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Apprenticeships...Good idea?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by James.M, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Through listening to some great advice on here, it has come to my attention to be employable, experience is the major factor. I have no experience and no qualifications in the ICT field and am in the transition from Army to Civilian.

    I am 25 years old and have reasonable outgoings, but im single and can learn to budget. I am thinking of taking an apprenticeship to gain experience aswel as gain a few qualifications along the way.

    Is this a good idea? What should I expect to gain or look for? If the apprenticeship qualifications are NVQ for instance, is it a good idea to further study and complete my CompTIA and other exams on the side?

    The reason I have come to this conclusion is primarily to gain experience and get a more 'hands on' approach to learning in a working environment.

    Your feedback as always is very much appreciated.
  2. zxspectrum

    zxspectrum Gigabyte Poster Premium Member

    Well you need the quals and the experience. I have a level three NVQ as a motor vehicle technician, and what that entailed was 4 days of being at work, and one day at college, now depending on what placement you got depended on how well you progressed. By that i mean some employers were genuime and took apprentices on to kepp them in their place if they could, but always with the intentino of training them up, i mean, they were getting cheap labour and it was legal, but it helped me in writing up what i had done during the week, rather than just reading a book.

    Now ive just finished my degree, in computing and information systems, so i have the paper but not the experience, now im chasing the experience, plus also it depends what you want to do, and what expererience can you draw from. I suppose after being a mechanic, if theres a power on failure in a computer, i wont decide straight away that the whole computer is fooked, id look at the little things, like is the fuse blown, does the cable work etc.

    Id suggest looking for volunteer work, i mean how much exatly do you know about IT, and what area do you want to go in, there are loads of areas, my degree covered databases, web designe, networking, some pointless crap like ethics, and computer architecture, in which we designed a micro processor. As im looking to go into networking, then some of the subjects i have done seem irrelevant, maybe.

    Depends what you want really, do you want to fix pcs, do you want to manage networks, the step on the laddder will always be the first hurdle, get on that, and who knows

    Certifications: BSc computing and information systems
    WIP: 70-680
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    If you can afford to take an apprenticeship job (some apprenticeship will paid the minimum amount, others with pay a "normal" wage), then I would say go for it. Depending on the level, you can gain anywhere from a level 2 (which is GCSE level) to level 4 (degree level), with level 3 being the average. The apprenticeship program will also have some sort of technical cert built into the program (eg the A+, MCTS, etc) and functional cert/skills.

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  4. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Totally agree with Ken. The older you get its not a case of an apprenticeship being a good idea, if you are new to a field its always a good idea, its can you 'financially afford' for it to be a good idea.
    Apprentices can be ideally placed to learn from the masters so to speak and progress rapidly, but are often paid less than a junior level because thats the trade off. More hands on training for less pay usually.
    I do think tho, if you can get an apprenticeship, it's sometimes best to think of the long term career prospects you will gain, assuming you progress as expected, just don't go loosing your house over it in the mean time! would be my advice. You still need to have a life.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  5. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Thank you all once again. Sorry for replying so late. I have been travelling and am replying over phone. Basically the answers I received are the answers I was kind of expecting. Financially I am a little uncertain that I will be able to cover all of my outgoings, but maybe with some decent budgeting I'll be fine. I'm not in this for the money so to speak, but to be comfortable whilst I learn would be a great weight off my shoulders.
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Apprenticeships used to be great - you'd spend years and years learning a trade from the bottom up until you get really good at it. The downside used to be that they were typically poorly paid and, as I said, lasted for years. But they produced genuine craftsmen.

    They have fallen out of favour of late due to things like 'modern apprenticeships' which are just a way of giving completely unemployable people something to do.

    I'm also not really convinced that an apprenticeship is entirely suitable for IT. Things move so fast I don't really see the value in spending 5 years trying to learn the basics.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. James.M

    James.M New Member

    It seems I have found a possible placement in London. The pay is reasonable or shall I say comfortable enough, and travel expenses are paid for. It lasts around 3 months (more if needed) gaining all relevant qualifications etc. Also it may provide with employment depending on circumstances.

    Technically this is not an apprenticeship and I have been very lucky to get this opportunity. It is being run through a few military organisations so I am sure they will do their best for me.

    If I do manage to get a placement, I will be a very happy man.

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