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Computer science gap year - Need help

Hello,
I've applied to computer science universities already for a 2024 start, but I'm also considering apprenticeships.

I am currently in my gap year, and am wondering what the hell to do, currently I've been trying to self study to fill in gaps in my knowledge, currently I'm doing the Odin project and have just finished the foundations course, going to do the JS route now. I feel like I need to do something else, but it seems any work experience I can find is for those already in university, also tried maybe looking at boot camps but those are 9 grand so...

My current plans are to continue doing the Odin project and try to learn some data structures and algorithms with this (https://runestone.academy/ns/books/published/pythonds/index.html), which hopefully could prepare me for degree apprenticeships but to be honest I'm very sure thats a hopeless cause because of the competition
My question is, is there anything else I should be doing? I'd like to get a job more similar to computing/IT at least, because right now I just work in fast food, but I don't think there's anything for people with just level 3 qualifications.
Original post by hi :)
Hello,
I've applied to computer science universities already for a 2024 start, but I'm also considering apprenticeships.

I am currently in my gap year, and am wondering what the hell to do, currently I've been trying to self study to fill in gaps in my knowledge, currently I'm doing the Odin project and have just finished the foundations course, going to do the JS route now. I feel like I need to do something else, but it seems any work experience I can find is for those already in university, also tried maybe looking at boot camps but those are 9 grand so...

My current plans are to continue doing the Odin project and try to learn some data structures and algorithms with this (https://runestone.academy/ns/books/published/pythonds/index.html), which hopefully could prepare me for degree apprenticeships but to be honest I'm very sure thats a hopeless cause because of the competition
My question is, is there anything else I should be doing? I'd like to get a job more similar to computing/IT at least, because right now I just work in fast food, but I don't think there's anything for people with just level 3 qualifications.


It depends on the specifc role. Are you looking for IT support or computer repairs? These generally don't require you to have specific qualifications e.g. GCSEs are more than OK.

Also, it's going to really help if you do a lot of networking with professionals in tech; this would likely siginficantly help with getting jobs after uni.

The other thing I would consider are professional IT certificates, depending on the role that you want to go into e.g. IT support, data analysis, cybersecurity, ethical hacking, programming languages (Java or Python at the moment), networking.
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
It depends on the specifc role. Are you looking for IT support or computer repairs? These generally don't require you to have specific qualifications e.g. GCSEs are more than OK.

Also, it's going to really help if you do a lot of networking with professionals in tech; this would likely siginficantly help with getting jobs after uni.

The other thing I would consider are professional IT certificates, depending on the role that you want to go into e.g. IT support, data analysis, cybersecurity, ethical hacking, programming languages (Java or Python at the moment), networking.


I'm trying to get into software development, I don't really think there's many certificates actually worth getting for programming languages.
Original post by hi :)
I'm trying to get into software development, I don't really think there's many certificates actually worth getting for programming languages.

No there isn't generally for software development. I like the look of the qualifications from the Python Institute, but it's not strictly required to get the role.

Having said that, why are you considering a degree in CS when you can go into an apprenticeship in software engineering just out of interest?
Reply 4
(Original post by hi :smile:)I'm trying to get into software development, I don't really think there's many certificates actually worth getting for programming languages.

Hi, I took a gap year last year to essentially do the same as you and ended up landing a tech degree apprenticeship, I also did the odin project, got to the JS route then halfway stopped, if you could finish it that would be great, as i mentioned it during my interview for my deg apprenticeship and they seemed somewhat impressed at my willingness to self teach comp sci using the odin project

When I stopped doing the odin project i started using freecodecamp and in the end got multiple certifications, the projects were fun, quick and easy. With the joint background knowledge of git and using terminal etc with the front end related info i learnt i then began solo making projects to discuss during future interviews, like a website, an app etc. My advice is to learn but also practice, make your own projects as the best way to learn is through practical application!!

i defo recommend freecodecamp, you gain certifications for free, with a solo project at the end of each module to ensure practical application! If you need any further advices and tips, or just curious about the tech degree apprenticeship route pm me!
Reply 5
Original post by alzamagic
(Original post by hi :smile:)I'm trying to get into software development, I don't really think there's many certificates actually worth getting for programming languages.

