I joined Northrop Grumman in January 2014 when I earned an IT apprenticeship at the Coventry facility in the UK. It was both a great introduction to the workplace and to the IT industry. Highlights from that first year include travelling to other Northrop Grumman UK sites and being involved in many diverse IT support projects. After my apprenticeship, I was offered a full-time job working for Northrop Grumman UK as a Desktop Support Technician. I continued in this role for four years and became a mentor for future apprentices in the program.
In 2018, I applied to an internal opening as an Infrastructure Engineer. The experience I gained through my apprenticeship and as a Desktop Support Technician helped me to get the position, and now I am growing in a new role and relishing the challenges that come with it.
My advice to anyone interested in an IT career: Figure out what you enjoy about IT and find a route that lets you explore that part of the field. If you enjoy helping people or solving problems, a help desk is a great place to start (this was the path I followed). If you know someone working in IT, talk to them about their experience and see if their career path appeals to you.
I strongly encourage looking into opportunities such as an IT apprenticeship. My apprenticeship taught me that people skills were just as important as technical ability, and that communication is key when working with peers and supporting customers. My apprenticeship gave me the skills and confidence to apply for more challenging work and take the next step in my IT career.
Every programme is different. My apprenticeship course combined onsite work experience and offsite college modules. The college modules taught me the core skills I needed to work in an office environment and introduced me to essential IT tools that I use every day. After passing my apprenticeship, my college awarded me with a Level Three Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals, which I was proud to receive after the hard work I put into the course.
Written by Jack, Infrastructure Engineer, Northrop Grumman UK