Digital and Technology Degree Apprenticeships
Want to become an EXCELLENT software engineer and gain hands-on experience of development work using Java?
As part of the global team, you play a key role in developing cutting edge technology that already has users all over the world!
What will you do as a degree apprentice?
- Write Java code
- Conduct function and performance testing
- Maintain the development infrastructure
- Write marketing blogs
- Attend technical events
“Payara is a key example of how the University-employer partnership works for degree apprenticeships. Not only do they support their employees to become degree apprentices at Aston University, but they provide a hands-on learning experience and on-the-job training to support their apprentices’ development, which is a testament to their commitment to shape the next generation of Software Engineers.”
Mark Smith, Executive Director of Business Engagement, Aston University
Prerequisites: What You Need to Apply
- Grade 4/5 or above in English and Maths, five other GCSE grades 9-4
- Studying for 3 A Levels or equivalent (preferably including STEM subjects)
- Passion in technology (hobby, work experience, website design, self-taught programming, GitHub)
- Knowledge of Linux/Microsoft Office and some programming experience
- Team worker, communicator, articular, creative, and deadline-driven
- Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course
- Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start
- Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria
How to Apply for the Degree Apprenticeship
Apply for the Program in Three Easy Steps:
- Before applying, please look around our website. We’re a great company to work for, but don’t take our word for it! Check out the employee reviews on Glassdoor.
- Make sure you have the prerequisites and read the application page
- Send your CV/Resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
What Happens After You Apply?
Your CV/Resume is reviewed by the apprenticeship team to assess your potential of becoming a great software engineer. Hint: make sure your CV/Resume really tells us all about you and what you are good at!
If we think you are a good match, we’ll be in touch to offer you an interview in the Malvern, Worcs office. The interview consists of two parts: a face-to-face interview where you can share about your passion for technology and a practical part where you can show off some of your programming skills.
If your interview is successful, we’ll be in touch with an employment offer! If not, we’ll be in touch to thank you for your time.
What It’s Like Being a Payara Apprentice
Life at Payara
“When compared to university, apprenticeships are commonly seen as less academic – or certainly intended for the slightly less-academically inclined. This view couldn’t be further from the truth with the degree apprenticeship program that I’ve been a part of with Payara. Within one year of working here I was contributing to the public Payara project and building skills for my CV. By my second year, I had been given the skills and autonomy to develop complex and important features to contribute to Payara. Now I have worked here for three years, and I have become a Payara representative at community events, an Eclipse Foundation committer for my contributions to the public projects owned by the foundation, and a proud member of the Payara team.
I often have access to internal and external training further to my degree; whether I’ve seen a topic at work that I want to learn more about and teach to others, or an external course that I want to take to enhance my work-related skills. Payara provides me with the opportunities to super charge my CV without having to jump through a ton of corporate hoops like I would have to someplace else.”
DTS Course and Payara
“Managing both the university work and Payara’s workload can be challenging, as the university requires evening webinars two or three times a week in addition to keeping up with the studying you have to do. This means you will have very limited free time and social life. While you do get some time to do university work during work hours, it isn’t enough to do everything, so be aware of this. The difficulty level of the work itself however is not super-hard, at Payara you will be given tasks consummate with your abilities. This does not mean you won’t be contributing to Payara, in fact within a couple of months, code that you wrote will be included in a product release. As there are colleagues who have already been on the course there will always be people who can help you if you have any problems, whether it is for university or Payara.”
The Recruitment Process
“The recruitment process for Payara was very smoothly executed. It was well structured with a clear schedule of events laid out at the beginning of interactions between me and the company.
One thing I would say is that the process was very long, it started around spring time and finished up towards the middle of August – and you wouldn’t find out if you’d gotten the job or not until a little while after that. Given the cutoff point for Uni/College applications is somewhat earlier than this, it was quite an intimidating aspect of the process as the margin of uncertainty was sizeable.
Regardless, the process was very enjoyable and two of my favourite parts were the coding challenges set by the previous apprentices and the interview itself. The coding challenges were little puzzles about Java and coding in general which were always really interesting, and the interview required that we develop a small application in Java to demonstrate skills. All these things gave me a good chance to expand my knowledge and learn about the company through the blogs and videos sent during the recruitment process which gave me extra motivation to push at getting the role.”
Is the Apprentice Life for You?
“My first few weeks at Payara with the other apprentices were spent doing basic training on the technologies Payara uses, in an attempt for us to wrap our heads around what we will be working with. It was very much necessary to flatten the steep learning curve of working at Payara, as we deal with complex technologies in a pretty unique environment. It’s not often that anyone works on an application server, especially apprentices. Usually you work on the applications that will run on a server like ours. Nothing we’ve done before entering this industry prepares you for it, we didn’t have lessons on making “Application Servers”. Formal education taught me problem solving and critical thinking skills, and Payara has taught me how to be a software engineer and a good co-worker. I’ve already gained marketable skills and developed many soft skills, despite the short time I’ve been employed at Payara. Working with such a large codebase, even in the niche of application servers, Can be frustrating at points as you don’t know what pretty much anything does – but to be honest, some of the senior engineers don’t know either, as some of the code is bespoke or legacy code written before they were even born – and there’s over a million lines of it! As an apprentice, you quickly build confidence after you dig your hands in there and have a prod around, one bit of the codebase at a time, or as my project manager often says, “Eat the elephant in chunks.”
The apprentice life is for you if you enjoy learning something new every day. I still sometimes feel like a kid in a candy store, as there is so much to learn and develop my skills on!”
A Warm Welcome
Check out the following resources if you’re thinking about applying for an apprenticeship position, or you’ve already applied and are preparing for an interview.
Learn About Payara
Here’s the welcome packet we’ve sent to past apprentices so they could learn more about the company, who we are, and what we do. It also includes links to resources to help you on your journey.
Apprentice applicants tend to ask us similar questions. We recently had Matt, a current apprentice, sit down and answer the top questions we get from applicants.