IT & Digital Apprenticeships | Best Apprenticeships (2023)

Your Ultimate Guide to a career in computers

Our world is constantly evolving, and we need the latest technology in order to keep up.

IT professionals hold the keys to technology, systems and data. In our ever more digital workplaces, these roles aren’t just important, they are vital. So whether you’re a hardware whizz, a pro coder or a cybercrime fighter, the future of business needs incredible IT apprentices to take it to the next level.

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In this Guide:

  1. Types of IT Apprenticeship
  2. Entry Requirements
  3. Apprenticeship Levels
  4. Latest Vacancies
  5. Sector Spotlights
  6. Big vs. Small Companies

Digital apprenticeships start here

There’s never been a better time to get involved in the innovative and fast-paced IT industry.

University can seem like the obvious choice when all your friends are applying, but there are now other paths into a fascinating career in IT. Apprenticeships continue to grow in popularity as an alternative to university, offering a wide scope of subjects and levels of education to suit you.

An apprenticeship allows you to work full-time while you complete a formal qualification through a structured training programme. You’ll have the same rights as a normal employee and you’ll receive your qualification without being left with any tuition debt. Essentially, you learn while you earn – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

A lot of people go to university because it gives them time to think about what they want to do; however, if you already know what subject/area of work you’d like to specialise in, you can hit the ground running in employment with an apprenticeship.

So, what kind of apprentice opportunities are there in IT?

(Video) Let's talk about... IT and digital apprenticeships

‘Many fields within IT overlap. You could be working with a multitude of different tools and technologies every day.

Types of IT apprenticeships

Software Apprenticeships

Throughout 2022, IT roles have consistently appeared on LinkedIn’s list of most-searched-for opportunities, with ‘Software Engineer’ taking the top spot.

(Video) Why I chose an apprenticeship | Digital Apprenticeships

Software engineering and development work includes building and developing computer and applications software. You don’t need to attend university to become a software professional; in fact, most don’t. You can learn during an apprenticeship or an online course – or even teach yourself!

Coding and developing software involves using different languages to build the software and applications, with the most popular being Python and Java. These languages are effectively instructions for computers, and – as a software professional – you’ll use these languages to design applications, build programs and modify software systems.

Some possible career paths in software:

  • Software Engineer (creates tools to build software)
  • Software Developer (develops apps with pre-made tools)

Find out more

Cyber Security Apprenticeships

Cybersecurity is the current buzzword in IT. It’s been brought to the public’s attention through high-profile data breaches and cyber attacks at large corporations including Twitter and British Airways, where the data and personal details of thousands of people were stolen by criminals.

Jobs in the cybersecurity domain include Cyber Analysts, Ethical Hackers and Penetration Testers. Working in these roles, your responsibility would be to identify threats or weaknesses in your clients’ computer and security systems to keep them safe from hacks.

Cyber security professionals help to keep companies, assets, and digital infrastructure safe from hackers and criminals. As a cyber security apprentice you could work for a private company or for the government. Cyber security offers awesome career progressions and a really good starting salary (with room to grow).

Some possible career paths in cyber security:

  • Cyber Analyst (analyses cybersecurity threats)
  • Ethical Hacker (is employed to ‘hack’ into a business to test their security)
  • Pentester (a ‘penetration tester’; performs tests on computer systems to check for security weaknesses. Funny name, we know…)

Find out more

Networking Apprenticeship

The most popular jobs in this domain are Network Engineer and Network Manager. You’ll be working on the design and daily operations of your clients’ network infrastructure, which could include broadband networks, routers and firewalls. Often, Network Engineers also help with the telecoms/phone systems and Wi-Fi that a business uses.

Some possible career paths in networks:

  • Network Engineer (sets up, develops and maintains computer networks)
  • Network Manager (supervises installation and running of network systems in a business)

IT Support Apprenticeships

An incredibly popular job in the IT field, IT Support Technicians are present in most medium to large businesses. They help with the day-to-day running of the business’ tech, especially fixing technical problems, diagnosing faults and maintaining all computer and network systems.

It’s the job of an IT Support Apprentice to ensure that all systems and software in the business are secure and well-functioning, and they usually have a say in what kind of computers, phone systems or software the business uses.

