James Butterfield - Level 7 Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
"It was an opportunity to learn and develop new skills in an area I had a keen interest in while still working full-time with the course funded by my employer, giving me the chance to change career path which I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford to do."
Why did you choose to study at NTU?
"NTU was one of only a handful of universities offering the course I was interested in. In comparison with the other universities the information available about the course content and facilities was more comprehensive and the breakdown of how the content and modules would be delivered (i.e. consolidated 3 day study blocks at the beginning of each module and otherwise remote learning) seemed like the best way of fitting the course in alongside my job. I also knew a few students who had recently studied there who all gave it a glowing review and it had also recently been named University of the Year."
How do you believe this apprenticeship will affect both your current job role and future career?
"In my current job it has enabled me to take on different responsibilities from those I had before embarking on the apprenticeship, which should in the coming months lead to a complete change in role. As for the future, if/when I look to move on to a new employer the types of roles I will be looking at will be very different from what they would have been beforehand."
How would you rate the teaching and support staff on this apprenticeship?
"The teaching has been excellent for the most part with very knowledgeable lecturers who have been accessible and supportive after the initial study blocks were complete. Responding swiftly to enquiries with a willingness to help with any problems.
The library staff, in particular, have always been extremely helpful, particularly with the remote nature of the majority of the course, it would have been very difficult without their support."
What do you think of the facilities available at NTU?
"The campus facilities were really good, very modern and up to date with the latest resources and equipment. As the majority of the time on the course is spent remote the online resources were more important though and these were excellent, from the library resources to the course resources in NOW it never felt like a hinderance not being physically on campus for most of the time."
What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?
"Meeting other students who were having to juggle the same things with day to day work alongside the demands of the course and sharing the experiences and helping each other through it. Also learning new skills like machine learning that I had long been interested in but hadn’t found the opportunity to learn about yet. Do student discounts count?!"
What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?
"The course gave a good understanding and general grounding in many areas of Data Analytics/Data Science. Learning all about ‘Big Data’ and what that really means and some of the cloud technologies that support the use of it. Statistical Analyses and Machine Learning with python, learning some of the theories behind them and then getting some real hands on practical experience of them. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the less technical business modules. Going into the course those were the modules I was least looking forward to but they were much more enjoyable and useful than I expected and where possible they were aimed at being as relevant as possible to the more technical data analytics content."