Hi, I took a gap year last year to essentially do the same as you and ended up landing a tech degree apprenticeship, I also did the odin project, got to the JS route then halfway stopped, if you could finish it that would be great, as i mentioned it during my interview for my deg apprenticeship and they seemed somewhat impressed at my willingness to self teach comp sci using the odin project

When I stopped doing the odin project i started using freecodecamp and in the end got multiple certifications, the projects were fun, quick and easy. With the joint background knowledge of git and using terminal etc with the front end related info i learnt i then began solo making projects to discuss during future interviews, like a website, an app etc. My advice is to learn but also practice, make your own projects as the best way to learn is through practical application!!

i defo recommend freecodecamp, you gain certifications for free, with a solo project at the end of each module to ensure practical application! If you need any further advices and tips, or just curious about the tech degree apprenticeship route pm me!

It won't let me send a PM. Its asking me to make another forum post.
Thanks, did you do anything for data structures and algorithms, I struggled on those a lot. I also remember when I was applying for apprenticeships I go this question in the virtual interview centre i had no clue on it was like how do you design a search bar for movies which completely stumped me, how do you prep for questions like those?

How 'big' were your projects if that makes sense? Were they only using a single language or were they like full on front end/back end apps?

If you don't mind, could I get a peak at your github profile?

Thanks.
Reply 6
Original post by MindMax2000
No there isn't generally for software development. I like the look of the qualifications from the Python Institute, but it's not strictly required to get the role.

Having said that, why are you considering a degree in CS when you can go into an apprenticeship in software engineering just out of interest?

I'm considering a degree in CS as a backup, I applied to apprenticeships this year but got rejected from all of them, some because I applied too late and some because i flopped the interviews. Waiting for apprenticeships to open up for 2024 which should be around this time to February 2024.

My thought process is, if i can't get a degree apprenticeship for 2024, I can at least just get a degree and aim for internships for work experience.
Original post by hi :)
I'm considering a degree in CS as a backup, I applied to apprenticeships this year but got rejected from all of them, some because I applied too late and some because i flopped the interviews. Waiting for apprenticeships to open up for 2024 which should be around this time to February 2024.

My thought process is, if i can't get a degree apprenticeship for 2024, I can at least just get a degree and aim for internships for work experience.


Sounds like a good plan.

In which case, I would continue building up a portfolio of projects like you have done so far. I don't know what else to recommend at the moment other than taking some possible nonaccredited courses on the side.
Reply 8
Original post by hi :)
It won't let me send a PM. Its asking me to make another forum post.
Thanks, did you do anything for data structures and algorithms, I struggled on those a lot. I also remember when I was applying for apprenticeships I go this question in the virtual interview centre i had no clue on it was like how do you design a search bar for movies which completely stumped me, how do you prep for questions like those?

How 'big' were your projects if that makes sense? Were they only using a single language or were they like full on front end/back end apps?

If you don't mind, could I get a peak at your github profile?

Thanks.


Ahah, I didn’t really do much complicated things and as for my github pretty sure it’s just all the Odin stuff on there! - if you’re still curious my user is 4lza
I stuck to what I was learning so for me it was pretty basic, html, css and JavaScript.
Data structures and algorithms is quite tricky, I used freecodecamp to help navigate these concepts.
I’ve also only just started my deg apprenticeship with little to no background knowledge, most apprenticeships won’t expect you to be a genius, and as for technical related questions I recommend researching the company beforehand and the technical interviews etc to have an idea what to expect.
I was quite lucky tbf, there was no technical test for the degree apprenticeship I got into, aswell as the other company I got offered, it didn’t have any technical interview/examinations.
I recommend you check out makers degree apprenticeships / apprenticeships they require you to complete a few courses and then if you have succeeded to do so by the deadline you usually get an interview with makers, then another interview with the employers and you’re in! The technical aspect weren’t too difficult, I managed to do them with the help of YouTube and google, so you might want to check that out too
(edited 5 months ago)

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