Since finding a job to apply for at all can sometimes be a real challenge – as well as the Steam summer sale getting in the way – I did start to question why I ever bothered to study. Really, the maths is just not stacking up.

I was looking on the OU job site at the meagre offerings they have in the area of software. The only serious option is a graduate opportunity in Farringdon but as with anything that I apply for I have to justify it as a practical idea by taking into account travel time and costs.

An annual season ticket between Bedford and Farringdon costs over £4000 which is what it is a lot of money.

It’s an hour each way so ten hours a week travelling.

The tax on an £18k salary would be about £3600 – so the take home wage is £14,400 ish.

So in this instance if I take into account the wage and the costs of travelling the benefit to me is £10k. Not really enough to do anything useful with, a reasonable flat in a reasonable area somewhere near the station would be £6500 ish leaving a joyful £67 a week to live on.... which might require a diet of Rice. That is not to complain, well it clearly is, however it is what it is and I cannot alter the world, not on a Monday.

With that in mind as my realistic option of the moment I was irritated to see Capita offering developer apprenticeships (for school leavers) locally with £9808 salary (so no travel costs, travel time or tax involved). That’d be the same flat but with only £63 a week to live in.


In summary then the difference between a degree and not a degree is roughly a pint of lager and a packet of crisps a week.


Of course if I could get a graduate developer job locally it’d be different but that hasn’t happened yet and Bedford isn’t rammed with developer opportunities. I never expected to be very tempted to apply for an apprenticeship after studying for a degree but after today’s browsing of the options it is the best one.  Obviously the better way to look at it is to congratulate Capita on supporting school leavers with a decent apprenticeship scheme.