The reason we recruit school leavers is because there are a surprising number of them in the UK that have a serious work ethic, are mature beyond their years and have been writing code for their own projects. It is easy to spot those that are logical thinkers and self-starters and mould them into full-stack developers.
When speaking to students and their teachers, Computer Science at University is often seen as "the way to go" to become a programmer. While the top 5 Computer Science universities attract talented developers, there is a massive learning curve from academic theory to commercial development projects.
The best Software Engineers are self-starters. Because of the speed technology changes, there is a constant need to learn and develop coding skills. Understanding computer science is ok, but it is the practical experience of writing and supporting code that is in use in systems every day that should be the goal.
This is where the BSc Digital Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship scheme is invaluable. It combines 1 day a week at University doing a Computer Science degree with the rest of the time coding projects on real systems and learning from experienced developers.
At the end of their apprenticeship, apprentices are 4 years ahead of traditional computer science grads in terms of their competence and value to an organisation. They also do not have the burden of student debt that needs servicing for the next 40 years. Ouch!
So yes, degree apprenticeships are the way to go if you want to become a serious Software Engineer.
360 Systems apprentices are at Manchester Metropolitan University for the academic part of their BSc in digital technology solutions.
If you are interested in Degree Apprenticeships in the Northwest of England or would like us to give a talk about Software Development careers in your school, do get in contact.