Anyone know much about QA consulting? The IT graduate programme specifically

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Et Tu, Brute?
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http://consulting.qa.com/graduate-programme

It looks good at first glance, but digging a little deeper and I start getting put off more and more.

Basics of it are they will put you through a 12 week programme where you will train in general programming (Java) and IT stuff, then specialise in the last 8 weeks in areas such as big data, app. development etc. They put you up in some fancy accommodation during those 3 months. After the training, you'll be on QA's books, but they basically send you to any company, some pretty big ones as well.

I've been hearing some horror stories after taking a look on glassdoor. For example the 3 month training costs a ridiculous £12k, and if you leave (or get fired) within 2 years you have to pay back all of it.

You get paid £23.5K a year (unsure if it goes up after year 1 or not) and you can end up in London with just £60 a week extra, which sounds horrific, especially considering the IT grads at the company you'd be working with, doing the same jobs are you are probably getting at least £5k+ extra a year.

I'm just curious to know if anyone here has had an experience with them or heard of them before? As I am in two minds about this after some of the reviews I read.
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physicsemail
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Did you end up going with QA consulting in the end?

They keep phoning me but I had the same reservations as yourself. Where are the negative reviews about the training costs? I had the same issue with a company called FDM. If I left within 2 years they would charge me £20,000... :/

Getting a graduate job is turning out to be a huge headache.

(Original post by Et Tu, Brute?)
http://consulting.qa.com/graduate-programme

It looks good at first glance, but digging a little deeper and I start getting put off more and more.

Basics of it are they will put you through a 12 week programme where you will train in general programming (Java) and IT stuff, then specialise in the last 8 weeks in areas such as big data, app. development etc. They put you up in some fancy accommodation during those 3 months. After the training, you'll be on QA's books, but they basically send you to any company, some pretty big ones as well.

I've been hearing some horror stories after taking a look on glassdoor. For example the 3 month training costs a ridiculous £12k, and if you leave (or get fired) within 2 years you have to pay back all of it.

You get paid £23.5K a year (unsure if it goes up after year 1 or not) and you can end up in London with just £60 a week extra, which sounds horrific, especially considering the IT grads at the company you'd be working with, doing the same jobs are you are probably getting at least £5k+ extra a year.

I'm just curious to know if anyone here has had an experience with them or heard of them before? As I am in two minds about this after some of the reviews I read.
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GhostIy
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QA are a legit company, but the training is a bit of a joke.

But it's all easy, they practically give you the answers to all the exams, and have breaks like every half an hour. You can walk in whenever, leave whenever, have as long as you'd like for lunch, they couldn't care less.

You'll have a very relaxed time, and probably get some certs out of it, but will it make you ready for a real job? Probably not.
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tsrthecool
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I haven't worked for QA consulting, but I've researched them and would not recommend them. The training is very poor. Reviewers state how they were sent back from their placements as they were esentially useless to the company. You are locked into the programme for 2 years, and have to pay back if you leave or if you are fired. Worryingly, some reviewers state that they were let go close to the end of their contract, leaving them with a bill of £12k. It is basically a waste of two years as you gain no skills. There are many schemes offering to train you as an "IT consultant" (FDM are one example) and they are all absolute rubbish.
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Huzaifa786
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IT is the new science for sure and in this world of development in this specific field, IT consultation has taken a new shape.
Just for instance, the recent outbreak of Ransomware viruses proved the world that there is no computer that is secure anymore!
What is now very trendy is the search of IT consulting firms that not only modernize your company but also keep your cyber security updated at all times.
For top 10 IT consulting firms for the year 2017 visit businesstiptop
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An accountant
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Actually no one has ever been fired and made to pay 12k. Lots of nonsense and false information. It’s now a really good training program and a ticket to a great start in an IT career for those who want to learn and are willing to work hard. Following the initial 2 year placement consultants salaries jump a lot (like being a newly qualified accountant). After 3-4 years many are in £40k-£60k positions. QA are hugely successful because they care about doing a great job for their clients.
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RobiRobi
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I did their interviews also a different company called Sparta global or something like that. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

First thing that triggers the "warning" lamp in my head is the fact that their so-called 'online tests' are laughable at best, I don't understand their purpose they are not even testing for anything and are pathetically easy by design, it's like they are trying to imitate a struggle so you feel like you are a joining a company that cares about the quality of their employees. It's not a scam, but unless you have no other option don't go to them.

If you can't find a job elsewhere it's worth a try I guess. I told them I'll call back in 2 months because I need to do my exams, I don't but its easier that way to put them off for some time while you look for a job without agency.
Last edited by RobiRobi; 2 years ago
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RobiRobi
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I did their interviews also a different company called Sparta global or something like that. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.First thing that triggers the
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Lycelis
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I did their Foundation apprenticeship a while ago and can't really find a lot of positives - they will try and place you anywhere, even if the company they're placing you at doesn't quite fit the apprenticeship programme. For example, I was doing an IT apprenticeship but ended up at a company that sold audio recorders, which meant I had to make up a lot of the stuff in my essays. When I left that company, there were four other apprentices that had joined since I did.

