Written by Jack SImpson
Published on April 8, 2016

Life after university can be a daunting prospect, as graduates are faced with a broad range of conflicting pathways.

I myself was in this exact situation a little under a year ago, when I graduated from the University of Warwick last summer. The route I ultimately embarked upon was as a graduate trainee at Dataplan, an experience that I am finding to be both stimulating and rewarding. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be releasing a series of posts, which chart my experiences here at Dataplan and the challenges and opportunities that life as a graduate trainee brings. I hope you will join me on my journey from History graduate to – hopefully – a qualified Payroll Professional! :-)

A welcome balance

As a History graduate, it is fair to say that payroll was not the first option that I considered as a career path. However – when I researched the area, having seen the graduate traineeship at Dataplan advertised – I found that working in payroll draws upon and furthers a wide array of skills relating to almost any degree choice. These include attention to detail, problem solving and the ability to communicate complex information clearly and precisely.

Almost six months into my career here, each of these skills and more have been honed by the experience. I have been struck by how Dataplan strike a welcome balance – which ensures that company trainees like myself are offered plentiful support and guidance, whilst at the same time having ample chance to use individual initiative. Having been at Dataplan for nearly six months, the emphasis upon the latter is becoming progressively greater. I’m in the deep end now, but I’m excited for the challenge.

An exciting opportunity

One of the most exciting aspects of the training I’m receiving is the fully funded study programme entailed. The first component of this is the Payroll Technician Certificate, which ensures that trainees have acquired a solid grounding in the fundamental aspects of payroll. This qualification is followed by a foundation degree, which refines and builds upon that initial basis of knowledge. In a highly competitive job market, being sponsored to take professional qualifications such as these is an invaluable opportunity, proving a high level of proficiency in the vitally important field that is payroll. It is also an opportunity that paves the way for sideways moves into other areas such as HR and pensions, should these appeal.

As Dataplan’s operations expand in ambition and scope, career opportunities offered to graduates and young people from all educational backgrounds look set to increase. As one such graduate, I can only recommend to others the opportunity that Dataplan has afforded me.