Some possible career paths in IT support:

  • IT Support Technician (works with general day-to-day running of IT in a business)

Data Analyst Apprenticeship

If you’ve paid any attention to recent security hacks that big corporations have suffered (as mentioned above), you’ll know that hackers are looking for two things: money or data. Data is an invaluable asset to all businesses, and helps to give an understanding of the market, industry trends, sales, advertising success, and so much more.

(Video) how I got my apprenticeship with Google at 18 | The Google Interview Process - Molly Johnstone

Data and IT roles often cross over, because of the often complex IT systems and databases required to collect, store, clean and analyses data sets. A Data apprentice would have a keen interest in mathematics as well as technology and software.

Some possible career paths in data:

  • Data Analyst (collects, organises and interprets data)
  • Data Scientist (interprets data and turns it into useful, clear information)
  • Data Engineer (builds data products that businesses can use to track their own data)

Cloud/DevOps Apprenticeships

Although cloud jobs and DevOps jobs are not the same thing, companies often expect professionals in the cloud and DevOps space to have worked in both of these areas. You’ve probably heard of the cloud before: cloud computing is when data is stored over the internet rather than on your computer’s hard-drive. Popular cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform; I’m sure you can guess which companies created these!

DevOps means ‘development and operations’, and it can be tricky to understand what a DevOps Engineer actually does in simple terms; the best way to explain is that DevOps Engineers automate and integrate the technology between software development and IT teams. DevOps links the people who write the code with the people who deploy the code.

Some possible career paths in Cloud/DevOps:

  • Cloud Architect (who designs the cloud solutions)
  • Cloud Engineer and Cloud Developer (very similar jobs; these people set up the cloud solutions)
  • DevOps Engineer (works with cloud, software and other IT teams to link all their technologies together)

Digital Marketing Apprenticeships

As the world becomes ever more digitally focused, digital apprenticeships have increasingly come to the fore as a way for companies to bridge the digital skills gap. The UK is a global leader in the technology sector, but many companies are getting left behind. Without an optimised website and a strong social media presence, it is hard for businesses to compete.

That’s where digital marketing comes in. Digital marketers help create and improve website content, use social media for meaningful client interactions and brand awareness, and ensure companies are pitching the right message to the maximum number of target customers. you could even work specifically in social media.

Find out more

Entry requirements?

There are no national entry requirements for apprenticeships, so you’ll need to check each job spec with potential employers. Keep in mind that higher-level apprenticeships may expect you to have at least five GCSEs (grades nine to four) or two A-levels.

Aside from academic entry requirements, most employers will be interested in your personal skills; you’ll need to have a positive attitude to learning as you combine practice with theory, and good communication skills are always a plus.

Before applying to any apprenticeships or attending any interviews, ensure that you have fully researched the role and the company. Impress your potential employer by showing off your knowledge!

Competition can be fierce for IT apprenticeships, but they’re worth fighting for if you want to hit the ground running in the world of work. The range of choice for IT training programmes grows every year, with more and more businesses offering opportunities of their own.

Apprentice Levels

So, do any of those fields sound interesting to you? None of the above jobs require you to go to university and you can learn all the necessary skills in software, cybersecurity, networking, IT support, data, cloud and DevOps through an apprenticeship.

(Video) Evolution of Digital & Management Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are split into levels depending on length and the qualification that you receive at the end. Possible qualifications that you’ll get could be:

  • Level 2 (intermediate) – equivalent to five GCSEs (at grades nine to four)
  • Level 3 (advanced) – equivalent to two A-levels
  • Levels 4 and 5 (higher) – equivalent to a foundation degree
  • Levels 6 and 7 (degree) – you’ll get a full bachelor’s and/or master’s degree

Yep, that’s right: with some high-level apprenticeships you can achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree at the end, without going to university. Degree apprenticeships usually last between three and five years, and you can find them at some huge companies; including the Big Four consultancy firms: Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG.

JP Morgan – famed for its Bournemouth-based two and four year apprenticeships – and Accenture also offer similar schemes.

If three to five years sounds too long for you, apprenticeships at Levels 2 to 5 are usually shorter, and you’ll qualify with the equivalent of five GCSE grades, two A-levels or a foundation degree. Big names offering shorter apprenticeships are IBM (Levels 3 to 6) and Lloyds (Levels 2 to 6). The latter will even pay you a full salary rather than an apprenticeship rate, if money is on your mind.

The latest jobs in IT, Software and Cyber Security:

  • Cyber Security Degree ApprenticeshipBAE Systems Preston, ChristchurchLevel 6-7Posted on 25/10/2022
  • Software Engineer Degree ApprenticeshipBAE Systems Portsmouth, South, Rochester, Brough, Samlesbury/Warton, YeovilLevel 6-7Posted on 25/10/2022
  • Information Management Systems and Technology Degree ApprenticeshipBAE Systems BarrowLevel 6-7Posted on 25/10/2022
  • Information Management Systems and Technology Higher ApprenticeshipBAE Systems PrestonLevel 4Posted on 25/10/2022
  • Work Experience at Barclays (Virtual)Barclays UKPosted on 11/10/2022
  • Degree Apprenticeships at GCHQ (Register interest 2023/24)GCHQ Cheltenham, London, Scarborough, Bude, ManchesterLevel 6-7Posted on 19/09/2022

Load more listings

Sector Spotlight: In what industries can I become an IT apprentice?


As well as Lloyds, most banks offer a wealth of IT-related opportunities, some of which combine IT with business. For example, Barclays runs a strong Technology Apprentice programme that can lead you to a BSc in Technology, and similar programmes are available at Santander, HSBC and Nationwide.

Keep an eye on modern, digital-only banks such as Monzo too – they don’t currently have apprenticeship programmes, but they may kickstart these in the future.

The civil service

One of the biggest employers of IT apprentices in the UK is the civil service, which generally offers Level 4 apprenticeships. The civil service focuses on cybersecurity and computing, and you could be working in engineering domains such as transport infrastructure, oil and gas or the civil nuclear industry. There’s also a high chance that you can progress into a permanent role within the civil service once your apprenticeship is finished – this could be a great way to go if job security is important to you.


Excited by cybersecurity but not by the civil service? Take a look at the opportunities offered in the telecommunications industry. Sky, ITV and the BBC run popular cybersecurity and networking apprenticeships, and – similarly to the banking sector – they often combine ICT with business.

If coding and programming is your thing, the BBC is also known for its competitive software-related apprenticeships which run for 24 months. These are London-based and have fixed start dates, so you’ll need to make sure that you get your applications in on time.

Big vs small companies?

Aiming big? How about applying for apprenticeships at Google and Microsoft; they pay less than other programmes (starting at £15,000) but they are undoubtedly key players in the tech space, and could carry weight on your CV. It’s worth noting, however, that a bigger company does not necessarily mean that you’ll get a better experience; some smaller firms and local businesses have exceptional apprenticeship schemes. You can ask your careers advisor for options in your area.

An apprenticeship in IT can open the door to a multitude of different career opportunities across loads of different industries. As business continue to take steps towards digital transformation, IT and digital professionals are more valuable than ever.

After all, a good apprenticeship could be the start of your dream career!

(Video) Digital Marketing Apprenticeships - Another Way To Learn


What is digital apprenticeships? ›

The Digital Apprenticeship Service is the government portal for employers to find, fund, and manage apprenticeship programmes. Launching in 2017 as the Digital Apprenticeship Service, it has since been renamed the Apprenticeship Service.

What are the 4 types of apprenticeships? ›

There are four levels of apprenticeships: intermediate, advanced, higher, and degree. Keep scrolling to find out what each level involves, and what you need to apply.

What is an apprentice in IT industry? ›

An IT technician apprenticeship will focus on the skills you need to support, update, and troubleshoot hardware and software systems for a company.

Which apprenticeship pays highest? ›

Highest-paid apprenticeships
  • Mechanic apprentice.
  • Elevator technician apprentice.
  • Plumber apprentice.
  • Electrician apprentice.
  • Carpenter apprentice.
  • Brick mason.
  • Automotive technician.
  • Ironworker.
Mar 22, 2021

Are IT apprenticeships worth IT? ›

Apprenticeship training programmes are specifically tailored to ensure you develop the skills employers want. This means that apprentices not only have better long-term salary prospects, but they also have excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace.

