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Degree apprenticeships in England and Wales are awesome. These programs allow working individuals the chance to complete either a bachelor's or master's level degree whilst working full-time.

Designed in partnership with employers, part-time study takes place at a university or college, with the rest of your time being with your employer.” – UCAS

The Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship at Staffordshire University offers a unique spin (or at least that's how it looks to me) on a degree apprenticeship experience. Yes, there are the usual connections with industry. However, there's also an opening for a Digital Solutions Apprentice - Software Engineer position at Staffordshire University (applications are due December 6, 2017) that is different than most.

What makes this position at Staffordshire different is that the chosen apprentice will be working AND learning at the university.

Whoever is hired for the role will have their fees covered by the university (worth at least £27,000 / $36,497) and will also receive a starting salary of £19,850 ($26,832) per year.

This sounds very similar to graduate assistantship roles that are highly prized at universities in the United States. In fact, it's quite similar to when I interviewed for admission into the CSSA master's program at Oregon State University and my academic interview turned into an interview for my future paid assistantship position.

The digital apprentice will literally learn and earn. It's an amazing opportunity to jumpstart a digital career. In three years, this person will have professional experience AND a university degree.


What I'm wondering is whether or not this apprenticeship will provide a closer feel to the student experience at Staffordshire University than other apprenticeship opportunities that exist in collaboration with industry.

Honestly, if was 18 years old, this opportunity (a paid job whilst being able to earn a bachelor's degree essentially for free) would have looked like a dream.


Staffordshire University has an ambitious goal of becoming the UK's “leading digital university” and if this in-house degree apprenticeship is any indication, they're well on their way.


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