Training and Development

What is the true value of IT apprenticeships?

Recent official figures show that the UK government's apprenticeship levy has had a lacklustre initial take-up. Despite being in effect since April, by August only around half of the roughly 20,000 eligible companies had registered for the fund. Of those that did register, many were using it in unconventional ways that arguably go against the spirit of the scheme. Sending executives on MBA courses isn't really what an apprenticeship is all about.

It could be argued that any boost to business is a good boost, but if used wisely the levy has the potential to change one industry more than any other – the IT industry.

Technology is one of the few careers in which the lack of a degree isn't necessarily a barrier to success. Anyone in this industry over 40 years of age probably graduated when Computer Science degrees were in their infancy, if they existed at all. People now in their late 40s and 50s doubtless knew more than their teachers, having grown up with early home computers rather than being taught about them in abstract terms.

As bootcamps gain popularity we look at their value in comparison to a computer science degree. Check out: A coding bootcamp vs a computer science degree

Obviously the IT industry has moved on in leaps and bounds since those days. It's more structured, organised and formalised. As a result, there are clear educational paths into various IT careers. IDG Connect has covered these in detail in the past, with discussions about the value of Computer Science degrees compared to alternative routes.

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Alex Cruickshank

Alex Cruickshank has been writing about technology and business since 1994. He has lived in various far-flung places around the world and is now based in Berlin.  

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