From my perspective, I didn’t want to go to university before trying to get into an IT career. It felt like it was less about academia for me and more about getting the right certifications and practical experience – so I thought the training of the apprenticeship was a better way to go. Plus, FCDO Services are really well-established when it comes to planning and investing in their apprenticeships.
"In some ways, it’s a broader learning experience here, because there are added challenges that you might not get elsewhere."
For a start, on the IT apprenticeship, they make sure you’re exposed to a wide variety of work – both large-scale projects and small-scale things, fixing ticketed IT issues as they come in. You continually learn things as they come up, effectively. If I’ve never dealt with a firewall before, say, and now there’s a problem with something related, then I get to learn about that and get support on it.
What I’ve found is, your team will be happy to let you get on with something if you feel you can do it, but the last thing they’re going to do is drop you in the deep end: they’ll always be patient and teach you. They’ll show you what to do and how to do it, and if at that point you think you’re confident enough, they’ll let you get on and give it a go. That atmosphere really helps you learn.
In some ways, it’s a broader learning experience here, because there are added challenges that you might not get elsewhere. There’s a heightened need for security because of our government customers, and the Security team make sure we’ve always got that mindset, to be considering that in our IT projects. You need to get used to thinking that way, and it adds extra challenge, but it also teaches you technical skills that academia can’t give you. You really can’t undervalue that.
"Everyone’s very accommodating of each other’s needs. It’s honestly a really nice place to start and get your introduction to the working world."
Plus, if this is your first job, FCDO Services is a really good introduction to workplace culture. Despite the additional security, it’s a friendly, laid-back place. Everyone’s very accommodating of each other’s needs. It’s honestly a really nice place to start and get your introduction to the working world."