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Software Engineering - Degree or Apprenticeship? Watch

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    Hi,

    I find myself stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I want to do software engineering, but I don't know what to do about it. Do I do a degree, or an apprenticeship? I like the apprentice option, because of the cost... obviously, nothing. But why do so many people chose Uni?

    My concern with University is the cost. Thousands of £'s worth of debt to go to a mediocre university, when I can get an apprenticeship doing more hands on, less academic work where I can get paid upwards of £16,000 a year, whilst being taught by a VERY reputable and huge tech company.

    What do I do? Any suggestions? Has anyone been in this situation before?

    Thank you!
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    I had this same issue,
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3333657

    At the end, I ended up choosing uni because of social reasons. Though it's all depends on what you want I guess. One of the reasons I didn't pick apprenticeship is because I felt like it would just be a set back, I mean I'm a more hands on person, but I still went through the uni route and I don't regret it.

    Also, if you want a good apprenticeship, I'd say search for Sponsored apprenticeships. I know a good one in mind too.
    https://www.uk.capgemini.com/careers...th/apprentices

    I applied there but retracted my application because I didn't want to do it afterall. I'll be very glad to talk or help you with this if you have more questions because I was exactly in your shoes and making my mind up was a tough decision.
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    (Original post by Async)
    I had this same issue,
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3333657

    At the end, I ended up choosing uni because of social reasons. Though it's all depends on what you want I guess. One of the reasons I didn't pick apprenticeship is because I felt like it would just be a set back, I mean I'm a more hands on person, but I still went through the uni route and I don't regret it.

    Also, if you want a good apprenticeship, I'd say search for Sponsored apprenticeships. I know a good one in mind too.
    https://www.uk.capgemini.com/careers...th/apprentices

    I applied there but retracted my application because I didn't want to do it afterall. I'll be very glad to talk or help you with this if you have more questions because I was exactly in your shoes and making my mind up was a tough decision.
    Thank you! Can I ask, did you do Maths or Physics at A-level? I didn't, and as a result, I feel this may impact my University opportunities.

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by abrack)
    Hi,

    I find myself stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I want to do software engineering, but I don't know what to do about it. Do I do a degree, or an apprenticeship? I like the apprentice option, because of the cost... obviously, nothing. But why do so many people chose Uni?

    My concern with University is the cost. Thousands of £'s worth of debt to go to a mediocre university, when I can get an apprenticeship doing more hands on, less academic work where I can get paid upwards of £16,000 a year, whilst being taught by a VERY reputable and huge tech company.

    What do I do? Any suggestions? Has anyone been in this situation before?

    Thank you!
    I'll give you some general advice, but bare in mind that I don't know a great deal about software engineering apprenticeships.

    I am assuming you are 16-19, in which case I think you should go for the apprenticeship. The reasons why are because you are getting work experience relevant to the career which is important these days. Even if after a few years of working, you might get board and think you want a break, you can then go to university aged 21-24 and come out under 30 with a decent amount of work experience, a degree and that would land you a lot of interviews etc at top grad schemes.


    Edit
    As I just saw your other post about maths/physics. As long as you get decent grades (CCC+) then if you can consider Foundation year entry to computing/engineering/science degrees, it is basically just a pre-degree year where you study the subjects you need for the degree.
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    (Original post by abrack)
    Thank you! Can I ask, did you do Maths or Physics at A-level? I didn't, and as a result, I feel this may impact my University opportunities.

    Thanks!
    Yes I did an A-Level in Maths and totally failed getting a U and still got accepted to do a course in Software Engineering. I think you shouldn't worry too much on the maths side because Software Engineering tends to be less maths focused as opposed to Computer Science. I got accepted for the Software Engineering because of my aptitude for programming and not because of my mathematical capabilities. Maths/Physics doesn't matter much in a software engineering course.
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    (Original post by Et Tu, Brute?)
    I'll give you some general advice, but bare in mind that I don't know a great deal about software engineering apprenticeships.

    I am assuming you are 16-19, in which case I think you should go for the apprenticeship. The reasons why are because you are getting work experience relevant to the career which is important these days. Even if after a few years of working, you might get board and think you want a break, you can then go to university aged 21-24 and come out under 30 with a decent amount of work experience, a degree and that would land you a lot of interviews etc at top grad schemes.


    Edit
    As I just saw your other post about maths/physics. As long as you get decent grades (CCC+) then if you can consider Foundation year entry to computing/engineering/science degrees, it is basically just a pre-degree year where you study the subjects you need for the degree.
    Thank you, and you're indeed correct. I am in Year 12, so I have time to research these things luckily for me. I do have plenty of time, but it's never too early to be considering career paths.
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    (Original post by abrack)
    Hi,

    I find myself stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I want to do software engineering, but I don't know what to do about it. Do I do a degree, or an apprenticeship? I like the apprentice option, because of the cost... obviously, nothing. But why do so many people chose Uni?

