Apprenticeship Vs Degree: What's Best for Me?
Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular choice when it comes to training and qualifications. But, while there is increasing recognition of the benefits of apprenticeships, many people still presume that a degree is more valuable.
This is not always the case. In many industries an apprenticeship is preferable to a degree. But which is right for you?
Type of qualificationMany people choose to pursue a degree because they want to ensure that they have some sort of formal qualification. Of course, a degree is a valuable asset; indeed, many employers will only consider applicants with a degree.
But it is important to remember that an apprenticeship will give you a qualification. The type of qualification you receive will depend on the type of apprenticeship you receive, but you can be sure that it will be relevant to, and valued within, the industry in which you choose to work.
Type of learningDegrees and apprenticeships involve two distinct learning types. Many degrees tend to involve exclusively or primarily classroom-based learning, and this is not suitable for everyone. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, involve a more hands-on approach to learning that will see you actually doing the job for which you are training.
Of course, it is also recognised that some ‘formal’ learning is also required in an apprenticeship situation. As a result, apprentices will still be required to complete some classroom-based tasks, either with their employer or with a dedicated learning provider. More information on the role of learning providers is available elsewhere on this site.
CostCost is a major factor in education choices. The looming rise in tuition fees, which will see the cost of a degree rise, is likely to put many people off going to university. Of course, if you are considering a degree you need to work out whether or not this is a price you are willing to pay. Remember that you will not have to pay anything back until you start earning.
An apprenticeship, on the other hand, will see you earn while you train. You will be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for your work, and many apprentices are paid much more than this. You will also receive the additional benefits to which employees are entitled.¬
Employment prospectsFor many people, the primary aim of any qualification is to increase their chances of getting a job. Your employment prospects will, of course, depend on the industry you choose to enter – and this will also inform your choice of qualification. Some industries require a degree, but many others actually prefer to build their workforces through apprenticeship schemes.
It is also worth remembering that, as an apprentice, you will also be employed. The importance of this cannot be overstated; it means that you will be earning while you train, and that you will be incorporated into the workforce at an earlier stage.
Your choice of qualification will depend on a range of factors, including the job you wish to pursue and your own personal circumstances. If you are in doubt you should speak to a careers advisor.