NAW 2022 Highly Commended- Ranica Brown
We asked winners and highly commended of our National Tech Industry Gold Digital Degree Apprenticeship Awards 2022 to share their stories. Read Ranica’s story below and discover her passions about her journey, as well as tips for future degree apprentices.
Current role: UX/UI Designer
Company: Bloc Digital
Degree Apprenticeship: Digital User Experience (UX) Professional
Awards Category: Business Contribution- Highly Commended
What made you choose a degree apprenticeship?
I started at my current employer (Bloc Digital) as a level 3 apprentice and throughout my time at Bloc, they have always backed my growth within their business. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to complete a degree apprenticeship in UX it was a natural progression to take, especially as I was working in the UX/UI team.
What benefits have you seen as a result of choosing a degree apprenticeship?
One of the most impactful benefits is being able to learn as you work, which is not only economical but also valuable in keeping you up to date with the industry. Another benefit is being able to collaborate and learn from fellow apprentices, this has contributed to broadening my approach to design and industry practices.
What does following a Tech Industry Gold accredited programme mean to you?
Being on an accredited degree programme gives my employer confidence that the course content and teaching will be high quality. As a professional it is also great to showcase that I was on a course recognised by the industry – it sets the programme apart from other degrees in the country.
What did winning the award mean to you?
It was great to know that my employers recognise and appreciate the contribution I make to their company. It was also amazing to be publicly recognised for the work I do.
How has winning the award helped in the workplace?
We can advocate the benefits of apprenticeships to other businesses – showcasing that apprentices can bring great value, fresh ideas and a new perspective to a company, even though they are actively learning on the job. Awards like Tech Industry Gold also put apprenticeships in the spotlight, making them a talking point and showing those looking to make their way into the industry that they are a highly valuable and worthwhile route.
What recommendations would you give to those considering a tech/IT/digital career?
If a tech career is what interests you, I would say go for it. The industry has a wide array of professions that you can specialise in, or you can transfer skills from one profession to another if you are looking for variation in your career. Additionally, the industry is fast-paced and always changing, so be flexible and willing to learn new skills.
What guidance would you give to those thinking about a degree apprenticeship?
Degree apprenticeships are a highly beneficial route to go down as you are gaining experience on live projects during your employment as well as learning in a more structured way through university. If you are considering a degree apprenticeship, look for an employer who will support you and consider where you will enjoy working because – even though you are an apprentice – you will spend the majority of your time at work.