Cyber security apprenticeships are popping up a lot these days. Our company consistently hires apprentices throughout the UK, and our competitors in Europe and across the world are doing the same.
Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.
Benefits of an apprenticeship
You’ll learn how the industry works and be able to test whether it’s really what you want to pursue as a career.
Learn while you earn
Apprenticeships enable you to start working and earn a wage while you learn skills and gain the qualifications that your future employers will definitely require. You’ll also be learning skills that your contemporaries at university will not be able to gain. After 3 years of apprenticeship, wherein your university-educated colleagues would have a lot of knowledge but no experience, you will inevitably have a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience.
While on your apprenticeship, you’ll be treated mostly like a regular employee of the company in that you’ll get a certain amount of paid holiday per year in addition to bank holidays. Your entitlement may vary depending on your employment and training agreement, but by law you are entitled to at least 20 days. You may also be able to take some time off for study leave in addition to your usual paid leave, but this is up to your employer and depends on the type of job you have.
One of the largest advantages of getting the qualifications you need in your field, while being able to put the skills you learn into practise at the same time, is that someone will always be on-hand to show you how things are done. You will be in a position to find a mentor or coach within a professional organisation without having to be coached by a professor. Once you are in the working world, you’ll realise how valuable that really is. If you have any questions about techniques, terminology or anything related to the industry, you can instantly ask your manager.
Good career prospects
Your apprenticeship will be very rewarding, even if at times it may seem demanding. Once you have finished your apprenticeship, you’ll have a world of options open to you. You may be able to carry on working in the same place, or look for a similar job in a different company. Having industry experience is very important when getting your first job, so being able to show that you’ve got that plus qualifications will give you a huge advantage over other applicants.
The key benefits of signing up for a cyber security apprenticeship is:
- By the time your peers finish their university studies, you will have years of experience, setting you up as a well paid expert at a young age
- You will start getting paid immediately
- You will get your education fully funded, and if you excel in school, you can theoretically be funded through the master’s degree level
There are also downsides, which are important to explain:
- You have to know what you want to do at a young age
- You have to adult-up early, potentially missing out on the ‘university experience’
- Your education is narrowly focused on your trade, missing out on softer, liberal-arts types of curriculum that have non-direct but still incredibly important value.