A Ballycastle student's best results lead to an apprenticeship in a global company

A Ballycastle student’s best results lead to an apprenticeship in a global company

A Northern Regional College IT student has been offered a highly sought-after degree apprenticeship with global consultancy PwC, which will lead to a bachelor’s degree and Level 6 apprenticeship qualification in digital technology solutions. Lydia Fletcher from Ballycastle completed a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Information Technology and Computing at the Coleraine Campus of the College and her outstanding results helped her achieve her apprenticeship.

Lydia realized from an early age that she wanted to study computer science and, after considering her options, decided to take the professional route at Northern Regional College, rather than staying in school.

“I didn’t want to do a baccalaureate, because although there were IT options available at school, the subjects offered did not include in-depth modules. »

The College’s BTEC Computing course covered a range of interesting subjects and I graduated feeling fully equipped for a career in IT or IT.

Lydia achieved Triple Distinction* at Level 3 Extended Diploma, an academic equivalent of three A Levels, helping her land her apprenticeship at PwC. As an apprentice, she will “earn as she learns” and upon successful completion she will earn a Bachelor of Engineering, courtesy of Queen’s Software Engineering with Digital Technology Partnership with PwC.

As part of the program, Lydia will have undergone extensive on-the-job training with PwC. Through the training, she will have the opportunity to gain insight into a variety of teams across the technology spectrum while developing her technical specialization as she progresses in learning. Lydia said:

“I look forward to the opportunity to work in their new office located in Merchant Square in Belfast city centre.

“It looks like PwC has a modern way of working and a strong support system for those who work there. Already, I have been given a mentor who will support me throughout my experience.

Reflecting on her experience, she said the support she received from her course coordinators and lecturers, Ricky Ho and Megan Porter, was a big contributor to her success.

“Ricky Ho and Megan Porter were incredibly supportive during my two years at college, especially during stressful times. They were incredibly dedicated to our class and were always available to help us with everything we needed, at any time.

“Programming was my favorite module and although it’s a big subject, our lecturers explained it in such a way that it was less daunting and more interesting and it really helped my confidence,

Lydia highlighted the lack of female representation in the IT industry and said she would encourage any young girls considering IT as a career to look to local women who are in the field for inspiration.

“My brothers studied alongside Sapphire Duffy, Community Manager at ‘Women Who Code’. Seeing how a young woman from Ballymena was making such a difference in the world of computing really inspired me throughout my time at Middle School.

“I was the only female in my class of 17 studying computer science, which highlights the gender gap and lack of female representation in the field of computing and computing. Hopefully that the inspiring success of Sapphire will encourage other young women to get involved.

Lydia said her decision to study at Northern Regional College was the best choice for her as it exposed her to experiences and opportunities she would not have had had she stayed in school.

“Participating in the WorldSkills UK competition series was one of the highlights of my time at the College,

“I was able to participate in the WorldSkills UK competition. It was a highlight of my time at the College. We made it all the way to the UK National Final which gave us the opportunity to travel to Scotland to compete.

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