2 minute 30 second watch
So cyber security, it's a very investigative career so you have to be a Sherlock Holmes like the 999 sort of responders for computers.
I'm Tamzin, I'm 20 years old and I'm a cyber security apprentice so I get up in the morning, uh, really early usually about 6. Good boy, so handsome.
Because I take so long to do my makeup, I'm usually always late for my bus. So the bus ride into work usually takes about 20 minutes, always scraping onto the time when I'm supposed to be in.
So the reason I picked an apprenticeship is actually just because I really wanted to go to university so when I got the offer that I could not only go to university, get a degree but also work, it was everything that I really wanted to spend the next 3 years doing.
I've always been interested in computer science just because I think computers are really fun and cool and they've been integral part of my life since I was about 8 when I got my first laptop.
So when I did computer science GCSE, I was honestly really surprised at how easy I found some of the modules and how much I enjoyed doing it.
The first thing that I do is go and check what's happened over the last week and what's happened over the night when everyone's been asleep. A lot of the time, the hackers are awake so I look at the threats that have occurred over the night and hopefully nothing has which means I can get on with my normal day to day job.
So we can see that the United States is really red and that's because they've actually submitted the most samples today. You know most of them have been trojans and trojans are one of the biggest concerns that we have. They can completely devastate the system or a computer.
So cyber security is the art of protecting things. It's a very investigative career, sometimes even creating threats so you know how to patch against them.
I think a lot of people think that cyber security and most STEM careers in general are really male dominated but I think it's really important to look back through history and of the women at NASA who sent, you know, astronauts to the moon and me being here is amplifying my voice is what means nowadays we see a lot more women and a lot more young girls in this industry and in this career.
My ultimate goal is to become a chief technical officer. It's one of the highest sort of technical ranks. I think there are a lot of stereotypes about apprenticeships and a lot of people would probably think that if someone was doing an apprenticeship, they were doing something manual like bricklaying or construction.
So it's really interesting and really important to know that we have degree apprenticeships available like the one I'm doing where I finish with a bachelor's degree of science.
You can watch more apprentice stories on YouTube.
Starting an apprenticeship
To start an apprenticeship, you’ll need to:
- be 16 or over
- live in England
- not be in full-time education
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school.
What you'll do as an apprentice
An apprenticeship is a job where you’ll:
- earn a wage and get holiday pay
- work alongside experienced staff
- gain job-specific skills
- get time for training and study related to your role
The training might be at your place of work, a college, a training provider or online.
Types of apprenticeships
There are over 600 different apprenticeships.
No matter what career you’re interested in, there’s likely to be an apprenticeship for you.
Career starter apprenticeships
The Department for Education has chosen some existing apprenticeships that they think are perfect first jobs. These are called career starter apprenticeships.
If you cannot find a career starter apprenticeship that you like, you can search all apprenticeships as most apprenticeships are excellent first steps to take after you leave school.
View career starter apprenticeships to see what's available.
After your apprenticeship
Most apprentices stay in their job after completing their apprenticeship. They might like to hire you because they trained you and know you can do the job well.
You could also:
- find a new job with a different employer
- do another apprenticeship at a higher level
- do another apprenticeship in a different industry if you want to try something different
- volunteer to get more experience which can help you get a job
- go to university or start another type of higher education
You can watch videos of real apprentices talking about their experiences, including what they did after their apprenticeship.
Levels of apprenticeships
You’ll earn a qualification from your apprenticeship.
The 4 different apprenticeship levels are:
- intermediate: level 2
- advanced: level 3
- higher: level 4 or 5
- degree: level 6 or 7
Apprenticeships also have equivalent educational levels listed on GOV.UK. For example, a level 3 apprenticeship is considered the same level of qualification as 2 or 3 A levels.
“Being an apprentice has been the best time of my life. I've been able to do things that I'm passionate about.”
One minute watch
I started a university degree but it wasn't for me. What I really wanted to do was working social media.
My mom told me about an apprenticeship at Channel 4. I looked into it and thought this looks perfect for me. There was a really tough selection day but it worked out for me and I got the apprenticeship.
As an apprentice I learnt all about the Channel 4 brand, video editing skills and posting about new shows on Facebook and Twitter. I spent one day a week on college work but most of the training was on the job. I'm now a social media executive and I'm mentoring the next generation of apprentices.
I've done so much and met so many cool people. Earning my own money is one of the best things about being an apprentice. I can contribute at home, do what I want with my mates and take good care of myself, obviously.
It was a big move to start an apprenticeship, but the best decision I've ever made.
Special educational needs guide
Disability Rights UK has a guide to apprenticeships that you may find useful.
The guide includes stories from real apprentices with special educational needs or disabilities.
Finding an apprenticeship
You can search and apply for all apprenticeships available now in England on GOV.UK.
You could also view a list of all higher and degree apprenticeships that are available both now and in the future.
Explore your choices
Combine work and study
Special educational needs (SEND) advice
You can get education advice if you're disabled or have special educational needs.
It may help you choose what you'd like to do next.