Established in 2018, the degree apprenticeship helps employers in Wales upskill new and existing staff in IT roles. Apprentices earn a salary with their employer whilst working towards a degree with the OU.
The programme is funded by the Welsh Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
The degree apprenticeship uses a mixture of academic and work-based learning. There are no formal entry requirements, and students are supported by an OU practice tutor. After completing the course, apprentices achieve a BSc (Hons) in Applied Software Engineering.
Degree apprentice Stephanie Williams said,
One of the great things about the course is that you get to explore different topics and it gives you a good grounding to know if it’s something you want to go into or not. It’s a really good option for people who want to change career.
In my job, I touch base with information security people, infrastructure people and software developers all the time.
So being able to speak their language and know what they are talking about is really helpful for me. It’s good to be able to talk their language in order to manage projects successfully. Even having just a basic knowledge helps to spark conversations.
Louise Casella, Director of The Open University in Wales added,
Our degree apprenticeship programme is going from strength-to-strength. It’s helping businesses across Wales grow their own talent and prepare for future IT needs. We’re building links with an ever-expanding group of employers – including local authorities, the NHS, small businesses and Fintech – whose workforces are benefiting from having a degree apprentice in place.
We have apprentices across Wales, including people living in rural areas who can stay in their communities while they work and study. Many of them are telling us how much they enjoy mixing their on-the-job training with academic learning, as they embark on an exciting new career in IT.