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I am currently studying a BTEC level 3 General IT course. I am confused as to whether go university or do an apprenticeship. They both have their ups and downs.

While an apprenticeship will more often than not, guarantee me a job, I am not sure how well it would pay as in after completing the apprenticeship course, is the full time job going to pay well?

University however, is going to help me gain alot of knowledge and maybe make me more flexible in terms of which specific field I want to do.

I am interested in software development. I am interested in programming. I am aware of some of the concepts involved in computer science/programming (Java, OOP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python). I want to have a career in software development. Is university going to be better or an apprenticeship?

I personally want to get an apprenticeship because I could get a full-time job straight after the apprenticeship.

Thanks for reading and any helpful advices.

What I have tried:

I have applied for apprenticeships before but haven't heard anything back ever.

Although I am motivated and keep trying for apprenticeships.
Updated 5-May-18 7:25am
Richard MacCutchan 5-May-18 3:55am
Looking around the UK now the job market is awash with young people with degrees. You should try talking to a few recruitment agencies to see where the shortages are, and what, if any, apprenticeships are available.
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Solution 1

Should I go to university or do an apprenticeship?

I guess that university study will be more valuable for a future employer. In university, you will learn things that you will probably not learn in apprenticeship, and in this field, technical background is essential.
If you want to learn by yourself:
You have to know that you can do pretty much anything in any language, simply some languages are harder for beginners because there is more pitfalls to handle.
You need to master a set of techniques that are the basis of the job and are not linked to a language.

- Start with an easy/safe language: VB, Java, C#, not C or C++. I do not recommend to start with Python either because of the usage of indentation.
- Read documentation / Follow tutorials (a lot of them)
- Start with tiny/useless projects, the purpose is to learn programming, not doing something useful.
- Start with console mode programs (no fancy graphics, no mouse)
- Learn debugger (an incredible learning tool)
Debugger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[^]
Mastering Debugging in Visual Studio 2010 - A Beginner's Guide[^]
- A problem ? Google is your friend.
- Learn Algorithms and Data-Structures.
Algorithms and Data Structures N. Wirth
- Learn Boole algebra
- Learn one or more analyze methods, E.W. Djikstra top-Down method is a good start.
Structured Programming.pdf[^][^][^][^][^]
- Learn SQL
- Learn Databases design and Administration
Introduction to database design[^]
1NF, 2NF, 3NF and BCNF in Database Normalization | DBMS Tutorial | Studytonight[^]
- Learn Regular Expressions

Interesting link: Learn to Program[^]

There is no shortcut to knowledge, no one can learn for you, you are the only one that can do it.
Remember the exercises and little projects are not here to make something useful, they are here to teach you programming.
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Solution 2

On the long run achiving a higher education pays off. If you work early you may regret it in 10 or 20 years when you havent a diploma for getting into the team lead or managment levels.

Normally a university diploma means higher skills, more responsible work and so more pay. Your working career may be as long as 40 years, so NOT starting with the best education is a severe disadvantage.

Best is also to get in contact with some students of the university to get a feeling that is the right thing to do.
Richard MacCutchan 5-May-18 14:05pm
In my experience of the UK workplace that is rarely true. I have worked with managers who left school at 16 with no qualifications, and ordinary programmers with masters degrees in Computer Science. In nearly all cases the presence or absence of a degree was irrelevant.

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