Digital apprenticeships standards update

The digital apprenticeships standards have now been launched in line with the requirements set out by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). We are offering a range of these cutting-edge and in demand standards. For more details on each of the standards, see the 'What subjects can I do' section below.

How do apprenticeships work?

Apprenticeships are real jobs where you are paid to train and, at the same time, gain hands-on experience in your chosen role, resulting in an industry-recognised qualification aligned to industry standards and professional registration.


Who can become an apprentice?

You have to be 16 or over to become an apprentice but there’s no upper age limit. Even if you’ve been working in a company for a while, you can become an apprentice as long as you have a genuine training need.


The Plan for Jobs panel discuss apprenticeships


Why take a digital apprenticeship?

A digital apprenticeship sets you on an exciting and rewarding career path at industry’s cutting edge. Technology has already transformed the world we live in and as a digital professional you’ll continue to shape its future. In the years to come you could be leading the digital evolution, changing the way we do things and improving people’s lives.

With salaries in the tech industry typically above average, and digital skills in more demand than ever before across the globe, the opportunities open to you will be diverse and far-reaching.

Few career choices offer such exciting potential as a role in tech. The next big innovation is always just around the corner and, with the skills you develop as a digital apprentice, you’ll be ready to run with it!

  • Increase your potential for higher future earnings
  • Gain skills that employers are recruiting for now and in the future
  • Progress faster in the IT industry, and to a higher level
  • Receive full support, training and mentoring from your employer and training provider
  • Achieve professional RITTech registration with letters after your name
  • Follow a progression route to degree level and Chartered IT Professional (CITP)



Doing what you love

We’re celebrating the achievements of digital apprentices by gathering their stories and sharing them with the IT community. Read about their inspirational experiences, and why not share your story too…

Hear their stories

Digital apprenticeships - step-by-step guide

So where do I start?

If you’re considering an apprenticeship we recommend firstly contacting the organisations you’re interested in working for, to find out if they’re recruiting apprentices.

If you’re already working you could ask your employer about apprenticeship opportunities in your organisation. Some businesses pay an apprenticeship levy while others receive funding, so there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in taking on an apprentice.

You can search and apply for apprenticeships on the government’s website.

What subjects can I do?

At the heart of every successful business, you’ll find a team of skilled and dedicated digital professionals driving the innovation and growth of the organisation. By qualifying in a digital apprenticeship role, you’ll gain the knowledge and competencies to become a valuable member of the team.

Revised and new standards:

Hardware, network, cloud and infrastructure
Play your part in designing, building, deploying and maintaining the technology backbone of your business.

  • Information Communications Technician - providing front line technical support, and using excellent communications skills to convert technical information to meaningful language for stakeholders.
  • Network Engineer - deals with the hardware and software required, in both physical and virtual networks, to support businesses to collaborate digitally.
  • Digital Support Technician - Update pending - essential in supporting organisations to effectively implement digital technologies to maximise productivity across all their business functions.

Cyber security
Take up a role in the exciting, fast-moving field of cyber security and strengthen your organisation’s digital defences.

  • Cyber Security Technician - the first line in cyber security support; monitoring, detecting and preventing cyber threats by implementing security procedures and controls.
  • Cyber Security Technologist - cyber attack and threat research, risk assessment, secure system setup and computer programme/script writing with wider pathway specific knowledge and specialities.

Software development
Bring your innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills to one of these game-changing roles and start building the future!

  • Software Developer Technician - update pending - working as part of a larger team writing simple code across front end, logic and database layers that meet agreed standards.
  • DevOps Engineer - combining IT operations and software development giving businesses much needed skills to better integrate their development and operations teams.
  • Software Developer - builds, test and deploys code across front end, logic and database layers that meet agreed standards, typically working as part of a team.
  • Software Tester - update pending - working across the software lifecycle, designing and preparing test plans and testing to ensure software is fit for purpose.

Analyst
If you’re logical, methodical and organised, with good communication skills thrown in, it’s time to consider working in data analysis.

  • Data Technician - individuals with data skills who can identify and analyse relevant information, handle data securely and elicit stakeholder’s data requirements.
  • Data Analyst - for anyone looking to enhance existing data analysis skills or progress from a suitable level 3 award where data analysis is used. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Data Specialist - focuses on the use of AI techniques to analyse data and assist in the human decision-making process.
  • Business Analyst - working in business change or process improvements, gathering information about what people do and how change would affect their work.

Digital marketing
Learn how to create and implement powerful marketing campaigns for your organisation in this dynamic, in-demand business role.

  • Digital Community Manager - creating positive engagements with customers and end users online, representing the company’s brand when handling comments and enquiries.
  • Digital Marketer - Update pending - define, design, build and implement campaigns across online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, engagement and retention.

View the existing versions of the standards

What are the entry requirements?

There are different entry requirements depending on your industry, job role and apprenticeship level but typically they’ll include an aptitude for maths and competent written and spoken English. Take a look at your chosen apprenticeship standard for more information about the specific entry criteria.

How do I apply?

You can search and apply for apprenticeships on the government’s website at gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship. Alternatively contact your local approved training provider who may be able to provide you with information about the apprenticeship opportunities available with employers in your local area.

How much will I earn?

There’s information on the minimum you'll be paid as an apprentice at gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions however you’ll find many employers pay above the minimum apprenticeship wage for the right candidate.

How long will my apprenticeship take?

Most digital apprenticeship programmes last between 12 to 24 months. Check the apprenticeship standard that you’re interested in for confirmation of its duration.

What happens when I finish my apprenticeship?

It may be the end of your digital apprenticeship but it’s the beginning of your journey as an IT professional.

Many apprentices remain working with their same employer and you might use your newly-qualified status to look for a more senior position, or you may begin searching for a role in another organisation.

Alternatively, you could move onto your next phase of learning and development, perhaps in a degree-level digital apprenticeship programme.

What support will I receive from BCS?

As the industry body for IT professionals, we support your apprenticeship training with an exclusive membership and professional development package. Taking up BCS Student membership at the very start of your apprenticeship puts you in touch with the wider professional IT community and helpful learning resources to boost your training.

Digital apprenticeships are fully aligned with BCS membership and professional registration which means that as soon as you pass your apprenticeship, you gain entry to the RITTech register of IT professionals - confirming the level of competence you now bring to the workplace. You can also upgrade your student membership to BCS Associate membership for free! You’ll start enjoying letters after their name, greater professional recognition and access to a wealth of CPD opportunities.

Apply for an apprenticeship

Start your career journey

We recommend using the GOV.uk apprenticeship website to find the latest apprenticeship roles.

Search for an apprenticeship

Find a provider near you

If you're already decided on your chosen apprenticeship, use our BCS accredited providers to get started.

Find a training provider

What do the apprentices say?

Don't take our word for it, let these apprentices tell you about their journey.

Cameron Warwick

Junior tech engineer, Etherlive

In his tech engineer role, digital apprentice Cameron gets to work at a lot of festivals, including here at WOMAD...

Watch Cameron's video

Tom Smith

IT Awards Apprentice of the Year 2021

Tom, a performance tester for IBM, tells us about his career so far and what it meant to win at the UK IT Industry Awards…

Read Tom's story