A-Level results day: navigating pathways for the next generation of STEM leaders

Penny Horwood
clock • 6 min read
Dafydd Morris, Thales

There's no ‘one-size-fits-all' - there are plenty routes to consider 

Dafydd Morris is a Third Year Cyber Security Apprentice at Thales who always knew an apprenticeship was the route for him. 

"I come from a long line of engineers. Both my Dad and Grandad went down the apprenticeship route to start their careers back in the day, so I've always been aware of the benefits of going down this route.   

"I initially started out studying for a degree at a local college, but I was set on doing an apprenticeship, so was still looking for other opportunities. From there I managed to get an offer from Thales to do a degree apprenticeship in Cybersecurity Engineering. It was the best of both worlds as I could get a degree, and also get hands-on work experience in a future-proof industry. It was a no brainer for me to pursue this opportunity. 

"A lot of colleges don't promote apprenticeship options as much as they should. With apprenticeships there are countless benefits: you have access to experts in the industry, benefit from a huge support system, have job security, can learn as you earn, and have plenty of opportunities to develop and build confidence across rotating placements. And best of all you have no student debt at the end of it! 

"It's a great way to get a head start in an industry. Cybersecurity, for example, is a huge growth market and a fast-developing industry, so I knew it was a career for the long-term with exciting potential for me. My apprenticeship means that I can build up my portfolio, network, and experience straight out of school. Unlike some of my friends who went to university and then did a graduate scheme, I feel like I am a few years ahead in terms of work experience and specialising in my career. 

 "Like many, I had assumed that apprenticeships are just for trade professions, but you'd be surprised by how many apprenticeship programmes there are out there, and in so many different fields. I would definitely recommend people consider apprenticeships this results day - not only as a back-up choice, but as their first choice." 

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Penny Horwood
Author spotlight

Penny Horwood

Associate Editor focusing on diversity in tech and sustainability content.

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