Their essays and examinations were all very basic, and I also heard some of the trainers would give you answers and tell you what to write. Thankfully, I did not experience this myself.

The onsite training was a bit hit and miss. There was one trainer there who obviously knew his stuff, had a tonne of qualifications to back it up and was really good at teaching.

On the second course however, that member of staff had left and the replacement was young, inexperienced and not very good at teaching - he literally just read the material at us rather than explaining it or teaching us anything we couldn't have learned by reading it ourselves.

I've also heard from some apprentices who were placed in companies that were just looking for people to work for them at the lowest wage possible and I know a couple who were let go through no fault of their own (according to them anyway).

To QA's credit, they then worked with these individuals to get them another job.

Overall, I would not recommend QA - I don't feel like their apprenticeships are quite up to par with what the industry requires.
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Revolver72
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When I finished my undergraduate, I had a few interviews and eventually a job offer for QA's Cyber Security placement. After a lot of consideration, I turned it down. Ended up doing a postgrad, then getting into a non-grad scheme - and this was *way* better.

The two year tie-in is mental, and the salary in those two years is pretty poor. Your training is unpaid, and therefore whilst they're happy to put you up in their accommodation during this period, many people have to take student jobs on weekends to fund their food bills etc. It is absolutely mental to be having to work weekend jobs to fund yourself, whilst you technically are employed by a graduate employer. FWIW, any decent company pays for its staff training, and also still pays you a wage as you train. This put me off majorly.

Within less than 18 months, I had been an Azure Developer, then progressed to DevOps Engineer. Both companies I worked for have been great, and have allowed for quick progression. I'm now on more than double what I'd have been on at QA, at this stage. My current place pays for any DevOps, or field related training, and pays for my certifications (and any resits, if required). And through any training, I still get paid my normal salary..!

Companies like FDM and QA are a good place to turn to if there's nothing else available, but I'd always recommend against them.

FWIW, I did my 10-week internship as an internal role at FDM during my final summer of my undergrad, and whilst my role was really enjoyable, it amazed me how the 'graduate trainees' were treated. It was a revert from uni, and back to school days. Having to ask to go to the toilet, regimented classroom work etc. I can't vouch for QA, having never actually worked there, but my in-office interview gave the same vibe.
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kek6969
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Spoke to one of their recruiters earlier haha, guess I had the same feeling as all you that it looked too good to be true. Definitely sounds fishy as **** so probably not going to bother pursuing it further
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awoodcroft95
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Just wanted to put in my point of view as someone who has worked at QA for 2.5 years now.
To clear any concerns people may have, they are a legitimate company working lots of different companies and government agencies across the UK. In my 2.5 years have worked in both the finance industry and on a government programme, and have been paid for my time between placements(my full wage) while awaiting the next palcement. For those concerned about working in London you are provided London Weighting of £3k per year on top of your normal wage if your place of work is within Zone 6

In terms of training, I would say that when I did mine in 2017/2018 it was okay and did provide me with skills I needed to work in the tech industry. The £12k training price did seem daunting at first but as long as you do your work, show up on time and make it through the first two years it's not an issue(you are out of contract after 2 years so the £12k is no longer an issue). I came out of university without a lot of the skills needed to get by in the tech industry, the training I recieved provided me with that industry knowledge and technical skills. Was it work £12k, probably not, but I now have multiple years of experience and am working towards multiple certifications all free of charge. As others have stated they do provide accommodation(with utilities and internet included) or alternatively a £600 a month bursary paid at the end of each month of training. This does mean you'll have to support your self for food and any travel, while completeing training 8 hours a day 5 days a week for 3 months, which without savings, a job, or other financial support would be very difficult.

In terms of wage, it will probably be seen as very little to some, at least to start with. £23,500 is the starting salary, which increases to £25,500 after one year, then after the two years you can choose to leave or you get a full salary review where based on your skills and market averages you'll get another more substantial increase. Also if you are not currently on a placement with any clients you still get your full pay while 'on the bench' and you'll probably receive extra training. This salary is probably better than some graduate jobs outside of London, and does provide a high level of security, but obviously can be beaten if you look around and get the right interviews.

Some caveats I would say are that they usually require you to be geoflexible, which means you need to be able to move to a new part of the country with between 2 weeks and a month's notice(sometimes more if your placement is confirmed early in your training), this is probably not for everyone and can be quite difficult to handle when you are just out of university and don't have much money for deposits or travel.

