Software developer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipa graduate training scheme
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in:
- computer science
- information technology
- software development
- financial technology
- software engineering for business
You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma. You'll need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
You could do a college course, which may lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. Courses include:
- A Level in Computing
- Level 3 Certificate in Programming
- T level in Digital Production, Design and Development
- Higher National Certificate in Computing
You may need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing for A-Levels or a T Level. You might need 1 or 2 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma.
You could take an apprenticeship
- Level 3 Software development technician
- Level 4 Software developer
- Level 4 DevOps Engineer
- Level 6 or 7 Digital and technology solutions
- professional or specialist degree apprenticeship
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
You may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme
with a company if you have a degree. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification. You could build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages, project management and software development methods.
Software developer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- maths knowledge for understanding programming
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- complex problem-solving skills
- excellent verbal communication skills for sharing ideas
- persistence and determination
- the ability to write computer programs
- to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
Software developer apprenticeships - what you'll do
- discuss requirements with the client and the development team
- take part in technical design and progress meetings
- write or amend computer code
- test software and diagnose and fix problems
- keep accurate records of the development process, changes and results
- carry out trials and quality checks before release
- maintain and support systems once they're up and running
You could work at a client's business or in an office.
Career path and progression - Software developer apprenticeships
With experience, you could become a senior developer, with team, project management, planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.
You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant in most areas of the economy, for example business services, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.