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Apprenticeship or university, what’s the right choice for me?


For some the decision of what to do after school is an easy one, they know exactly what they want to do and the route they need to get there is clear. Some careers only have one route, limiting any decisions that need to be made.

However if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, or there are different options to get there then the decision can seem daunting and what might be the best decision for someone else might not be the best for you. We’ve listed a few things that you might want to think about to help you choose the right path.

Which is best for my future prospects?

Employers look for different things, some careers, like being a doctor, require a degree whilst other routes may value on-the-job experience. An Apprenticeship can provide you with a direct career route and is great if you know exactly what you want to do. If you aren’t sure then a degree can provide access to a wide range of industries after qualifying. At university you will also be able to join societies and build new skills; these are valuable to an employer and will help to set you apart from other applicants.

Do you need a degree?

The best thing to do is think about what you might want out of your career and work out if you need a degree or if there are other routes to get there.

Did you know?

Training via an Apprenticeship means you can avoid paying high university fees and stay debt free.

We've been awarded AAT Apprenticeship Provider of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 so we can support you every step of the way.

Do you want a degree?

If a degree is important to you, then there are a number of options you can consider other than the straight-forward 3 years at university.

Many employers are now offering degree Apprenticeships in certain areas or will provide you with a sponsored degree opportunities. Both combine work and study, but without the price tag a degree usually comes with.

What about cost?

University can be costly but it is an investment in your future. Statistics are changing all the time but the latest show that going to University doesn’t guarantee you a higher income than not going. Because you start earning earlier there may be opportunities to progress quicker and be eligible for promotions sooner.

What lifestyle do you want?

Are you ready for a 9-5 or would you prefer the student lifestyle? Late nights and lie ins might seem like a great idea but in reality a degree requires self-motivation and lots of work. You need to be determined so make sure you study something that will keep you interested. The working world can provide routine yet not every day is the same. You’ll also need to fit studying in if you choose an Apprenticeship and whilst most employers give you time for study you will also need to do some in your own time.

Still not sure?

Take time to make your decision, speak to other students, visit universities and speak to training providers, like Kaplan, to find out more about Apprenticeships. Don’t worry, it’s possible to change your mind or move to something else if you think that you’ve made the wrong decision.

It’s also important to note that whether you choose to do an Apprenticeship, a sponsored degree or go to University, the end-point is often exactly the same. No route is better than the other and ultimately they are just different ways to get there!

Sound like an Apprenticeship could be for you? View our vacancies and apply online.