32% over the next decade*.

DevNetSkills by The Open University flexes around the demands of your work and life, combining high quality online learning with live webinars, online support, coaching, mentoring and certification preparation sessions.

Whilst you will need to keep on track, the programme puts you in the driving seat in terms of when you schedule your study each week. The programme is funded by the Department for Education Skills Bootcamps programme and there is no cost to individual participants.

* Source: Dice: Top Cisco Skills and Certifications to Advance Your Career September 2020

What will I learn?

DevOps is a set of practices which combines software development and IT Operations and is one of the fastest growing technology areas today**. According to, one in six of all permanent UK IT jobs advertised in the six months to August 2022 were DevOps related.

Computing systems are increasingly interconnected and there is high demand for multi-skilled IT professionals to work in mixed, agile teams. This programme combines the two disciplines of software development and networking and offers a significant digital skillset for the future.

Because of the fast and ever-changing pace of digital technologies, networked systems must adapt to changing infrastructure, consumer and cybersecurity demands. Network developers require coding experience to ensure the system can deliver the service it is designed for.

The DevNetSkills by The Open University programme focuses on the principles of software development and network operations and then allows you to apply your skills in Cisco environments.

There are no set pre-requisites, other than an ability to code – preferably in Python. The programme will build DevOps skills to a level where participants can automate networks and access DevOps related entry level roles.

You will learn:

  • Network fundamentals
  • Software Development & Design
  • Infrastructure & Automation
  • Understanding and using APIs
  • Application Deployment and Security
  • The DevOps environment
  • Edge Computing
  • Cloud Computing

** According to Research Dive, the global DevOps market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23% during the period 2020-2027.

What could completion of this programme lead to?

This programme provides you with the chance to develop an in-demand, varied skill set. Attainment of the associated certification will allow you to certify your skills and launch a career in software development, DevOps, cloud and related job families. Typical job roles you could access at an entry level include:

  • DevOps engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Cloud administrator
  • Automation engineer

During the programme, you’ll have access to a wealth of careers resources, including insights from inspirational industry professionals, courses, CV writing assistance and interview preparation, to help ready you to apply for entry level digital jobs with Cisco’s partner network and other employers across England.

What are the entry requirements?

You’ll need a love of technology, an ability to problem solve and think outside the box, plus a strong motivation to learn and succeed. You will find it helpful to have a basic understanding of computer networking technologies as introduced in our Open Networking Lab course.

You’ll also need to be able to answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions to be eligible to apply:

  • Are you 19 years of age or over?
  • Are you a UK citizen or have the legal right to live and work in the UK?
  • Are you resident in England?
  • Are you in work, self-employed, recently unemployed or returning to work after a break?
  • Can you commit to 16 weeks of flexible part time study, starting week commencing 3rd October? On average you’ll need to set aside 8-10 hours per week for study but at certain points in the programme, more study time may be required.
  • Are you committed to securing a job interview by the end of March 2023 and moving into/returning to a digital job role at the end of the programme?
  • Have you achieved a grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent)?
  • Can you already code beyond a basic level, preferably in Python? We will ask you for more details during the application process.
  • Do you have regular access to a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection? You will need a machine with a minimum of 8GB of RAM. If you use an Apple Mac computer, and it has a M1 or M2 ARM chipset, you will need parallels and the technical knowledge to be able to convert the virtual machine which will be used during the programme.
  • Are you aware that you can only participate in one Skills Bootcamp during the fiscal year running from April 2022 to March 2023? Whilst you can apply for more than one Bootcamp, should you be offered multiple places, you may accept only one.

Note that for job roles with some of the employers we are working with, you need to be willing and eligible to go through the vetting process to achieve UK government level security clearance (BPSS and SC levels), but this is not a requirement to be eligible for the programme.

When does the programme start?

The programme is scheduled to start week commencing 3rd October 2022.

It is funded by the Department for Education Skills Bootcamps programme and there is no cost to individual participants.

If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, please complete and submit the online application form.

The deadline for submissions is 1st October 2022. Note, we may close for applications earlier than this date, depending on the number and nature of applications received. If you are interested in the programme and meet the eligibility criteria, please apply as soon as possible.

Applications for this programme are now closed.