Are software development apprenticeships worth it? Watch

Trooper149
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 days ago
#1
So looking for a bit of guidance here. I have just turned 24 and I am looking at doing an apprenticeship, ideally a degree based apprenticeship for software development. I have A levels in business studies, geography and history for which I got Bs in. I also completed 2 modules of computing science at Uni for which I got a 2.1 in, during my first year. I then left Uni after 1 year and performed 2 years as a self employed personal trainer and 3 years in hospitality/management.

I would personally love to do a degree apprenticeship in software development because it would mean I could focus on 1 commitment. and my financial needs would be looked after. (Degree apprenticeships offer about 15-17 grand salary).

My question though is are the majority of degree/ diploma apprenticeships out there, worth it? Alot of my friends who have done trade apprenticeships have reported that while the skills they picked up were useful in their apprentice job, in the wider world, they gained no credibility and as such their apprenticeships weren't worth it.

Appreicate any further advice with regards to this career choice.
Tom
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 days ago
#2
(Original post by Trooper149)
So looking for a bit of guidance here. I have just turned 24 and I am looking at doing an apprenticeship, ideally a degree based apprenticeship for software development. I have A levels in business studies, geography and history for which I got Bs in. I also completed 2 modules of computing science at Uni for which I got a 2.1 in, during my first year. I then left Uni after 1 year and performed 2 years as a self employed personal trainer and 3 years in hospitality/management.

I would personally love to do a degree apprenticeship in software development because it would mean I could focus on 1 commitment. and my financial needs would be looked after. (Degree apprenticeships offer about 15-17 grand salary).

My question though is are the majority of degree/ diploma apprenticeships out there, worth it? Alot of my friends who have done trade apprenticeships have reported that while the skills they picked up were useful in their apprentice job, in the wider world, they gained no credibility and as such their apprenticeships weren't worth it.

Appreicate any further advice with regards to this career choice.
Tom
Sounds like a great idea to me. No-one really knows what proportion of degree apprenticeships in that field are 'worth it' (whatever that means) or whether they would be worth it to you. Some I've heard of sound very intense. That may or may not suit. I'll bet others are badly constructed. Others will be for companies which go through major changes during the apprenticeship - those changes may not suit you.

What were the issues your friends who did trade apprenticeships encountered? What is the lack of credibility they perceive? Have they struggled for decent work having finished the scheme?
0
reply
artful_lounger
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 days ago
#3
I think for software development it would be more worth it potentially than a lot of options, as you'll have developed a lot of experience and hopefully have a wide portfolio of projects to show off at the end if you wanted to move elsewhere (usually degree apprenticeships seem to look to recruit their apprentices permanently at the end of the apprenticeship). In software development having experience of working on projects in a formal development environment and having projects you can show in a portfolio is pretty important; just doing a degree in CS without having any of that kind of stuff is unlikely to get you far in the field after graduation.

As above though it will depend on the nature and structure of the apprenticeship and what you might want to do afterwards; if it focuses a lot on web development and you want to go into software engineering, that might not be a great fit. Likewise I imagine most probably wouldn't be an ideal background for machine learning/AI type stuff which is much more theoretical/mathematical and research based, for which a formal degree programme may be a better preparation. If the kind of work you'd be doing in the apprenticeship matches with what your interests are and/or are in an area which is likely to be employable at the end, it seems like a good option to keep in mind at least.

Blue_Cow might be able to offer some input.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 6 days ago
0
reply
winterscoming
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 days ago
#4
As far as I'm aware, most apprenticeships in trades like plumbing/construction/etc are usually Level-3 apprenticeships aimed at school-leavers with GCSEs, so those aren't really comparable to a degree apprenticeship.

A degree-apprenticeship is a Level 4-6 qualification (same level as a degree), typically aimed at people with a good set of A-Level grades (or equivalent), which awards a full degree at the end. Generally speaking, the skills that someone would pick up on those schemes will often be close to vocational undergraduate degrees in the same field, with the added benefit of gaining a lot of work experience in a relevant job. (based around 3-4 years of full-time work at 4 days per week, alongside 1 day per week of study/classes).

There are some exceptions, but for most jobs around computing and technology, employers generally have no special interest in someone's academic background unless they're hiring someone who has no experience and are looking for evidence of their potential to learn, progress and cope with the job. The further on someone is in their career, the less relevant their education will be to their job search because the skills gained through work will surpass anything that someone may learn at university after a few years. Senior and leadership roles in particular are filled based on having a lot of experience and a depth of expertise which goes a long way beyond anything someone could learn at university.

The exceptions to this are jobs which do lean towards the academic or mathematical side of computer science; Usually those in cutting-edge R&D fields such as AI and Machine learning; also any heavily mathematical "niche" areas such as financial modelling or games programming. Also the academic background is important for people going into Postgrad study or a PhD. But for 90% of IT/Tech jobs you'll see advertised, this isn't an issue.

The primary skills for most IT careers are around analytical, technical and problem solving skills; in most cases, learning on-the-job within a professional working environment alongside more experienced engineers, with mentoring and real projects to work on is a highly effective way to start that kind of career. Any skills and experience gained that way would usually be a solid foundation to progress to higher positions/salaries.
Last edited by winterscoming; 5 days ago
1
reply
Pentium III
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 17 hours ago
#5
It depends if you want to be a software developer. That's the first question you need to ask yourself, and why do you want to be one? Is it interest, or is it an extra-degree for free, or that you've heard that software development can pay decent salaries?

Software Development is pretty all-consuming; you've got to be interested in the industry, and willing to learn new tools and frameworks constantly, and quickly. You've got to enjoy being methodical, and logical with your problem-solving. If you are STEM inclined, then it might be exactly what you are looking for.

Some of the Degree Apprenticeships sound very good,although depending on the prestige of the company, there might be a lot of corporate posturing, networking, and basically being a walking advertisement of their apprenticeship programme via social-media and conference days. This eating into your study time, of which will be significant. These are 4 year courses, not the standard 6-year part time course, so the amount of credits you'll need to study per semester will not be too far off a regular full-time degree programme. This is all on top of having to do a full day job for 4 days of the week. The 5th day is a concentrated university lecture day. Then you'll have to study and do more reading around the subject in the evenings, and then write your assignments.

It sounds rather all-consuming, which is doable if you don't have a partner, or dependents, but I'm not sure how sustainable it is to time-manage without burning out at some point. Therefore, having a genuine interest and desire to be a software developer is paramount. Don't go into it half-assed because "Meh, better than hotel work I suppose..."

Make sure this is something you really could see yourself being. Have you done any coding and programming as a hobbyist? Many software developers get into the industry because they are curious about the workings of computers, and enjoy algorithmic thinking, and problem-solving. Ensure you have these qualities and characteristics, and don't do it "just because...".
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts