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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?

To apply for a place at your chosen university you must complete submit an application via UCAS' online Apply portal. Next, you can choose up to five different courses (or different universities) to apply for. 

From there, students will hear back from the universities and find out whether they received a conditional or unconditional offer. A conditional offer to university means that acceptance to the course you've applied for is dependent on obtaining the required A-level grades, whereas an unconditional offer means you have been accepted regardless of your grades. Each grade corresponds to an amount of UCAS points and it is this number of UCAS points that will determine whether you've matched the grades of your conditional offer.


How much does a degree cost?

Currently, new students enrolling from 2016 on a three-year Bachelor's degree will be charged up to £9,000 per year with UK students living away from home and outside of London receiving maintenance loans of up to £8,200 (inside London up to £10,702).

Students can also apply for a student loan to cover their tuition fees of up to £9,000 which depending on your graduate wage, will have to be paid back.


Pros and cons of a degree

When compared with an apprenticeship or a degree apprenticeship, it's easy to jump to the obvious con, the cost. However, although the cost is considerably higher, the career choices available as a graduate are much less restrictive. Graduates are not pigeon-holed or assigned one particular role, instead, they can use the valuable skills learned at university and apply them to a variety of jobs.

On the other hand, a degree without a sandwich year or year in industry means students lose out on important practical training and in terms of experience in the field, are years behind their apprentice/degree apprentice counterparts. 

"We tend to find a lot of our graduates when they've finished their A-levels and don't know what to do, so they choose to go to university and study what they fancy at that particular time," said Stephanie Bishop, Head of graduate and apprenticeship recruitment at Capgemini.

"It's very infrequent that you'll find someone that studies at university and goes on to a job in that space so we recruit from all different disciplines. For example, we have English students that are now application consultants.

"So I think if you don't know really what you want to do, then potentially going to university and working out what route you want to take in three years time, it might be better than delving into an apprenticeship where you're going to be on a particular track and studying something that's going to lead to a [specific] career."

Student testimonial - Architectural Technology graduate, Jennifer Nicholson-Taylor


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