Software developer builds academic career thanks to Degree Apprenticeship
A Degree Apprenticeship at Wrexham Glyndwr University has given a software developer a fresh chance to get a qualification - while applying his skills in industry
Martyn Price, from Woodchurch on the Wirral, began his BSc Cybersecurity course at Glyndwr in May and combines his studies with his role at RFIDdirect in Mold, which makes and distributes RFID tags for businesses across the globe.
He has praised Glyndwr’s degree apprenticeship route for the chances it has given him – after previous universities had let him down.
Martyn said: “My first experience in university was plagued with issues surrounding both the courses delivery and by its reception. In the second year I think I gave more lectures to the students on one subject I was interested in than the lecturer did!
“I tried to transfer to another university but was kicked out as student finance did not agree to fund the university change, then, after I missed my chance to submit assignments and so on, they finally agreed to pay – but it was too late.
“The degree apprenticeship at Glyndwr has allowed me the chance to get a degree - where my previous experiences had hampered it.
Martyn is now enjoying his time at university – and finding the additional opportunities his course offers to be a particular highlight.
He added: “One of the things which appeals to me is that there are lots of extracurricular activities – there are lots of interesting speakers and opportunities to talk to people in the industry, which you didn’t get in my last university. Those are worth so much, as are the people at Glyndwr who you can sit down with, talk to and benefit from their experience.
“The guest speaker variety and extra-curricular events available make it a brilliant place to not just learn, but really grow and develop as an individual.”
Like all Glyndwr’s Degree Apprentices, Martyn combines his studies with a full-time job.
He said: “RFIDdirect is an interesting company - basically an RFID tag is sort of like a little transmitter which tells you “I’m here, and this is my role.’ You can then put that into a manufacturing environment – for example, a product moving through a production line.
“A good example of a company using them is Volkswagen in Germany – you can go on their website and specify a particular trim, stitching and seam and that can all be handled as the car passes along the production line thanks to the use of RFID.
“In the company, I work as a software developer in title, however, as often happens in IT, my role can cover everything relating to a computer from development, delivery of solutions, tech support, server administration and more.”
On his course, Martyn is studying alongside other students who are also following a Degree Apprenticeship route - and building connections across industry as he learns.
He added: “At my last university, I went there because I was told that’s what you do in life – but in Glyndwr, it’s different – you know that people are there because they want to be there.
“That’s definitely the case on my course - it is not people who are there to play about – they are there to better themselves and to make a difference to their lives, and that is reflected in the kind of people that you meet.
“They are interesting people, and I am building all sorts of future relationships and a wider network among people in my industry. I’m always thinking about where I am going and looking forward, and the opportunities that Glyndwr have provided have been really useful for that.”
Frits van Calker, Managing Director of RFIDdirect, said: “As a company we appreciate the attitude of colleagues who want to develop themselves.
“The apprenticeship programme was offered to RFIDdirect and Martyn stepped into the opportunity.
“We allow him the time off work to study and follow his lectures, but get a lot in return from him, not only in enthusiasm - but also in additional knowledge and contacts.
“I recommend this scheme to any SME in the region.”
And to find out more about Degree Apprenticeships at Wrexham Glyndwr University – and whether your company could be eligible - click here or contact the university’s Enterprise team via email on firstname.lastname@example.org