A Magherafelt student has secured a coveted place on the prestigious and highly competitive Kainos Apprentice Programme.
Thomas Boyle, who has just completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in IT, specialising in Software Development, at Northern Regional College’s Magherafelt campus, will join Kainos as a Junior Software Engineer.
He’ll work with the company four days a week and the other day will be spent studying for a degree part-time at Ulster University.
As a Kainos employee, Thomas will get a salary, all staff benefits and the company will also pay his university tuition fees – a package worth up to £100,000.
Not surprisingly, his parents, Nuala and Stuart, are thrilled.
Nuala said: “Thomas worked really hard and deserved to do well so we are really pleased for him. Being selected as a Kainos apprentice gives him the best of both worlds. He’ll be earning a salary and getting valuable work experience with Kainos but he’ll not miss out on the student experience as he’ll also get an opportunity to study at university and graduate with a debt free degree in Computing Systems at the end of his apprenticeship.
Thomas said that his future didn’t look quite as bright two years ago when his GCSE results came out.
He said: “I was disappointed I didn’t get the results I was hoping for. I could’ve gone back to school but if I did, I would have had to do A levels I knew I wouldn’t enjoy doing so really I’d just be going back for the sake of having A levels.
“I was interested in a career in Computing so started to look around at other options. The Level 3 Diploma in IT at NRC’s Magherafelt campus really appealed because it included a lot of interesting modules such as Object Oriented Programming and Database Design.”
“The amount of work you put into the course is equal to the results you get out of it so I put all of my efforts into doing the best I could and found it much more enjoyable than anything I had done before in school.”
Thomas also notched up a number of significant awards while a student at NRC. Along with others in his class, he developed a mobile app, First Aid Fred, which won the software category at College’s NI BEST Awards and he was a member of the highest scoring boys’ team from Northern Ireland in CyberCenturian – a UK wide code breaking and cyber competition for young people.
The decision to work hard and get involved in extracurricular activities clearly paid off for Thomas as he finished first year top of his class and completed the two year Diploma course with an overall Distinction, the equivalent of three As at A Level.
Now that he’s about to embark on an exciting new chapter of his life, Thomas says that going to NRC was one of his best decisions ever.