Uni, of course, was always an option. Almost all my mates decided that they wanted to go off to do a degree, and although I hadn’t ruled out, it was just something that I wanted to carefully think about first.
Then, towards the end of my time at college, we had a few companies come in and give talks about apprenticeships. This gave me the right amount of knowledge to compare the university and apprenticeship routes. Apprenticeships didn’t seem to come with any drawbacks, whereas on the other hand, I would have been saddled with debt coming out of university, whilst having not gained any professional experience within a business.
To me, it was a no-brainer.
I first started looking into courses with QA initially because they’re a well-known, reputable apprenticeship provider. TheSoftware & Web Developmentcourse that QA offered was exactly what I wanted for my future career. Throughout the entire recruitment process all the staff I met were really friendly and they just made everything really easy.
So far, my apprenticeship has been amazing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s been the biggest learning curve of my life.
Obviously I’ve learnt all about the difference aspects of development, including multiple programming languages, but then there’s the business side of things and gaining an understanding of how an organisation works that I’ve been experiencing too; there’s a lot more to a website than meets the eye!
Another great aspect is that you get to spend each day with experienced professionals. My mentor, for example, has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. For me, being able to work with someone that accomplished is so important.
I know that had I come out of university and applied for a job, I’d have been asked “what experience do you have?” But because I’ve done an apprenticeship, I have that real-world experience already!
I have no regrets whatsoever about choosing a QA apprenticeship and I would strongly advise any college leaver to at least consider and explore the apprenticeship route, as there are many other opportunities out there other than just university.
There are just no drawbacks. You learn the same stuff as a university student (whilst gaining that all-important work experience) and you get paid at the same time! Plus, you won’t end up with over £40,000 of debt!
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