Why does ECDL matter?
Safeera Sarjoo

Why does ECDL matter?

Practically every job function involves IT in some way. With that in mind, we have a look at how important it is to have an ECDL qualification.

First published date September 28 2017 Amended date September 28 2017

There are some obvious skills and qualifications that people need in order to get a job; a working knowledge of English and basic maths being the most frequently requested.  However, the recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Digital skills crisis 2016-2017 report states that 90% of jobs will require computer use by 2020, making ECDL a great introduction into work.

What is ECDL?

ECDL qualifications are internationally recognised and enable people to certify their computer skills to an internationally recognised standard.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, a leading professional body for IT is the only organisation allowed to offer these qualifications in the UK. ECDL is highly regarded around the world and is seen by employers as a benchmark in IT user competence.

Tried, tested and trusted, ECDL qualifications have been delivered to over to over 15 million people, in 171 countries  

All ECDL qualifications available through BCS are recognised by qualifications regulators in England (Ofqual), Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation), Scotland (SCQF Partnership) and Wales (Qualifications Wales). 


ECDL for the FE market

There are three ECDL qualifications available through BCS which are suited for the Further Education market.

BCS Level 1 Award in IT User Skills (ECDL Essentials) is an excellent introduction to the world of technology. It recognises the application of a range of IT user skills and knowledge in the workplace, meeting employer workforce demands. Learners will understand how to get started on a computer, email and the internet, with a particular focus on how they are used safely and productively.

Once completed, they can progress to BCS Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Extra), to build on their knowledge and experience to improve their understanding of computer applications including word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. They will also learn how to work more effectively with IT to improve their productivity.

Students can also take BCS Level 3 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Advanced) which builds on existing knowledge and understanding of key software applications including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases.


Where is ECDL recognised?

Speaking to BCS, they explained that by completing this qualification learners would have the skills to competently carry out a range of job roles in business administration including jobs such as:

  • Receptionist
  • Communications Operator
  • Customer Services Advisor
  • Personal Assistant
  • Credit Administrator
  • Office Co-ordinator
  • HR Administrator
  • Service Delivery Manager
  • Data Entry Administrator
  • Administration Team Leader


ECDL Core focuses on learners gaining a better understanding in IT applications that are a requirement in many job roles across many different sectors today. Some of these roles include:

  • Marketing Assistant
  • Office Assistant
  • Data Entry Administrator
  • Personal Assistant
  • Service Delivery Manager
  • Customer Services Advisor


Why choose ECDL?

It is evident that ECDL is still very much relevant in 2017 given the job roles it lends itself to. From an employer’s perspective, according to BCS, it’s what they want.

‘Employers need people who can contribute to achieving goals in the most efficient and productive way. ECDL gives you the computer skills to do this. That’s why it is recognized and valued by companies around the world as the benchmark in IT user competence. Over 2 million people have taken ECDL in the UK alone,’ Lucy Ireland, Managing Director for BCS Learning & Development

As IT has evolved with the times, surely the ECDL has had to do the same in order to be reflective of modern day technology.

‘Testing was previously paper based and improvements have continued to be made, moving to automated marking, taking the burden away from the training centre and providing a high degree of accuracy.

‘The student has always been assessed by actually using the technology keeping the content of assessment up to date,’ Kate Barlow, Product Manager, BCS Learning & Development

Knowing how useful ECDL is across a number of job functions, it’s always a good decision to invest and add to your qualifications and skillset which will no doubt make you a versatile candidate across a number of positions.


Search for ECDL courses near you on Hotcourses!

Safeera Sarjoo

Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.