Former Level 3 IT Diploma and A Level Maths student Tristan Young talks about his Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeship with Rowe IT whilst studying at the University of Exeter.

Previous school: Liskeard School

Courses studied: Level 3 IT Diploma and A Level Maths 

Progression: Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeship with Rowe IT, University of Exeter

How much time do you spend in the workplace vs classroom?

We have online lectures one day a week, with a one-week residential per term. The rest of the time is spent working for the company (four days a week).

What’s a typical day for you when you are in work?

A typical day would start with having a catch-up meeting with my team where we discuss what we did the day before, and what we will be doing that day. I've recently been involved in a project where I had to develop a web app for a transport company, with guidance from my team I spent my days coding, helping to get the project complete. Amongst this I undertake training to develop my skills.

What’s a typical classroom/study day?

I have two online lectures in the morning, the afternoon is spent doing a mixture of assignment work and work set in the morning lectures.

What made you choose the apprenticeship route?

I chose this route as I was very set on going into a career in IT. To me the benefits of an apprenticeship greatly outweighed the benefits of a traditional university route, particularly in the IT sector. I get the best of both worlds, a full degree and four years of invaluable work experience.

Why did you choose IT?

The sector is forever growing with new and interesting jobs being opened all the time. Even if you aren't thinking of pursuing a full career in IT, the skills you could learn from these courses will help you in almost every workplace where technology is used and assist you in your day-to-day life.

How did the College support and influence your decision to do an apprenticeship?

My lectures were very supportive of me going down this route. They gave me guidance and offered me support along the way.

What is the best thing about an apprenticeship?

The best things would be getting four years of on-the-job work experience in a field I love, whilst earning a full degree at the end of it. Over the last six months I have surprised myself with how much I have learnt. Other stand-out benefits are getting a full salary and no student debt.

What will your next steps be?

My next step would be to hopefully continue to work for my current company and hopefully in the future become a senior software developer.

Do you have any tips for students considering apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are great if you know the career path you want to take. They are a great way of developing your skills alongside gaining a qualification.