University vs Apprenticeships

April 9, 2014 Stephen Smyth - No Comments

Student taking notes in university classWhen you’re coming towards the end of school and start thinking about your options for the future, often uni seems to be the obvious choice – but is it the right option for you and your career future? Perhaps an Apprenticeship would be a better option?

Well, an important thing to remember is that it’s not really a final choice between one or the other – if you decide to undertake an Apprenticeship, this doesn’t mean that you’re ruling out university. In fact, when you complete a Higher Apprenticeship you are gaining a Level 4 or higher qualification such as a foundation degree, HND, HNC or undergraduate degree and after the Apprenticeship, things like foundation degrees, HND and HNCs can be topped up to a full honours bachelor’s degree.

There is also a big myth that Apprenticeships are for people who aren’t ‘academically minded’ or who ‘haven’t got the grades’ for uni. This simply isn’t true – Apprenticeships are still challenging and there is a tough application process and competition for places in just the same way as there is for uni places.

Apprenticeships also offer many other additional benefits, rather than finishing uni with the debt of a student loan, throughout your Apprenticeship you will be working and earning at least the Apprentice National Minimum Wage – the average Apprentice earns £170 per week.

There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding whether to apply for uni or an Apprenticeship – ultimately, it will usually come down to your career aspirations. There are still some careers that can only really be accessed through a degree, but for many occupations an Apprenticeship will give you the same chances as a university graduate and in a lot of cases better chances. Think about it, during the course of your Apprenticeship you will not only have gained your qualification, but you will also have real experience, knowledge and skills that you have learnt on the job.