Why I Chose an Apprenticeship – Carter Norman, IT Apprentice
Well, after I was finally done with the stressful and arduous experience that is A-Levels, I realised I was no longer interested in pursuing university life. This was a big deal for me, as for most of my academic life I was positive this was the path I would walk along. But it was a frustrating time, and the prospect of inducing tens of thousands of pounds of debt onto myself was disconcerting to say the least. I was unsure, uninformed, and unwilling to make a clear decision. Luckily, some teachers and wise adults had already instilled the idea into me that apprenticeships were an option. And not wanting to let the old-fashioned stigma of apprenticeships prevent me from a possible career opportunity, I began my research
I quickly realised that there was a dramatic surplus of apprenticeships out there, all over the UK. You had to be careful, as not all were good opportunities, but there was a beautifully ripe market out there, filled with available positions that a young person, such as myself, could fill. I still needed to decide on an industry, but when the companies and roles themselves are there available, this was much easier than picking a university course.
You see, when I looked at university courses, it was difficult to be sure on whether there was a career path at the end of it. Some courses seemed interesting and fascinating, but lead… nowhere. With an apprenticeship, there was no guess work. You can see the career path, the role, the company, the money. I could see exactly how much I would earn and what role I would start at. Many companies stated quite clearly that they hire apprentices as standard employees after the apprenticeship, so long as the apprentice does well.
I began the search, and applied for many, many, opportunities. I got quite a few responses, some not very exciting, others more so. The response from 3aaa was what I was most interested in. Although there wasn’t a position available at that moment, they were sure that one of the companies they worked with would be interested. I pounced on the opportunity, and it definitely worked in my favour. My first interview with a company was not long after. It went fantastic, and I started my new role less than two weeks later.
To say I am happy with this process is a severe understatement. The pay is fantastic considering I am technically a student, and the alternative is university debt (which even with the generous student loan is still debt). The company I work for is fantastic. While I do have exams to do and lessons to attend, I am treated like an employee, like a professional, and every day I learn something that makes me feel as though I am getting closer to being a professional employee.
Now, it may be true that there isn’t an apprenticeship for everyone. But do yourself a favour and have a look, a proper look, because it’s a genuinely fantastic route into a career that you might miss out on.Learn more about the Level 3 IT programme here.