Overall I'm happy with my experience with QA but maybe I was just luckier than some others. If you were someone like me who came out of uni with a 2:1 from a middling university and you didn't do a sandwich course/placement year and weren't sure what to do for work then QA might be for you. If you did better acedmically or managed to get some good work experience maybe QA is a pass for you, you'll probably be fine getting a regular job.

I hope this clears up some confusion around QA and how they work.
If you're still on the fence about QA but are talking to their recruiters, try and make your way through to the assessment day ask some questions and see if you get an offer. You may get a better feel for it at that point.
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Jurgen LFC
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As an employer we have used QA several times. Found the grads to be first class and taken on about half a dozen of their people. All earning £35 to £40k a couple of years later. Depends on the employer I guess
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taybzali7
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(Original post by Et Tu, Brute?)
http://consulting.qa.com/graduate-programme

It looks good at first glance, but digging a little deeper and I start getting put off more and more.

Basics of it are they will put you through a 12 week programme where you will train in general programming (Java) and IT stuff, then specialise in the last 8 weeks in areas such as big data, app. development etc. They put you up in some fancy accommodation during those 3 months. After the training, you'll be on QA's books, but they basically send you to any company, some pretty big ones as well.

I've been hearing some horror stories after taking a look on glassdoor. For example the 3 month training costs a ridiculous £12k, and if you leave (or get fired) within 2 years you have to pay back all of it.

You get paid £23.5K a year (unsure if it goes up after year 1 or not) and you can end up in London with just £60 a week extra, which sounds horrific, especially considering the IT grads at the company you'd be working with, doing the same jobs are you are probably getting at least £5k+ extra a year.

I'm just curious to know if anyone here has had an experience with them or heard of them before? As I am in two minds about this after some of the reviews I read.
Can I just ask how you managed to find places to live and how long approximately you had to relocate for. Does the company help you in regards to the accommodations for your jobs?
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moadebayo
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Just one further point re QA, FDM, Sparta et al. Typically they will attempt charge graduates out to clients for approx. £300+ per day or thereabouts. If you multiply that day rate x240 working days per year they're earning revenue of £72k per annum off every grad who completes their 12 week 'training' course. You obviously don't have to be a mathematician to work out that means they're making 200%+ profit on what they paid you every single day(!) for 24 months. Unless of course you decide to leave and then they bill you for the (clearly overinflated) training cost decided by.... yep, them. Well worth considering if you want to 'get a foot in the door' at one of their clients, however just ensure you're armed with all the facts before you tie yourself into given them 24 months of your professional career without any form of get-out clause!
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mick10
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I recently got a call from a QA recruiter about job opportunities. So did my research on their website, read some reviews here and it seeemed a bit 50/50. From what ive read and seen it sounds like a great thing but also sounds too good to be true! Wondering whether anyone who has recieved the same offer or any experiences with QA in the past can share anything atall.Im currently in my last few months of my HND in Software Development and this opportunity sounds great to gain valuable experience but still quite skeptical at the moment.
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Mai.H
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(Original post by mick10)
I recently got a call from a QA recruiter about job opportunities. So did my research on their website, read some reviews here and it seeemed a bit 50/50. From what ive read and seen it sounds like a great thing but also sounds too good to be true! Wondering whether anyone who has recieved the same offer or any experiences with QA in the past can share anything atall.Im currently in my last few months of my HND in Software Development and this opportunity sounds great to gain valuable experience but still quite skeptical at the moment.
Hey! I'c currently in the same situation as you and just wondering what your decision was in the end?
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mick10
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Hey man, sorry for the late reply haven't been on this much. So the recruiter from QA Consulting phoned me and advised me that because I was due to finish my HND in 3 weeks time. She would call me back then to finish the application and start the whole interview process.



During these 3 weeks I had applied for another position as a web developer and had 2 interviews in the space of a week and was offered that position. Full time employment, no strings attached (Nothing about a 12k bill hanging over my head for 2 years) This opportunity was far too good to pass up so instead of the QA Consulting position I took that job.



The Recruiter for QA never called me back or asked anything else about me once the 3 week period was over and haven't heard from them since.



My biggest concern going for the QA position was that I may have been told to relocate to anywhere in the UK and money would be an issue for that unless I had savings that I could burn through in order to keep myself afloat for the training period.

When I last spoke to the consultant she advised me that they were operating their training online so was no need to travel or relocate. So that was a positive...



Overall I think it is a very skeptical company but no doubt they do train and have great employees. There just seems to be grey areas concerning -



£12K Fee if quit before 2 years is up

Location

Work Opportunities

Salary (I did read that a-lot of people had to take a weekend job, which i thought was nuts coming from this company which sounded so prestigious)

Full Time Positions After the 2 year period isn't guaranteed

Their experience is not what the Tech Industry requires or looks for



I would avoid them and look elsewhere to be honest with you.

Feel free to give me a message if you want to ask anything else about it.
Last edited by mick10; 2 months ago
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