‘I am currently in the second year of my Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) degree apprenticeship on the software pathway with Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Warwick. I am based in the Vehicle Cyber Security team, helping to ensure vehicle parts are protected against cyber-attacks.
I applied for the DTS course for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have been passionate about technology since I was young. At secondary school, I was fascinated by coding, and started learning Python in year 8. Secondly, in year 10, I completed work experience in the IT department of a large company, introducing me to the world of work and giving me an idea of what working in technology is like. I very much enjoyed the corporate world and would work well in a technology company. Thirdly, the DTS course provides a unique combination of maths, computing, and business experience; having enjoyed each of these subjects at school, I knew the DTS course would be a great fit for my skills and interests. Furthermore, by covering these three subjects, the course provides a unique opportunity to acquire a far wider range of knowledge and skills than a Computer Science degree.
In addition to the appeal of the course content, I chose to work at Jaguar Land Rover because I have always admired its luxury cars, exciting innovation, and exacting standards. For me, the brand exudes luxury, and its products really are showpieces on the road for all to see.
Cyber Security was a completely new area for me, so I initially spent time completing shadowing placements within my team to better understand how I could assist my colleagues. After a few months of learning some initial tasks, I was given my own projects to work on. This enabled me to lead on particular aspects of work and I felt like a fully-fledged member of the team.
Having now worked here for around 15 months, I am thoroughly enjoying my time at the company and my studies at Warwick University. I can get stuck into practical tasks; enabling me to learn on-the-job and add value to the company and its customers from a far earlier age than if I had studied for a conventional degree. Additionally, the way in which my time is split between work and university offers the best of both worlds. I spend most of my time at work, with full weeks of university lectures every 4-6 weeks, and one day each week for private study, during the academic year. This allows me to balance my time effectively between work and studying, ensuring I have sufficient time to complete assignments and revise for exams.
Aside from my work within cyber, I am involved in a few groups associated with my apprenticeship including Apprentice Lead for the Early Careers Innovations group which organises talks from engineering departments throughout the business to inspire and spread awareness of innovative projects.
My advice to anyone considering a degree apprenticeship is that, if having read the above, you think you would relish the opportunity to gain hands on experience in an exciting and supportive environment, go for it! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far and recommend this apprenticeship to anyone wishing to pursue a career in technology.
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