– 9/11/20 –

Apprenticeship VS University

Apprenticeship or university? It’s a life-changing decision and nobody else can make it for us, no matter how hard career advisors, teachers or family members encourage us but here’s a few reasons to consider that could make it simpler.

1. You are earning a wage, gaining life experience and qualifications

Starting with an obvious one, the advantages of earning a wage whilst you learn are clear as opposed to gathering a debt you might never pay off. At the beginning of the apprenticeship you could be earning National Minimum wage which is already better than owing money, but the majority of the time your wage will increase. Gaining life experience as well as qualifications was already an advantage before Coronavirus hit but it just became even better when you consider the alternative is trying to gain qualifications over Zoom with no understanding of what is going on. If you think of the basis of an apprenticeship, it’s to earn while you learn; you’re gaining qualifications in a workplace environment however that’s not all. Throughout your apprenticeship, you’ll also be gaining life experiences which you can apply to many life situations such as problem solving and communication.

2. Next job? Sorted. 

For those who want to get straight into a job instead of continuing education, an apprenticeship is the obvious choice but it’s practical too. When you’ve finished your 5 (or more) years in university and you’ve got that qualification you worked hard for, then what? There’s no certainty at all of a job after these studies whereas after an apprenticeship, the majority of employers take on their apprentices in a full-time position. Of course, this isn’t always the case, however those who finish their apprenticeship without a secured position of employment aren’t back to square one – they’ve got qualifications AND workplace experience to help them find that next job.

3. Independence

You might assume that the thought of independence would have to be attached to university but that’s not always the case. We’ve all considered it at some point though, the independence from parents, a chance to live on our own in another city or even another country and the glamorous decision of Pot Noodle or baked beans for tea. However, when you really think about it, you can get all this independence and more from an apprenticeship, specifically independence of finances – earning instead of spending – and learning saving skills which will be essential in later life. Whereas in university, there’s the undeniable fact that you’re reliant on loans and constantly building up a debt that will eventually be taken from your future salary. There’s also the independence you can only learn from an apprenticeship which is making decisions (sometimes mistakes, as we all do) and accepting responsibility for these. These life skills will then become invaluable and will better equip you for your future.

4. You’re making a difference already

It seems crazy that people as young as 17 are being asked to make a decision which will change the rest of their life, as if they know exactly what they want to do next and they’re confident they aren’t going to change their minds. Sounds unlikely. 

Whichever way you go, there’s a pressure on that decision but it needn’t be so monumental. When considering an apprenticeship, there’s such a variety nowadays that there’s always something which will appeal to you and is suited to your skills / personality and it doesn’t even have to be the career you stick with until you start collecting your pension. In fact, you could gain qualifications and workplace experience in Customer Service then go on to something completely different like Accounting or Teaching. None of this time is wasted of course as you’re earning, gaining qualifications and life skills as opposed to gaining a degree in a subject you’re never going to use again and needing to start job-hunting 5 years later. Something to consider as well, in an apprenticeship – in whatever industry you choose – you’re contributing to their company as well as building on your CV and own experience. So you’re making a difference already for yourself but also for whatever company you end up working for. After all, you’re employed for your skills and abilities and to better their company as opposed to university where the main goal is hitting pressurising deadlines and passing exams.

5. You’re prepared for your future

Choosing an apprenticeship instead of university gives you that independence you wanted, that wage you needed and secures that next job – all of which won’t happen at university. On top of all this, you’re prepared for your future as you’ll gain an understanding of a workplace environment while university-goers are continuing the school environment and are likely to get a shock 5 years down the line. Part of understanding this new environment is forming workplace relationships, both with people in your age group and also your superiors – allowing you to accept figures of authority both for discipline as well as support. Lastly that late morning webinar or that super productive day where you get the next day’s work done too isn’t always the best structure for you and when completing an apprenticeship you become prepared for a 9-5 structure with the flexibility of holidays and days off.

You’ll have heard the “earn while you learn” selling line maybe once or twice by now, but there’s also many other reasons to consider an apprenticeship instead of heading for university. We know Pot Noodles and baked beans are tempting but think about it, find out more about the apprenticeship courses we offer here.

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