I started the Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship four years ago as a mature student

Penny Clarke DA DWP

Name: Penny Clarke
University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Employer: Department for Work and Pensions
Classification: pending
Degree title: BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions

Getting started

I work for the Department for Work and Pensions and started on the Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship four years ago as a mature student. I’ve been a lifelong civil servant and this has been a fantastic opportunity for me, given that I had never been to university before. It was useful to be able to bring my work-based experiences into university life and translate my learning back the other way.

On the job

There were times when what we were learning at university didn’t seem to tie in with how we did things at work, but it gave me a great opportunity to demonstrate how we can do things in a different way. I really started to think differently and found new ways to apply the skills I was learning. During my work-based project I was able to test an innovation as a proof-of-concept of how we could handle things in a different, modernised way. Also during the degree apprenticeship, I’ve moved on from only working within business analysis to gaining more technical skills.

Learning while I earn

I would absolutely recommend the Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship, it’s a fantastic way to learn. It’s a great opportunity for anyone regardless of age, and is a way of learning without incurring any debt. You can also build up your work-based skills while you’re learning.

What next?

Now I’ve come through the degree I’ve got skills in both the business and technical areas of work. It’s been difficult trying to balance it with work and family life but I think it’s all been worth it in the end. I’m looking forward to embedding and consolidating my skills and expanding my role, as well as looking for promotional opportunities at work.

Meet the Class of 2019 and find out more about Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeships.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeships at Manchester Metropolitan University – Course information for students  /  Course information for employers

View the professional photographs and video taken at the MMU graduation ceremony.