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How to get a job in IT: Apprenticeship vs university

Christina Mercer | Aug. 11, 2017
There are various ways to get that dream job in IT, but which one is right for you?


Starting a career in any field is tricky, and lots of options can be both a blessing and a curse. But for those wanting to get into IT, there are plenty of good choices for getting that dream job, and one is bound to suit you. 

ComputerworldUK looks at three options: degree apprenticeship, apprenticeship and straight degree. But first, what should you consider before jumping into one of the career paths? 


What to consider

If you're sat on the face, weighing up whether a degree is really worth the money, or if the work-life balance of an apprenticeship (or degree apprenticeship) is for you, you're definitely not alone.

Your learning style is one of the biggest things to consider and with an apprenticeship, those that learn by doing will have the opportunity to excel. 

However, not everyone wants to work while they learn. A lot of people prefer to dedicate more time to study and of course that university lifestyle. And in some respects, a degree apprenticeship is a compromise as in some cases you'll work one day a week and the rest will be left for study.

Naturally, you'll need to consider funding, and all the options we run though come with different pros and cons. Obviously, degrees are expensive and you'll rely on a loan to cover living costs, so for those wanting to skip all of that a degree apprentice will have their costs covered by the government and their employers, and of course, a straight apprenticeship will also receive a wage from their employer. 

One thing a degree does have is flexibility. You won't be tied to an employer or a set career path right away, as there are lots of options after university and you can select your modules depending on your interests. This won't deflect the cost but might help those that are undecided about their career path.


Degree apprenticeships

With the tagline 'earn while you learn', a degree apprenticeship could be the ideal option for someone wanting to avoid costly tuition fees and gain hands-on experience.


How does a degree apprenticeship work?

Initially launched as a government scheme in 2015, a degree apprenticeship (unsurprisingly) offers both degree modules and hands-on apprentice training.

Degree apprenticeships essentially combine both higher education and vocational training enabling students to gain a university education without having to cover the cost of tuition. Students enrolling in a degree apprenticeship will gain a full bachelor's or master's degree at the end of the course, after which employers can continue their contract of employment with them.

Typically, students will work three to four days a week with the other one to two days being spent in a lecture hall or in private study.


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