Say the word apprentice to most people and you’ll conjure up the image of Donald Trump. You probably won’t conjure up the image of Apple products, data centers, or IT consultants. Apprenticeships were once the most common form of training for a career, but in today’s world college and universities are far more likely to be how most of us launch our careers.
With the demand for IT skills growing, however, the idea of adopting an apprenticeship model is an attractive one. Although IT apprenticeships are rare in America, they’re gaining popularity in Europe as a way for young people to join the workforce while receiving substantial training and real-world experience.
London-based consulting and training group Amsys has adopted an apprenticeship model that’s specifically oriented towards training Mac IT professionals.
The apprenticeship program that Amsys offers lasts for two or more years during which apprentices work towards getting a range of Apple and other IT certifications. In fact, the program’s phases or grades is based around the training and experience associated with specific certifications.
During the first phase of the program, apprentices spend up to six months working towards the Apple Certified Desktop & Portable Technician.
That’s followed by up to six months earning another Apple certification known as the Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) as well as CompTIA’s A+ certification, which is a standard PC troubleshooting certification that’s often considered a baseline for all IT professionals.
The next step focuses on the Apple Certified Technical Co-ordinator (ACTC) certification, which provides basic OS X and OS X Server skill sets as well as the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification. This phase of the program lasts for up to a year during which apprentices can begin working with staff on client projects that use both Mac and PC skills.
The final phase of the program allows apprentices to choose additional certifications to pursue. At this point, Amsys lets apprentices guide their own development and choose IT specialties. Further education at this point is optional and Amsys will make its tech recruiting team available when an apprentice decides that it’s time to move on from the program.
The Amsys apprenticeship program has a similar time frame to a community college or trade school. In fact, many such institutions also provide candidates with a similar collection of certifications. The difference is the amount of real-world experience that apprentices get goes well beyond the classroom.