The 18 Capgemini students who began studying at Aston University in April 2014 have just received their first examination results. They have achieved a fantastic performance, with the majority obtaining a first-class grade. Such good results are unprecedented at the university; suggesting that hands-on-experience combined with the grounding of an apprenticeship is a strong foundation for an academic degree.

Capgemini first ever cohort of higher apprentices graduate from their higher apprenticeship and step onto their degrees with Aston University

This is a great achievement by a talented group of students. They were originally recruited as part of our Higher Apprenticeship programme, before embarking onto a degree course.

Lance Doughty, Executive Sponsor for GAP, our Graduate Apprenticeship Programme, said: “The results achieved by the undergraduate students this semester is credit to the hard work and dedication that they have shown since starting the degree. It is fantastic to see how they have managed to perform in their project work, while also achieving such high academic results. It is validation that the support model in place meets the learning needs of the students both at Aston University and in the business.

Capgemini has worked with Aston University to create two bespoke degree programmes that allow graduated Higher Apprentices to achieve either BSc Business Information Systems or BSc Software Engineering across a three year period.

Greg Wolverson - Capgemini Apprentice - with Christine Hodgson, Capgemini UK Executive ChairmanGreg Wolverson (right, with Capgemini UK Chairman Christine Hodgson) is one of our first class students. He joined Capgemini through the Higher Apprenticeship (HA) programme in December 2011 after completing his A-levels. Once he achieved his Level 4 Apprenticeship he joined the BSc Software Development course at Aston University and now juggles his day-to-day work as a Software Engineer with his distance-learning studies.

Greg shared his story below so that other apprentices thinking about doing the degree can be aware of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Greg’s higher apprenticeship story
Since starting my degree I’ve completed the first six-month block and passed all the modules. In terms of my career progression, I started out working on an internal mobile application, helping to prove Capgemini’s capability in cloud development with Heroku. This application was developed in Java and Spring and provided a solid platform for my development. From there I moved on to a public sector account as a Java developer, and since then I have been involved in several major software development releases. I am now leading the development of an online application rebuild.

“I have enjoyed the degree so far, and the distance learning aspect has been working much better than previous experiences with other courses. The level of learning is much higher than the apprenticeship, while still being achievable, it required us to think in more depth and learn new skills.

“The degree is mainly a computer science degree, with some tailored units specific to us. Because of this, you get to learn a lot of key concepts of computer science, which as a developer I’m able to bring across to my day-to-day work and which has improved my business performance.

“I took on the degree because I wanted the challenge of achieving a degree while working full-time, and I was keen to reap the benefits and rewards that achieving the degree will bring. It is important to note, however, that in order to be successful, you do need to be dedicated to learning as it requires personal time after work to attend lectures and complete assignments.

“I would advise apprentices thinking of doing the degree programme to make sure they use the support available to them from both the university and the business. The three years of the degree will go quickly, but it is a big commitment and they need to be aware that they’ll have to sacrifice some personal time in order to be successful. On the other hand, it’s a really good opportunity to progress their career and achieve a degree without having to pay out vast sums like normal students. In summary, it is hard work and will be a challenge but in my opinion the rewards and the outcome after three years’ hard work outweighs those challenges by far.”

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Read more about our apprentices’ and graduates’ experiences at the Capgemini Student Blog.

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