Benefits of a Software Development Apprenticeship
Apprentices have been around for decades. They mostly follow an approach of training younger generations a specific trade through on-the-job training. It may seem that apprenticeships are for days gone by, but that is not the case. Industries today still use apprenticeships to advance knowledge for young professionals, and the same is true for the tech industry.
Large tech companies such as Google, Airbnb, and LinkedIn, for instance, continue to offer apprenticeships. These large companies, along with others in the tech industry, offer a software development apprenticeship to teach the expertise of coding and, in the long run, fill vacant positions on their team. So, is a software development apprenticeship right for you? We’ve narrowed down its benefits so you can learn more.
Apprenticeship vs. Internship: The Differences
It is easy to mistakenly think that an apprenticeship is the same as an internship. Internships are mainly for students who are looking to gain experience or see how they would enjoy a particular career. They are often unpaid and tasked with minimal duties in the company. The goal of an internship is to gain experience in a specific industry and see if it is something you could see yourself doing full time. Internships have a set period of time that a student or recent graduate will work for, usually lasting a semester.
On the other hand, an apprenticeship is targeted towards recent graduates who are looking for real-life experience in the industry. They are often paid for their work and are given important duties and tasks that impact the team. Apprentices usually have more responsibilities than a traditional intern would. They also have the opportunity to make real contributions to the tech team. The goal of someone working in an apprenticeship is that afterward, they will be rewarded with a full-time position at the company. Furthermore, the length of apprenticeships can vary between companies, lasting from months to sometimes years.
Advantages of a Software Development Apprenticeship
There are plenty of advantages to becoming a software developer apprentice and one of them is the golden opportunity. An apprenticeship could be an excellent middle-ground for someone who is fresh out of school or a coding bootcamp and is not ready to enter the workforce entirely.
Another advantage is that an apprenticeship is not as stressful as an entry-level position. There is also not as much pressure as there would be if you enter the tech industry immediately after graduation as a junior developer. Apprentices are given the opportunity to learn the complete business operations—from start to finish. They get to learn critical aspects of the job in a stress-free manner.
In addition, they are also given a curriculum that therefore provides structure to their work-life. An apprenticeship can provide invaluable learning experiences that you might not be able to get anywhere else. It is safe to say that an apprenticeship can be a catalyst for a successful tech career.
Furthermore, during an apprenticeship, you will be coding alongside professionals in the industry. This means you are learning amongst the best and working in real-life situations. Most times, they don’t expect you to be perfect—just willing, and wanting to learn.
An additional benefit is that most times, an apprenticeship is a paid position. If you are lucky enough to score a paid apprenticeship, the salary will be comparable to that of a junior software developer. The pay can range anywhere between $50,000 to $81,000 annually. An apprentice, however, will have to commit to the standard working hours as other employees in the office.
Finally, if you put in the time and effort, you could be rewarded with a full-time position at the end of the apprenticeship. It is a great opportunity to prove yourself to the company that you want to work for. If you are not offered a full-time position, then an apprenticeship can still be a huge addition to your resume.
How Do I Find a Software Development Apprenticeship?
Finding an apprenticeship can be relatively straightforward. Not to say the hiring process will be easy, but finding an apprenticeship can be as easy as finding a job. It is recommended that you use search engines or visit sites such as Indeed and Monster to narrow down opportunities that might be best for you. Additionally, top tech companies such as Google and Amazon have formal apprenticeship programs that you can apply for.
Just like during a job search, having a network that you can contact in the tech industry can be extremely helpful. If you are lucky enough to have an extended network, then use this to your advantage by asking for advice, or if they are already working for a reputable tech company, then politely ask them to forward on your resume. The advantages of having a network in the industry are limitless so find ways to expand your network through social events.
So, Is a Software Development Apprenticeship Right for You?
Career paths in the tech industry can vary from person to person. There are so many different paths to embark on and that’s one of the many reasons that make it so exciting. A software development apprenticeship isn’t necessarily the right fit for everyone, but it could be for you.
An apprenticeship is perfect if you just attended a coding bootcamp and are looking to gain experience in the tech industry. It’s also an excellent opportunity for recent college graduates who are ready to contribute immediately to a team right out of college and gain some real-world work experience. Self-taught programmers can also benefit from becoming an apprentice as the experience will only lead them toward success.
Additionally, in order to succeed at an apprenticeship, it is essential to have an affinity for learning and growing. The tech industry is not for those who lack motivation, and the same is true for an apprenticeship. These programs are for people who are incredibly determined and not afraid to ask questions. If you have these traits and the passion to be in the tech industry, then you are ready to commit to the next step. If you’ve already made it through a coding bootcamp or a four-year college program, then you should have the skills necessary to succeed at an apprenticeship.