University this, University that! Blah Blah Blah. Growing up in London in your average school everything is very university focused, “to be successfully you need to get into university” and its not just the schools but it filters down to the parents as well, in my case my parents really wanted me to go to university as well. High School and Sixth form (12-18 years old) never once stressed the idea about the possibilities of apprenticeships compared to university and what they can do for you. In this diary entry, I am going to be telling you advantages I had being an apprentice.
Okay, let me get the immediate benefit out the way which I wont go into to much detail about.. You get paid to learn. What more could you want aye? The salary is not the best no, but its better than paying for an education 😉 To give you an idea I was earning about £600 a month as a fresh apprentice and I know that is not a lot, but when your still living at home with no major bills it is definitely enough to pay your parents some rent and still have a social life. (For those who don’t live in London, it is very expensive!)
Now, lets talk about the real benefits relating to personal development with an apprenticeship. The first real benefit is the focus and time you are able to have. As a college student you study around 3 days a week and then you have 2 days off to do as you please. Where as, in the programming apprenticeship, you spend the other 2 days a week in a professional office learning to code. I know 2 days a week does not sound like a lot of time but that is an additional 16 hours of learning code which you can put into practise in a real life business environment.
Secondly, a massive advantage is that you already have your foot in the door of a software development company. By having this foot in the door, the company will begin to train you, begin to know you and begin to build up a rapport with you. When you finish your apprenticeship 2 years down the line, Who do you think they will give a job too? Someone they have moulded into a developer who fits the company, or someone fresh out of university who is not moulded to what they are looking for? Easy choice, and helps the company avoid long lengthy interview processes.
Another advantage is how it boosts your general knowledge which you can take back to your college classes. By the second year of my apprenticeship I was at the stage where I was able to help my fellow class mates more than my teacher was able to. This was simply because the college teacher only had educational experience, where as I was starting to get not only the educational experience, but also the real life practical experience.
Finally, the last major benefit of an apprenticeship is that it does not cost you a penny to take part. You get paid to take part and become an apprentice, compared to university, you have to pay £XX,XXX for your education and left in debt for years to come.
Obviously, there are many other smaller benefits of being an apprentice but in this article I have highlighted the most obvious points which give you an understanding of what benefits I had throughout my apprenticeship.
Until next time.
My name is Andrew, passion for anything technical and fast. I am a software developer from London quick background check I started as an apprentice desktop developer and 5 years later and 2 jobs later i am now a desktop, web and mobile app developer working for a company just outside of London.
My passions is obvious and i love to share and talk about it which is why i am starting developer diaries, a spin off from my popular world of programmers page with over 100,000 fans world wide.