11 examples of graduate apprenticeships (with definition)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Graduate apprenticeships are programmes that allow individuals to earn degrees while working and receiving compensation. They integrate learning in a class environment with the practical application of skills in a work environment. Knowing the different apprenticeships available can help you identify and select one within your preferred industry. In this article, we provide a detailed list of graduate apprenticeship options you can pursue, including their entry requirements, course contents and career path options.

What are graduate apprenticeships?

Graduate apprenticeships are work-based courses that allow you to gain experience while learning new skills. You may receive payment during these courses. Upon completion, you earn a degree or equivalent qualification, ranging from a diploma in higher education to a master's degree. You can apply for employment within the same company once you graduate or look for work elsewhere.

11 examples of graduate apprenticeships

Here's a list of apprenticeships and their entry requirements, qualifications and career path options:

1. Software development

Software development involves creating computer software, typically through a workflow process that follows a software development life cycle. This may include identifying target consumer needs, analysing a program's specifications and designing, developing and implementing it. Following the development of the software, the next phase of the process usually involves testing its functionality and performance, deploying it and maintaining it. During this apprenticeship, you learn these software development processes and train to build and test software solutions in various contexts. The course content includes technology, business and project software and development management.

Entry requirements vary across institutions and may include GCSEs with grades A* to C and A-levels with BBB. It takes up to four years to complete this course, after which you can pursue a career as a software developer, web developer, software tester or database architecture developer.

Related: How to become a software developer in 5 steps (Plus tips)

2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity entails protecting software, hardware and computer networks and systems against cyberattacks. In a cybersecurity apprenticeship, you learn to identify and evaluate cyber threats, perform risk assessments in digital systems and investigate various cyberattack techniques. Course content typically includes security concepts and foundations, vulnerabilities in IT systems, cybersecurity governance, threats and attacks and cybersecurity architecture and operation.

Entry requirements include four or five GCSEs at grades A* to C and A-levels. Upon completion, you can become a security tester or engineer, cybersecurity analyst, information security accreditor or security operations centre specialist.

Related: How to become a cybersecurity consultant (With salary info)

3. IT for business management

This apprenticeship involves learning how to develop IT solutions for business use. During the course, you learn about business operations and management, technical knowledge, project management and problem-solving in an IT context. Entry requirements depend on the institution and may consist of GCSEs and A-levels, including maths. This apprenticeship can lead to a career path as an IT consultant, system manager, network planning and control manager or project manager.

Related: How to become an IT project manager (With salary info)

4. Data science

Data science combines machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, maths and statistics to develop insights from data. These insights have applications in strategic planning and decision-making. A data science apprenticeship involves learning to gather, analyse, interpret and integrate data using various tools to improve a company's operations and outputs. Course content includes data analytics and management, statistical techniques, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data protection and ethics.

Entry requirements include GCSEs and two to three A-levels, including maths, depending on the institution. Earning this qualification can lead you to a career as a data scientist, data analyst, data architect or machine learning engineer.

Related: A guide on how to be a data science consultant in 7 steps

5. Construction and the built environment

This apprenticeship involves learning various aspects of construction, such as project, rural and quantity surveys, project management and design and technology. It also entails learning safety protocols and welfare environment issues. Entry requirements for this course include five GCSEs with grades A* to C and two to three A-levels or equivalent. This apprenticeship can lead you to a career in survey and valuation, facilities management, architectural technology, construction planning and development and programming.

Related: 10 high-paid construction jobs and their responsibilities

6. Civil engineering

Civil engineers design buildings, roads, bridges and large stadiums and manage construction projects. This course involves learning various civil engineering techniques, solutions and technologies. It also entails project management, environmental safety and maths. Entry requirements include GCSEs and two to three A-levels, including maths and science. This apprenticeship can lead you to careers in civil engineering and project management.

Related: Types of civil engineering jobs and their primary duties

7. Engineering design and manufacturing

This apprenticeship programme involves learning engineering practices, principles and technologies and using them to solve real-world challenges. Students also learn business and project management, collaboration and strategy development. Individuals require A-levels, including maths or equivalent, to apply for this course. Career options upon completion include becoming an engineering consultant in various environments, such as construction and software, mechanical, civil and electronic engineering. Graduates can also become engineering project managers or go into manufacturing engineering, which involves improving an item's production processes.

Related: How to become a design engineer (And design engineer skills)

8. Engineering instrumentation, measurement and control

During this apprenticeship, students learn about various engineering instruments, including sensing and measurement tools for monitoring and controlling applications, and industrial automation. They learn to apply this theoretical knowledge to local and global issues through technology design and development. This programme's entry requirements comprise GCSEs and A-levels, including maths, but may vary depending on the school. Career paths include becoming an industrial engineer, instrumentation and control engineer or process and control engineer. The roles are typically multidisciplinary and often overlap with manufacturing and product engineering.

Related: What does an instrumentation engineer do? (With skills)

9. Accounting

This apprenticeship involves learning how to prepare and analyse financial information such as balance sheets and cash flow statements and understanding how to perform tax returns and manage budgets. It also entails learning how to conduct audits, manage a company's books and use digital accounting technology to analyse and report data. Course content focuses on business environments and key accounting skills such as forecasting, reconciliation and financial statements.

Entry requirements include five GCSEs ranging from A* to C and A-levels or equivalent qualification. Career path options include becoming an accountant, tax specialist, accounts payable manager, internal auditor and value-added tax manager.

Related: What does an accountant do? A guide to becoming one

10. Business management

A graduate apprenticeship in business management involves learning about project and human resources (HR) management, procurement and financial services, including international markets, risk assessments and investments. Students also learn business finance, decision-making processes, change management and marketing and sales.

Entry requirements may vary according to the institution but typically consist of five GCSEs, including maths and English language. A business management apprenticeship can lead to a career in business or project management and financial or business analysis. You can also manage departments, such as finance and HR, or become an operations, procurement, risk or team manager.

Related: What does a business manager do? (With skills and salary)

11. Early learning and childcare

This course's content includes specific early learning and childcare skills and general skills for working with others. During the course, you learn how to use innovation and creativity to enhance children's learning experiences and promote collaboration and communication between children and primary caregivers. You also gain an understanding of the various resources available to teach and support children and how the concept of play contributes to a child's learning and development. The course also entails learning legal requirements and child protection policies.

Entry requirements include GCSEs and A-levels, which may vary depending on the institution. You also require an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service background check because this role entails working with children. Upon completing the apprenticeship, you can become an early learning teacher or practitioner or nursery manager.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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