    My concern with University is the cost. Thousands of £'s worth of debt to go to a mediocre university, when I can get an apprenticeship doing more hands on, less academic work where I can get paid upwards of £16,000 a year, whilst being taught by a VERY reputable and huge tech company.

    What do I do? Any suggestions? Has anyone been in this situation before?

    Thank you!
    Do an apprenticeship! The only reason many people still go to uni is simply becayse thats what everyone has been doing for a long time, but there are many good apprenticeships in engineering. Plus in I.T experience is most important.
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    It depends who you want to work for, some IT and software firms don't ask for degrees but for big companies like google and rockstar games etc you need a 2:1 degree in computer science
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    (Original post by digitalangel18)
    It depends who you want to work for, some IT and software firms don't ask for degrees but for big companies like google and rockstar games etc you need a 2:1 degree in computer science
    Thats why a sponsored degree is a win win, you do an apprenticeship and get a degree whilst you get paid.
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    Thank you all for your helpful replies.

    I got a C in GCSE Maths, I was given the opportunity to do higher, but rejected it as I was not comfortable doing it being only 2 months away from the exam. I worked my arse off for that C, and I really didn't want to throw it all away.

    If you didn't know, I am doing A-levles in Geography, ICT (which isn't really ICT at all lol), Business Studies and Media.

    I will be dropping media at AS, as I despise it.

    I'll just mention too that I passed all my GCSEs, with maths being my only C.

    I have plenty of time to decide what I want to, but I will take all of your opinions into account.

    Thank you all!
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    Do a degree, it will open more opportunities to you. Getting a good background knowledge of the theoretics means you'll be stronger in the future as you know why of what you're doing as well as the how.

    The risk of an apprenticeship could be that you get taught the specifics of a certain companies way of doing things which may not be too relevant or worthwhile when you want to move on.
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    Do a degree, it will open more opportunities to you. Getting a good background knowledge of the theoretics means you'll be stronger in the future as you know why of what you're doing as well as the how.

    The risk of an apprenticeship could be that you get taught the specifics of a certain companies way of doing things which may not be too relevant or worthwhile when you want to move on.
    This was one of my concerns. I'm a little nervous, as a higher apprenticeship will ned me a Level 4 qualification, and if I was an employer, honestly... I'd chose someone with a BSc or BEng over someone with a Level 4.

    I still have time, but I think a degree will be for me!
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    (Original post by abrack)
    This was one of my concerns. I'm a little nervous, as a higher apprenticeship will ned me a Level 4 qualification, and if I was an employer, honestly... I'd chose someone with a BSc or BEng over someone with a Level 4.

    I still have time, but I think a degree will be for me!
    Getting a degree with a year in industry is the best of both worlds, you gain a solid foundation of all the theoretics and have valuable work experience upon graduation.
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    Getting a degree with a year in industry is the best of both worlds, you gain a solid foundation of all the theoretics and have valuable work experience upon graduation.
    I agree! Thank you for your invaluable advice!
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    Tough question, there are advantages to both. Generally if you've got experience a lot of companies don't care about the degree, however it's almost a requirement if you ever want to do it abroad (which IMO is the main benefit). I'd 100% agree with doing a part time degree (I know people who have done so whilst working as a software dev) or doing a sponsored degree. In the grand scheme of things working a year in industry on LIVE projects will probably give you better experience than 3 years in university (at least from my perspective).
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    (Original post by digitalangel18)
    It depends who you want to work for, some IT and software firms don't ask for degrees but for big companies like google and rockstar games etc you need a 2:1 degree in computer science
    Google even ask for your individual exam results!

    (Original post by abrack)
    Hi,

    I find myself stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I want to do software engineering, but I don't know what to do about it. Do I do a degree, or an apprenticeship? I like the apprentice option, because of the cost... obviously, nothing. But why do so many people chose Uni?

    My concern with University is the cost. Thousands of £'s worth of debt to go to a mediocre university, when I can get an apprenticeship doing more hands on, less academic work where I can get paid upwards of £16,000 a year, whilst being taught by a VERY reputable and huge tech company.

    What do I do? Any suggestions? Has anyone been in this situation before?

    Thank you!
    I'd say go for the degree. If your heart's in it, then you shouldn't have a problem getting summer internships
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    I'm doing a degree apprenticeship in digital and technology solutions. It's a win-win situation: I get paid for working as a trainee software engineer and my company/ the government pays for my uni fees. At the end I'll come out with a BSc (level 6 qualification), and 4 years worth of on the job experience. The 2 aspects complement each other - I had already learnt things at work that I then needed to learn during my second semester at uni. It's one day a week at uni and four days a week on the job. Best of both worlds!
 
 
 
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