What is a data analyst degree apprenticeship programme?
Updated 4 April 2023
Apprenticeships combine classroom study with workplace training to help you learn by doing practical tasks in context. They're an alternative route to industry-recognised qualifications, including degree-level certifications. An apprenticeship in data analytics can help you enter this field and start a fulfilling career. In this article, we discuss the data analyst degree apprenticeship, including the course details, relevant job duties, the benefits, where to find apprenticeship opportunities and what you can do after you complete the programme.
What is a data analyst degree apprenticeship?
A data analyst degree apprenticeship is a workplace training scheme for individuals who want a career in data analytics. Apprentices combine academic study with full-time employment to develop skills through practical workplace activities. Your employer supports your development, supervises your work and assesses your progress. Through the apprenticeship, you gain the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours to be successful. After completing the apprenticeship and passing the assessments, you receive a bachelor's degree.
Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Apprenticeship (integrated degree)
This apprenticeship is the most appropriate degree-level apprenticeship programme for individuals who want a career in data analytics since it offers you the opportunity to work and train towards a bachelor's degree. The degree training programme generally lasts 36 months, excluding the assessment periods. This level 6 degree pathway offers you the chance to specialise in various digital and technology solutions, one of which is a data analytics pathway. Here are some more details about the degree apprenticeship programme:
Specific entry requirements for this apprenticeship often depend on the employer providing the workplace opportunities. They may also vary among the universities providing the bachelor's degree at the end of the programme. Employers sometimes consider relevant practical experience. This experience may offset missing academic requirements so an apprenticeship provider can still accept diverse applications. Generally, the entry requirements include the following:
GCSEs grade 9 to 4, including English and maths
Level 3 qualifications such as A-Levels, T Levels or BTEC, including qualifications in a relevant discipline such as computing or mathematics
This degree apprenticeship equips participants with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet high industry standards. Apprentices develop into confident and capable data analysts by engaging in core competency areas. These include core competencies for technology solutions personnel, such as understanding how businesses implement technology solutions. Participants often learn business principles and technology concepts, such as cyber security. They also develop skills like effective written and verbal communication, critical thinking and research proficiency.
This programme also emphasises specific skills for dedicated pathways, such as software engineering or data analytics. The data analyst pathway equips apprentices with the skills to understand how organisations use data to make decisions. Apprentices learn various industry-standard analytics tools and methodologies for the workplace. They may also gain a better understanding of their employer's data architecture. The data analyst pathway develops fundamental role-specific skills such as the following:
using data visualisation tools, such as charts, tables and graphs
using data analysis techniques, such as data mining
drawing conclusions from data
presenting and making recommendations to stakeholders based on their conclusions
The assessment process ensures apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need as professionals. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education defines these traits in its apprenticeship standard, and universities structure their assessments around it. Universities also design their module structure and objectives to this standard. To complete the apprenticeship, participants take an end-point assessment and receive their bachelor's degree upon passing. The university and the employer partner to assess this two-part exam:
Project assessment: Apprentices complete a workplace project generally based on a business operations element and a specific problem. The project shows the apprentice possesses the competencies to use the appropriate analytical tools and techniques to identify and predict data patterns and trends.
Presentation assessment: Apprentices engage in a structured discussion with their university and employer about the project and its outcomes. The presentation panel reviews the apprentice's thinking and approach to assess their knowledge, skills and behaviours.
Duties and responsibilities of a data analyst
Data analysts use their technical understanding and skill set to help organisations use data as a strategic tool. They gather raw data and apply analysis methodologies to gain insight into various elements of the business. They share this information with company leaders, often in a formal report. Typically, data analysts understand the organisation's needs and objectives, which allows them to give their data context. Organisational leadership uses these conclusions to make evidence-based business decisions.
Specific responsibilities vary depending on the work an organisation does and the type of data an analyst collects. Analysts in a retail organisation may focus on consumer trends, for example. Some common analyst duties include the following:
designing and maintaining databases
gathering data from a variety of sources and organising it into an appropriate format
using statistical tools and other analytics to spot sequences, patterns and trends
reporting on data analytics, verbally and in writing, so non-technical stakeholders can understand
monitoring an organisation's key performance indicators
monitoring data quality and conducting data audits
analysing organisational processes to identify areas for improvement
Benefits of a degree apprenticeship
Here are a few benefits of undertaking a degree apprenticeship as part of your training. These benefits may make this the best path for you:
Depending on your learning style, an apprenticeship may be the most appropriate way to gain a data analytics degree, especially if you learn best by doing rather than through theoretical study. A degree apprenticeship places a far greater emphasis on practical learning as opposed to classroom education. You get to develop your skills by using them in a contextual setting. If you prefer this approach, you might engage more deeply with the material and learn more from your studies.
Getting paid to study
A degree apprenticeship helps mitigate concerns that arise from paying for your education. As an apprentice, you train by working, so you earn a salary as you learn. This feature makes apprenticeships attractive to many people. Whilst working, your apprenticeship provider may also provide other employee benefits. You may receive a generous holiday allowance or gain access to a pension scheme, for example.
Where can you find data analyst apprenticeships?
A variety of employers provide apprenticeships. Some might advertise opportunities on their websites or through online recruiters. Check university websites as well to see their degree apprenticeship programmes. The GOV.UK website is a valuable resource. It contains details about the level 6 programme and includes a search function to find apprenticeship providers in your area. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Where can an apprenticeship lead?
Completing the level 6 apprenticeship can lead to a range of employment opportunities. With an accredited degree, you can make your CV more competitive and begin applying for senior data analyst roles that may require you to have degree-level training. The level 6 course can also let you pursue further study and gain more specialist skills. Consider the masters-equivalent level 7 digital and technology solutions professional (integrated degree) as a direct academic progression.
The degree apprenticeship might also provide a direct employment pathway. Since your apprenticeship provider invests in you as they help you develop your skills and knowledge, they may offer you a job after you complete your apprenticeship. Recruiting you helps them benefit from their investment since you can use your skills to help their organisation. Also, since you're an employee during your apprenticeship, you understand the organisation's needs and processes better than an external recruit. This knowledge may help you adapt quickly to a full-time role, improving your value to the company.
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