we share the
pros & cons
The rise of apprenticeships
What is an apprenticeship?
What are apprenticeships? Why is no one talking about them? What are the benefits of starting an apprenticeship? Are there any downsides? Can you be successful if you don’t go to university? How do I choose? Let’s have a more detailed look at what the exciting world of apprenticeships involves:
Apprenticeships are helping people to rethink work training as something that takes place primarily on the job rather than in a classroom. This path appeals to people seeking alternatives to university because they provide a more practical learning experience. You’ll concentrate on preparing for a specific career and learning your trade by doing it. You’ll get hands-on experience and be able to put your new abilities to use right away.
An apprenticeship allows you to work in a real profession while also studying for a formal certification – often one day per week at a college or training centre. Upon completion, you may get an NVQ, HNC, or HND. Higher apprenticeships can lead to a foundation degree or a full honours degree.
The role you’re preparing for determines what you’ll study. Apprentices in every job follow a pre-approved study programme, resulting in a nationally recognised qualification at the end of your apprenticeship.
This route helps people obtain the skills and information necessary to succeed in their chosen job. Or it allows them to move to the next apprenticeship level.
As a bonus, apprentices are salaried employees who get compensated for their efforts, unlike most interns. Apprentices’ earnings generally start at around 50% to 60% of their final compensation. They move through their programmes and learn additional skills as their income rises.
Plus, apprentices do not have to forego money to seek education and training because the work includes training. An apprenticeship gives a young worker immediate employment, growing pay, and a path to a long-term successful and sustainable career.
A student doesn’t need to attend college if they know what they want to accomplish. That’s why those students must be made aware of the many employment options.
What type of apprenticeships are available?
Why has no-one talked to me about apprenticeships?
The difficulty is that many students are unaware that there are alternatives to going to university. They may feel that everything is geared towards getting their grades high enough to be accepted by admissions officers. Most schools give little time to help secondary school students consider their options for the future.
Many reasons could be behind the push to get more and more people into university. A big reason is less to do with actual ‘success’, but more to do with the appearance of ‘success’.
What we mean is that universities are viewed as very prestigious places to attend.
Plus, schools have a lot of incentives to help their students move on to university. It reflects well on their reputation and makes their school seem more successful. Plus, it usually gives them greater access to funding so that they can continue this success.
That’s not to say that schools are bad! They have the best interests of their students at heart and simply want to maximise the resources they have available to help their new pupils for years to come.
On the flip side, many people view jobs that don’t require a university degree as somehow ‘lesser’ or ‘not as important’, when this is not the case at all. These people often connect practical skills and manual jobs with the idea of assembly-line occupations that started around a hundred years ago!
Companies that offer apprenticeships are sophisticated enterprises that urgently need employees who think instead of following orders like robots. The greatest thing is that they often pay their apprentices to work and go to school and guarantee them a job at the end of the four-year apprenticeship.
You may have even been told that you are “university-going material”. Remember: That doesn’t mean it’s your only option. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you have been specially chosen to join a secret group of elite individuals that are better than others who don’t attend university.
It simply means that you have specific skills that academic institutions value or are best improved in a university environment.
What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
What is the downside of doing apprenticeships?
There will always potentially be downsides to whatever path you choose in life. It is about weighing these up against the benefits and how you want to live your life. Some negatives about apprenticeships include:
- They are limited because the training and skills you get are restricted to a specific industry or position. This can make switching career paths difficult if you change your mind
- This path will almost certainly bind you to your job for a set time
- There is a greater sense of responsibility given to you at an early age that can sometimes be a lot of pressure
- Holiday times are much shorter compared to university
- You will miss out on the ‘university experience’
Don’t I have have to go to university to be successful?
Benefits of university
It is always important to weigh up what path is best for you, so we can’t ignore the benefits that attending university brings, such as:
- Having the freedom to choose from hundreds of courses and explore your interests
- A degree will open up your career in terms of future prospects
- Helping develop independence by living away from home
- Teaching students a variety of soft skills that can be applied to any work environment
- Getting to experience and enjoy all the wonders of university life
What about my parents?
How do I choose?
It’s a difficult decision, and one option isn’t always better than the other. Examine your existing position, considering your current credentials, what you’d like to study, your money, and what you’d like to accomplish in the future. Investigate your options and select the best one for you.
You could complete an apprenticeship first and then go to university. Or you could get a degree and then do an apprenticeship. If you choose the latter option, however, the same apprenticeship money may not be accessible.
Creating a pros and cons list can be incredibly helpful. However, the main way of making a decision is taking enough time to think it through. Only then will you be able to make a choice that is always right, as it means you have chosen a path that will make you feel happy, fulfilled, and successful in your own way.
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Are apprenticeships a real alternative to university?
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Hiyos Student Ambassadors