What qualifications do you need for an IT apprenticeship? ›

These qualifications can include:
  • Functional skills - GCSE level qualifications in English, maths and IT.
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) - from level 2 (comparable to five GCSEs) up to level 5 (similar to a postgraduate degree).
  • Technical certificates - such as BTEC, City and Guild Progression Award etc.

How hard is it to get an apprenticeship? ›

If it's a degree apprenticeship, it will likely be more difficult to land than an intermediate apprenticeship. All you need to stand a good chance of getting an apprenticeship is a strong CV, so if you don't have the qualifications, make sure it's packed with experience and strong references.

What is the most popular apprenticeship? ›

Business and Digital were most popular apprenticeships of 2021
  • Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship – 292 applications.
  • Business Systems Apprenticeship (Advanced Level 3) – 283 applications.
  • Actuarial Apprenticeship (Higher Level 4) – 281 applications.
Jan 17, 2022

Can anyone do an apprenticeship? ›

Apprenticeships are for anyone above the age of 16 who isn't in full-time education. There isn't an age limit but they're normally aimed at 16-24 year olds.

How long is an IT apprenticeship? ›

Apprenticeships' length varies depending on the level. They usually last from 18 months to 5 years. Lower levels, for example 2, 3 and 4 are between 2-3 years. Level 6 takes around 5 years to complete, as apprentices attend university and study towards a degree.

How much does an IT company pay for apprentice? ›

Average salary for a Apprentice in Bengaluru/Bangalore is ₹1.5 Lakhs per year (₹12.5k per month).

Do apprenticeship get paid? ›

Apprentices are paid by their employer for the work they do, as well as for time spent on training. If you are under 19 (or still in the first year of your apprenticeship) there is a minimum apprenticeship rate, but employers can and often do pay more.

How many hours a week can an apprentice work? ›

Apprentices should work for a minimum of 30 hours a week, and a maximum of 40. Time spent off the job at a college or in training is included.

What is the minimum salary for an apprentice? ›

The current minimum apprenticeship wage (2023) is £4.81 per hour. This is based on the national apprenticeship wage, which was last updated in a March 2022 budget statement by Rishi Sunak.

What is the best trade to get into right now? ›

10 Highest-Paid Trade Jobs Best Jobs 2022
  • Electrician.
  • Home Inspector.
  • Construction Manager.
  • Pipefitter/Steamfitter.
  • Civil Engineering Tech.
  • Cable/Fiber Optics Tech.
  • Aircraft Mechanic.
  • Electric Lineman.

What are 3 disadvantages of apprenticeship? ›

The Disadvantages of Being an Apprentice
  • Low Pay. Apprentices typically receive significantly lower pay than certified or professional workers, despite often sharing in the same basic projects and tasks. ...
  • Minimal Recognition. ...
  • Work Limitations. ...
  • "Gofering"

Can you fail an apprenticeship? ›

Resits and retakes

Apprentices who fail one or more assessment method will be offered the opportunity to take a resit or a retake.

What is one disadvantage of an apprenticeship? ›

Start with a lower salary: Although starting salaries for graduates are higher, apprentices are typically paid a lower salary at the beginning of the apprenticeship; however, there are salary increases as new skills are acquired.

Can I go straight into an apprenticeship? ›

You can start an apprenticeship whether you're starting your career, want a change or you're upskilling in your current job. You can have a previous qualification like a degree and still start an apprenticeship.

Are apprenticeships free? ›

Unlike other professional development routes, including university, professional membership societies, or commercial training, apprenticeships are fully funded, with no fees for learners. Training costs are usually paid by your employer.

Why do you want to do an IT apprenticeship? ›

I want to use this apprenticeship as an opportunity to gain practical work experience that will build on my academic training. I also read about the growth prospects for apprentices on your company website and how you internalise those who successfully complete their apprenticeship tenure.

Is 20 too late to start an apprenticeship? ›

There is no apprenticeship age limit. There are many ways apprenticeships can not only benefit older people but can also be beneficial for their careers - from upskilling to restarting in a new field. Apprenticeships aren't just for young people and here's why...

How do you ask a company for an apprenticeship? ›

  1. Keep content relevant to the apprenticeship you are applying for!
  2. List your qualifications and work experience, and how they have led and prepared you towards applying for this apprenticeship.
  3. Don't include hobbies and interest at the point, because this needs to be included in your CV.

