What is it like being an Apprentice
1. a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.
Yep, that pretty much sums up what I do. Currently I am in the middle of a Level 4 Apprenticeship which last for 12 months. I’ve been employed as a QA Tester by a Company which is working on the automation of Out Of Home Media trading.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what Out of Home Media is, I had no clue either. Out Of Home Media is a form of advertising which is located out side of your home. Duh. For example these adverts could be found on the side of the buses, on the side of buildings, at tube stations and many other places. I think that’s enough about OOH.
Now lets talk about my role as a QA Tester.
My job is basically to find issues(bugs), check previous issues(bugs) if they are still reproducible and try to break stuff that the Developers worked very hard on. Sorry Devs :D
All this might not sound much, but apparently it is very important.
I normally start my day by checking Slack messages to keep myself up to date. Then I log in to Jira to see if there are any tickets that has been resolved and if there is I test it and Close it if the issue related to the ticket is fixed or Reopen it if the issue is still reproducible.
After closing some tickets I Regression test the whole system to check that the fixes did not break anything else. I do this multiple times a day.
I also help the Customer Support team if they need help with something that has been reported by customers.
There are also times when Developers ask me to check something for them while they are fixing bugs.
This is what I do day-to-day in a nutshell.
Every now and then we have social events where we (the local+remote team when visiting)go out for Lunch, Dinner, Mini Golfing, Climbing or just having a beer after work in the office which is always fun:D
Also there is plenty of banter.
Why Apprenticeship instead of University?
If you decide to go to University you will have to pay £9,000/year +accommodation (if needed ) which turns out to be £27,000+ for an average 3 year course. Of course you can get Student loan from the government, but you still need to pay it back some time. Also no Real Work Experience.
But at the end if you worked hard enough you will have Level 5 Diploma.
If you decide to do an Apprenticeship you first need to apply to the Apprenticeship Program (99%chance you will get accepted), the you will need to get a job. The normal apprenticeship pay is between £9,000-£11,000. You will work for 12–24 months go to training for couple of weeks where they teach you stuff (for free) and at the end you will end up 1–2 years of Real Work Experience in your chosen industry, a Level 4 Certificate, money. Plus if your employer is satisfied with your work they have a chance to give you the full job at the end of the program.
If not, there is no need to worry as you will get another job much easier than a University Graduate, because employers are more keen about experience than an piece of paper with Level 5 Diploma written on it.
(this is just my opinion though)
I’ll let you decide which one is the best option.
Work is great, Colleagues are Great, Activities are Great, Training is Great, Overall Experience is Great.