Information Technology (I.T.) and Software Development are becoming increasingly popular career paths for young adults, and with good reason - there’s plenty of demand out there, meaning that those with the right qualifications and experience can often choose from a wide range of well-paid opportunities.
Before applying for an apprenticeship in I.T. or Software Development, it’s important to recognize the difference between the two:
- Information Technology, as the name suggests, focuses mainly on technology; specifically, computer hardware and networks. It also includes the maintenance and support of that technology.
- Software Development is the creation of websites, programmes and apps. There are many different software languages, such as C, Python and HTML, that you can train in.
Both careers are a great choice for people who get excited by new technology and love to solve problems; however, I.T. is probably better suited to people who want more of a ‘hands-on’ career.
Sound good? Why not take a look at some of the amazing opportunities out there…
N.B. The apprenticeships listed below were all advertised at the time of writing, but may not be available now – we’ve listed them to give you an idea of the kind of opportunities that are often advertised in this industry.
1. Apprentice IT Support Technician – BlueMoon Solutions Ltd
- Length: 12 months
- Level: Intermediate (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes)
- Content: BlueMoon provide computer hardware and software support to a large number of the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses. You’ll assist their team by providing I.T. support to these businesses both remotely (i.e. from your own desk) and on-site (i.e. travelling out to that business). This will involve setting up user accounts, desktop PCs and printers, together with problem investigation and diagnosis.
- Future prospects: You’ll receive a Level 2 NVQ in IT, with the opportunity to move onto the Level 3 Qualification.
2. ICT Technician Apprentice - KIDATU
- Length: 12 months
- Level: Advanced (equivalent to 2 A Level passes)
- Content: You’ll gain a varied experience, working with Microsoft and Mac systems. Typical responsibilities will include data input, hardware installation, network maintenance and fault diagnosis.
- Future prospects: Throughout the apprenticeship, you’ll also attend college for up to 12 weeks for structured training – the rest of your training will be completed in the workplace. You’ll work towards a City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals and a L3 Extended Diploma in ICT (Systems & Principles)
3. Software Development L4 Apprenticeship – Transport for London
- Length: 2 years
- Level: Level 4 (equivalent to a Higher National Certificate or Level 4 NVQ)
- Content: You’ll learn to build professional software for Transport for London – one of the UK’s largest transport companies. Most of the company’s projects are built on Microsoft’s technologies, so you’ll gain skills in their C# programming language, their SQL database and their Azure cloud. You’ll also earn an impressive £358 weekly wage!
- Future prospects: You’ll gain a Level 4 Qualification in Software Development, which you can then use to progress to a Level 5 Qualification (such as a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma) if you choose.
What are the advantages of an apprenticeship in I.T. or Software Development?
- You’ll complete the apprenticeship with an industry-recognised qualification that will allow you to pursue an apprenticeship or education at a higher level.
- You’ll gain valuable workplace experience that will look fantastic on your CV and possibly lead to job opportunities.
- Through your workplace experience, you’ll build up a network of contacts within the industry.
- You’ll earn while you learn! No student loans, no tuition fees and, hopefully, no dept. You’ll be paid a salary by your employer, and the government tends to cover the cost of the training for most young people.
How much will I be paid?
The current minimum apprenticeship rate is £3.70, which applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
If you’re aged 19 or over and have completed your first year, you’ll be paid at least the national minimum wage for your age. However, many apprenticeships, particularly Advanced and Degree/Higher Apprenticeships, offer more than the national minimum wage.
How do I apply?
If you’re using Unifrog, you can apply by creating an apprenticeship shortlist and then clicking on the green ‘Apply’ button. Most apprenticeship descriptions will explain how to apply, but it can usually be done through the gov.uk website or education provider.
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