• Question: Evening folks, Can you give any advice for how I (27 year old with only GCSE''s) would get into engineering, specifically Electrical? I'm currently doing an apprenticeship and NVQ level 2 in Performing Manufacturing operations, and cannot afford to go back to full time education due to needing to pay the rent and bills!

    Asked by analogueamos on 4 Jan 2015.
    • Photo: Wallace Viguier

      Wallace Viguier answered on 4 Jan 2015:


      Great to know your interest on Electrics, I think it is a great sector to aim forand permits to find great jobs. I would say that an apprenticeship could suit you well given that if would provide you with an income and lots of hand on experience when you learn (https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide).

      I tried to do this when I was in education but sadly they started the programs one year to late and wasnt able to do so.

      Also, and if you can comit to this now you can start by doing some distant learnig and aim to get a BTEC 3 in Electronics as a start.

      In the meantime, and to satisfy your curiosity about electronics you can look at Free online courses, usually called MOOC and I just find a good one starting today: https://www.mooc-list.com/course/linear-circuits-coursera
      These are made by great university and provide you with certificate of completion once the exams passed.

      All the best,

    • Photo: Fiona Dickinson

      Fiona Dickinson answered on 6 Jan 2015:

      Analogueamos you are doing exactly the right thing, a degree does not make you an engineer doing engineering makes you an engineer. Do your apprenticeship, finish your NVQ level 2, then try and continue with a level 3 qualification, but if it interests you, as Sylvian said there are loads of free places you can add to you knowledge either with MOOCs (just like regular courses but online) or by watching material on iTunesU or google or new scientist or the stuff on TV.

      When you finish your apprenticeship and you have a permanent job see if there is a course you can do alongside your job and ask your employer to support you in doing this. Plenty of people do this and perhaps end up getting degrees by this route rather than going straight to university from school. There is no one way to do something.

      The most important thing (the thing I look for in recruiting) is to be interested.