Development and Managed Hosting

University, apprenticeship or both?

Written on June 21, 2019 by Martin Rader

After my high school diploma, I had to make the decision: Should I start studying or looking for a job? I had previously attended a commercial academy with focus on economy, but I wanted to go into the technical field. I taught myself a little programming at home by developing small computer games, but I didn’t have a technical degree. The opportunity to gain practical experience directly was therefore more attractive to me than studying for five years. That’s why I decided to start an apprenticeship as a software developer at Anexia. I successfully completed my apprenticeship in April 2019 and decided to stay with Anexia, with one small difference: I am also studying on the side. Yes, during my apprenticeship I noticed that I was more and more interested in detailed knowledge. So, at the end of my apprenticeship I discussed the option with my department head and when he gave me the Go, I started my studies. If you are faced with the same decision as I was two and a half years ago, I’d like to introduce you the advantages of an apprenticeship and studying in this blog post. 
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The advantages of an apprenticeship

First, it took a lot of effort for me to make phone calls. It didn’t matter whether I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment or a call with a customer. Now it has become part of my everyday life. Many tasks have cost me quite an effort, but I was always introduced to the work step by step. In the beginning I helped with smaller projects and over time, when I felt ready, I got my own projects and clients. Then I realized how much fun it is to develop applications that get released and used. And when I couldn’t get any further, my trainer or my colleagues helped me. I am in an office with several developers who have all been working in this area for some years. I`ve learned a lot from them.

The accuracy also played an important role during my apprenticeship – among other things in dealing with Nerf Guns. It was quite useful, when a colleague became annoying. I would say that this skill as a software developer is essential in the everyday office life. And because I earned my own money, I was able to design my desk the way I wanted: with instant noodles and McDonald’s Pokemon figures.

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In addition to the practical experience I gained at Anexia, I also attended vocational school. There I learned a mixture of practical and theoretical basics. However, the most you still learn while doing your job. The nice things about the apprenticeship was: gaining practical experience, overcome myself and working on real projects. Because how important is the best theoretical knowledge if you can’t put it into practice?


The advantages of studying

Many people have asked me why I start studying when I have a completed apprenticeship. The idea of studying came to me during the commercial academy when I was programming a bit at home. But then I decided to do the apprenticeship. Now I am happy that I’ve started my studies in applied Computer Science at the beginning of March. I have really interesting professors. Most of them are very relaxed and nice, and some of them tell us about their own time at the university. Our professor in “Introduction to Computer Science”, for example, told us about the time when he and his colleagues at the University of Graz invented the WorldWideWeb almost simultaneously with the researchers at CERN. Unfortunately they could not prevail against their colleagues at CERN due to poor marketing. But I am very impressed by such professors, from whom you can learn a lot and who can be role models.

For me it is also a big advantage that I can organize everything myself. At the university and at Anexia. That makes it possible to work and study at the same time. Since I also have the possibility to work with my laptop from anywhere, it is no problem to react quickly to urgent work. But you definitely need an employer where you can work flexibly, like Anexia. Even spontaneous shifting back or forth a few hours are in most cases no problem.

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Maybe both?

For some, an apprenticeship is better, for others a study. Personally, I am very satisfied with my decision. The apprenticeship gave me the certainty that this profession was the right one for me, it prepared me for my studies and above all, for the work life as a software developer. You can always start studying, but it’s nice to have the certainty that you like what you are studying. If you are facing with the same decision, ask yourself what you prefer: if you want to gain practice and work on real projects, then an apprenticeship is the better option for you. If it is more important for you to gain as much background knowledge as possible in this area, but have less practice, you will be more satisfied with a study.

I am happy to hold my final apprenticeship exam in my hands now. I have already completed a technical apprenticeship, a job that is fun and can therefore pursue my studies without much pressure.

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Anexia always hires apprentices. Do you also want to get a taste of the world of a software developer? Perhaps with an internship? Apply for one of our job advertisements or apply initiative: