I did the apprentice route. About ten years ago mind so don't know how much has changed. It was great to get into the career in the first place because bosses love staff who'll work for forty quid a week, for this money the mistakes you might make while learning can easily be excused. It gets your face known as well as your capabilities before its time to start asking for a real job - the same one you'd be applying for if you did the pure academic route. The apprentice after a couple of years of experience and a handful of vocational quallies will knock spots off an A-level student straight out of college in an interview.
School leaving age | Gov.uk
In England, if youíre currently in year 11 you must stay in some form of education or training until the end of the academic year when you turn 17.
If youíre currently in year 10, then you have to stay in some form of education or training until the end of the academic year when you turn 18.
This doesnít have to mean staying in school, it can be:
full-time education, eg at a school or college
full-time employment (over 20 hours a week) combined with part-time education or training
When I left school, apprenticeships were looked down upon by my school, but I'm so glad I didn't listen to them. The apprenticeship that I did was the best training/learning that I could have ever have wished for - it outstripped school and college ten times over, and I recommend them for anyone who knows what they want to do. I walked away from it with an HNC in Electronic Engineering, and a full time job. It's a great way to learn whilst getting paid, and (hopefully) you get employment at the end of it.
If you know what you want to do, and are willing to work at it, you will hopefully get a long and fruitful career from it.
Simon, I'd say checking out the Job Centre can't hurt.
@crt404, I'd agree on apprenticeships but would also add that you may have to take quite a lot of carp and monkey work sometimes along the way, depending on where you end up!
Si2100 (28th March 2013)
You might want to aim a little higher by way of career choice, too - "IT Technician" is a perfectly decent job, but at 15 you really might as well be aiming at "rocket scientist" or "nuclear physicist" (both of which would require plenty of computer-related work), and you might end up with a really interesting job.
I, of course, am not your teacher, and therefore do not know what your strengths with particular subjects might be, so if you've discussed with your teachers and decided that a more vocational path might be better then that's fine, but do make sure you discuss plenty with teachers who know you first. Again, I don't know your circumstances, but if you're thinking to avoid university because of money issues, then studying abroad might be a good option - parts of the EU do very affordable degrees, with lower living costs than in the UK, some even taught in English, and even if not you have plenty of time to learn a language anyway. The same goes for vendor certifications - a chap I know is moving to Sri Lanka to do a bunch of Microsoft certifications as study/living costs are so much cheaper there (it's also considerably sunnier, as an added bonus).
Many Dutch universities specialise in English-taught courses.
dhicks (28th March 2013)
Probably going over old ground that's already been covered already but I'm currently on an Apprenticeship as an IT Technician in a high school. Won't bore you with too much details but I think it's the best choice I've ever made to leave college and follow this path, yes the moneys not great and it can be quite demanding at times but for me the idea of actually having the experience of working in an IT support environment outways all of that.
However, as plenty of people have already said it's not really a decision that anyone else can make for you, have a word with your teachers and people at school and take the time to choose which path you actually want to take.
Quite baffled how a thread about getting a job in IT has resulted in discussions about moving abroad but hey ho.
Thank you for all the posts. They have been useful.
I was 15 when I started to work in IT
When I finished school I went back one day a week and worked in the IT department so i had some experience.
Then after a year I did a two year apprenticeship in It practitioners level 2.
Then managed to get my 1st fulltime ICT technician job job roll.
After a year I moved to Bristol (from Plymouth) and started work as an ICT Network Technician.
I kinda fell into It but I think the work experience set me up the most as my network manager gave me a very impressive reference.
Hope this helps
I got offered a job when I left 6th form as an IT technician at that school, I did some IT courses, but non relevant - but with IT they don't get relevant till you can choose specifics at HE.
I am now a NM after 7 years (2 schools, now on 3rd)
It is a long slog, but bare in mind that whilst you might now think a technicians job will do, when your 25-30 - will it still be? Will you want to be a manager (as that is really the only progression in edu IT) - being a NM is a completely different job in many cases. I now spend a lot more time arguing, budgeting, planning etc - but I do get the satisfaction of doing things my way, and getting good results because of that.
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