Jenni (24th October 2011)
The problems with apprenticeships, is many (but not all) have age limits on them, and especially in todays climate they more often will take a 16-20 year old than someone most people class as an adult.
But definately go for it. I've never studied IT till recently in any respect, and I've worked my way up over the last 8-9 years. When I started I was earning £8k per year and I now sit comfortably about £20k per year.
The more time spent in IT, the more you realise. It's not what you know or what you learn or what you study.
It's how you handle and analyse situations and problems.
A clear thinker with a smattering of common sense will go far in IT, and you'll find you'll learn what you need to know as you go along in it; you only gain experience by doing it.
Every IT course I've seen, and the few I've tried, never seem to live in what anyone would call the real world. They invariably teach you somethings you don't need to know, not enough time on the things you do, and concentrate more on bespoke and linear options, which in my experience, nothing in IT is ever as straight forward as it seems.
Go for anything and everything, live it up, and make sure you enjoy it on some level. If your not enjoying it once you average out the good days with the bad, your in the wrong job!
If you live within 60 miles of london, cost of living is horrendous - When I was in Lincoln a while back to visit my uncle, he is paying the same for his 5 bed house in council tax as I am for my 2 bed house. Also his food bill is less despite we visit similar shops and such like. All a case of where you live and how you stretch the pennies
Well don't worry, I live in the West Midlands so it's not expensive at all! Haha!
@nephilim I'd love a copy of those slides! Study time for me ;D
@mgarland It says in my OP that I am 20, and I was told this by the apprenticeship spokesperson at a college, and then my Next Step advisor told me it's possible to get an apprenticeship, although it's a lot harder because they may go for someone younger with less experience first. Though I may apply to one, since it will help. Also I am considering asking around computer repair shops near where I live--there's one about 5 minutes away but it's family run business! ;/
Once again thank you for all the help and replies, I did NOT expect two pages! Reading the replies have given me some great ideas!
Yea I was 19 almost 20 when I started mine so it is not impossible.
My Boss actually wanted someone a bit older what with it being a secondary school with a 6th form.... A 16 year old person may struggle in that environment. Yea they can be tough little jobs to find.
I still really sell the apprenticeship to people as I freaking loved mine and it has set me right up as most employers prefer experience over certificates to be honest. I am now 21 and in a nice stable IT job with a nice salary so it can defiantly work out for people!
Anyway I wish you the best of luck whichever way you go. Make sure you keep us updated!
On the subject of apprenticeships let me know the quals you have comepleted (the exact titles) and I can tell you what you can and can't do as a result. I currently (for 3 more days) work as an IT Apprenticeship Manager so can give you the facts. It is true that higher learning more or less rules you out of an apprenticeship under normal circumstances, although there are companies (I know of one in the South) who are working to create and deliver 'Level 4' apprenticehips in IT, equivilant to foundation degree level.
From experience I would ignore what you have been told about experience or over qualified, most employers I work with, if you were about to do an apprenticeship with them would jump on you (not literally!). This is a funny market for apprentices in particular right now.
Happy to give more specific advice if needed, just let me know.
Find yourself someone who is willing to take a punt on you! That's what I did, and 3 years later, I know he's very glad he did!!!
I started with a CompTIA A+....It got my foot in the door. Take short term contracts, cos they can go permanent! You don't say where you are in UK?
Cos I do know of a place that may be coming up real soon......
If it is your dream to do IT, you should go for it. Look for opportunities to build your skill set and knowledge base so you become a more valuable player. You might have to do something else for a while to pay the bills, but if you are willing to work and make the sacrifice, you will come out OK. You should pick one specialty area and then diversify into other skills. Good luck!
Can I ask where abouts you are based as I if you are Lincolnshire area I may be able to get you in with us for some experience, cannot promise pay but certinally experience. Was only talking about it in the office this afternoon as we loose 2 tech's this next week as part of a staff transfer.
@mgarland wow congrats, I'm glad that you are in a stable job now! It's not so much about my age but about my qualifications, but I'm sure it was you who said you had a friend who studied at degree level--so it's possible for me to get one, which is exciting news!
@GREED I finished a Foundation Degree which is obviously level 5, I also have done a BTEC National Diploma and have key skills City & Guild level 2 in ICT & Application of Number as well as level 3 in communication. Thank you for your help! It's nice to know that some employees will look past what level I am and take me on!
@aerospacemango & @MatthewL I am from Staffordshire, West Midlands.
I didn't want to start a new thread, and I couldn't see an edit button, but I found this, and since many people have now told me I can actually apply for an apprenticeship I have been searching and found this one:
Microsoft – Hardware & Networking Programme - QA Advanced Apprenticeships
There is one in my local area, what do you guys think?
according to that site you need to be between 16-18 to apply...your first post says you are 20 which puts you out.
Well it said on the other website:
The training provided by QA is fully funded by the government for 16-18 year olds, and partially funded for 19-24 year olds.
So I figured I would be allowed on it... oh well, I enquired anyway!
All of our trainees have come from QA (Slough), they've lacked a bit of real life experience (e.g, didn't like being told off when late) but generally they know a fair bit, especially on the hardware side.
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