Apprentice Voices: What is it like to do an IT Apprenticeship?

Written on: 1 July 2021

Written by: Baltic Apprenticeships

Topic

[Apprentices]

IT is an amazingly varied career path, encompassing lots of different roles and working environments. Some IT Support Technicians work in customer-facing roles, solving a huge range of tech questions, others specialise in areas including networks or security. 

No two IT apprenticeships are the same, so it's always exciting to hear our learner's stories! We've been chatting to Damien and Harrison, IT engineers at Dental IT and Tenacity. Read on to hear all about their roles, interests, and what it's like to be an IT apprentice with Baltic. 

Q: What ignited your interest in working in IT?

Harrison: “I’d always been quite technical from a young age – very interested in computer systems and developing my problem-solving skills. I was the one my family would turn to in order to fix a computer. Because of this, I figured that I could try and take what I already knew to a professional level.”

Damien: “I’d had previous experience working in an IT role, but it was only for a short period. About a year ago, I got an opportunity to rethink what type of job I wanted to do and had no reservations about wanting to learn more about computers and IT.”

Q: What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Damien: "I knew I’d have a learning curve in terms of my IT skills, so when I compared an apprenticeship with IT courses that you paid for, the apprenticeship seemed like a good option. I haven’t been disappointed with how much it’s taught me.”

Harrison: “I had some training in IT through college and university. Despite this, I decided to do an apprenticeship because the method of learning worked better for me. I’d always learned best by actually doing the work rather than have it all based on theory.”

Damien: Apprentice IT Engineer

Damien has been an Apprentice IT Engineer since October 2020 and has developed many skills.

Q: Are there any skills that helped you when you started in your IT engineering role?

Harrison: “Although I struggled initially with software and procedure names, the problem-solving skills I already had helped me work through most problems I was presented with.”

Damien: “I’d worked in customer service and sales previously and think this experience in dealing with customers went in my favour.”

Q: What skills have you learned and developed since starting your apprenticeship?

Damien: I’ve learned so much about PC hardware, software, and how the network all fits and works together!”

Harrison: “The main skill I’ve developed over the course of my apprenticeship was my communication skill. Through the constant use of phones, I have developed a more professional and culturally aware approach to communication.”

Harrison

Harrison started as an Apprentice IT Engineer with Dental IT in November 2020 and is interested in learning more about cybersecurity as his career develops

Q: What's an average day like as an IT engineer at Dental IT and Tenacity? 

Harrison: “The average day is filled with all kinds of different tickets and issues to tackle. Some days the phones are busy, and some they might not be – though there’s always a steady stream of work to do.

Damien: “I mainly work on the helpdesk in Sheffield, taking calls from customers who are having problems. I try to fix the problems at the first point of contact, but sometimes need extra support so will either speak to my manager or raise a ticket to be escalated. I’ll always try and learn something new about each type of problem, so when I see it again, I’m better equipped. It’s a good, friendly team and I’m happy to be part of it.”

Q: How have Baltic Apprenticeships supported you in your role?

Damien: “The courses are interesting and helpful to the day-to-day role. Sometimes it’s been that I’ve learned something at work and can bring that knowledge to the course, and sometimes vice versa – where I learn something on the course that I can use at work.”

Harrison: “Baltic have provided me with many courses and opportunities to learn more about my field of work. All of the courses I’ve done have in some way linked to the work I do, so I’ve seen immediate results when it comes to education.”

Q: What are your career plans for the future?

Damien: “As well as the networking side that I work in every day, I’m interested in both PowerShell and Cyber Security, so I can’t say for sure but I’m definitely interested in learning more in these areas.”

Harrison: “I’ve thought about furthering my education in the Cyber Security field. This would allow me to learn even more than I already do about IT in a much more specialised and focused environment. I’ve also thought about incorporating some of my existing software development knowledge into an IT engineering role and taking that further.”

Find out more:

If you're thinking about starting your IT career with an apprenticeship, take a look at our IT programmes and current opportunities.

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