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"There is a large amount of variety day to day, which helps to keep things fresh"

Josh Parker

Josh works as an IT Degree Apprentice at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, while studying the cyber security pathway of Hallam's Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship.

"My employer is flexible in supporting me when I have active modules."

"My degree apprenticeship gives me a constant source of knowledge which I can apply to my job role. The course focuses on types of digital attacks, defending from attacks and preparing yourself for the type of information that you're going to protect – and I get to work on coding language, computer architecture and much more. Anything I cover in one of my university modules can be consolidated within my job role at work, and seeing it in practical application definitely helps with remembering everything I’ve learned.

Studying at Sheffield Hallam is ideal for me because of the accessibility of the entire campus – any resources I need are easily obtainable and there are very well outfitted lab facilities. There is also a large amount of variety day to day, which helps to keep things fresh and broaden my horizons, both with practical, on-the-job experience and also becoming proficient in my field by having a diverse workload. There was a 3 month period where I was at the university full-time, and from that point onwards all assignments and content have been handled in week block releases to the university every few months, or via distance learning through a virtual learning environment."

"This has proved to be an interesting balance, as adapting to working remotely for most of the content puts an even bigger emphasis on self-study. I normally divide my time up so that I leave 1-2 days for university work and the rest of the week on actual development in my job role. My employer is also flexible in terms of supporting me when I have active modules and ensuring that I am up to date with my workloads by allocating me ample time to complete any work-based modules.

I would say that my biggest achievement so far is being nominated for the Apprentice of the Year for the Rotherham Council Chamber of Commerce awards. I feel like this nomination outlined how I’ve settled in to my new job role. It’s definitely an interesting field to me and I’d love to carry on working with Barnsley Council to develop my knowledge and experience further."

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