Apprenticeships vs. Degrees

The pros and cons regarding apprenticeships and university degrees in the UK are constantly being discussed and compared now that companies are increasingly looking towards young adults with concrete work experience. Do not be fooled into thinking that prestigious jobs require University qualifications; it is likely that a person with experience in the workplace and several qualifications (that a University student would not have, such as an NVQ) is as capable of doing a job as someone with a business degree.

 

 

  Are apprenticeships the way forward?

 Apprenticeships enable you to go straight into paid work whilst gaining important qualifications. You can imagine  that these qualifications, combined with work experience, gives a candidate a slight edge in comparison to  a University student that has spent 3 years in a non working environment.

 There are far too many young people entering University education without consideration of future debt and their ability to work independantly. University is not like school, and to achieve the highest marks you have to be commited to individual study and self-discipline, because University life can most certainly be distracting.  Many students enroll themselves onto a degree without knowing what they want to do in life, which is course is normal at the age of 18, but 3 years down the line with no work experience and no idea of what to do next is why so many undergraduates are still underemployed.

An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to experience different fields of work whilst getting paid, and if you decide to change fields, you still have vital work experience necessary to aid you in getting other jobs.



 

So why bother with a degree?

 Higher education can ultimately lead to increased earning potential in the long run, but you must be prepared to independantly study and research your chosen topic for at least 3 years. This clearly indicates your ability and self determination to complete a task, an attribute which employers will value considerably. If you have a keen interest in a subject area a degree may be for you, as higher education gives you the opportunity to thoroughly research your chosen area which will ultimately be rewarding to you. Moreover, university undoubtedly offers you a unique student experience that an apprenticeship cannot offer.

The choice is yours. Whichever you choose, use your skills to their advantage.

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