Do apprenticeships have exams? ›

During your apprenticeship, you'll be assessed to make sure you're achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for your chosen apprenticeship. Apprenticeships also include an end-point assessment.

What big companies do apprenticeships? ›

'As an apprentice in London, you can expect to split your time between practical, hands on working, and study. '
Celebrated for their award-winning apprenticeship schemes, some of London's amazing apprenticeship employers include:
  • Transport For London.
  • Goldman Sachs.
  • GSK.
  • Amazon.
  • Google.
  • Deloitte.
  • KPMG.
  • Accenture.

Where is the best place to look for apprenticeships? ›

Go to 'Find an Apprenticeship' on the government site.

You can also use the site to apply for apprenticeship vacancies and keep track of your applications. The government has created a new website Amazing Apprenticeships with lots of useful information and help in finding apprenticeships.

How many hours do most apprenticeships require? ›

Apprenticeship training can range from one to five years with the average duration being four years (7,200 hours).

Who pays an apprentice? ›

Employers must also pay their apprentice for time spent training or studying for a relevant qualification, whether while at work or at a college or training organisation. Employers must offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles.

How much is an apprentice wage 2022? ›

Today as a part of the Autumn Statement (17th November 2022), Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the apprentice national minimum wage will rise by 9.7 per cent to £5.28 from April 2023, an increase of 47p on the current £4.81 apprentice minimum wage.

When should I start applying for apprenticeships? ›

There's no point applying until you finish school or college, as you won't be available to start work. Ongoing recruitment. A few recruiters describe their apprenticeship recruitment as 'ongoing'.

Do I have to go to college if I do an apprenticeship? ›

You might not even have to go to college

If you want to do an apprenticeship because you don't want to go to college, you might not have to! You may be working towards a qualification at work with a tutor visiting you.

What age do apprenticeships stop? ›

Apprenticeships are not age restricted. As long as you are above the age of 16 you are eligible for an Apprenticeship. There is a common misconception that to be an Apprentice you must be between the ages of 16-25. However, this is not true.

Do apprentices get paid for college days? ›

Will you get paid for your college days? The days that you are studying as part of the apprenticeship fall under the conditions for apprenticeships that the Government have set out. These state that you must be paid for time spent studying, whether that's at work or college.

Do you have to pay back apprenticeships? ›

No. Unlike university, you will not have to pay back any money for dropping out of the apprenticeship before completion. In new funding rules, employers are no longer able to ask apprentices to pay back any costs for training, exams or other activities.

Is apprenticeship paid weekly or monthly? ›

Are apprenticeships paid weekly? Money would be paid to you monthly or weekly, and you would pay tax and national insurance. Apprentices who have completed one year of their apprenticeship and are above 19 are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

How much do 18 year old apprentices get paid? ›

What is the minimum apprenticeship wage in 2022-23? Currently, the national minimum wage for apprentices is £4.81 per hour. The minimum apprenticeship wage applies to those aged 16-18, and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

How many days a week is an apprenticeship? ›

With a full-time apprenticeship, you can expect to work around 30 hours per week, plus a day of study either at your workplace, university, college, or online. In a typical week, you'll spend four days at work and one at university, college, or a training provider.

Why do apprenticeships pay so little? ›

The apprentice minimum wage was established to encourage companies to employ apprentices, and the low rate reflects the reality that apprentices are still in training.

How long is a digital apprenticeship? ›

The length of time it takes to complete a digital apprenticeship can vary depending on the specific program and the level of apprenticeship. Typically, Level 2 apprenticeships take around 12-18 months to complete, while Level 3 apprenticeships may take up to 24 months.

Is a digital marketing apprenticeship worth it? ›

A Digital Marketing Apprenticeship can help you understand everything from website development to analytics and SEO. Some roles may even include account management, which can look incredibly impressive on your CV.

Is digital marketing apprenticeship good? ›

Digital Marketing Industry

Offering digital marketing apprenticeships is an excellent way for companies to hire people who can grow as digital marketers. At the same time, they also help the business succeed digitally.

What are apprenticeships examples? ›

Apprenticeship Standards
  • Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care.
  • Business and Administration.
  • Care Services.
  • Catering and Hospitality.
  • Creative and Design.
  • Education and Healthcare.
Jul 22, 2022


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