Apprenticeship or Degree?

I blogged some ideas about what to do instead of going to university, in case you don’t get in, some time ago. One of my suggestions was to not do a degree at all, but instead to get onto an apprenticeship scheme in an industry you would like to work in. I think it is important to note at this point that apprenticeships are not just for trade jobs like electricians or plumbers (nothing wrong with these either, they make better money than most graduates I know!), nor are they a poorer alternative to a degree and academic study. I’m bringing this up as apprenticeship schemes have been back in the news recently.

This Guardian article in particular gives a pretty convincing argument for ditching your ideas of going to university and becoming an apprentice instead:

  • No fees, you get paid!
  • No debt at the end of it.
  • Much better job prospects.
  • Setting up on your own and starting your own business is a serious possibility.

I have a few friends that didn’t go to uni, they just went straight into jobs (I don’t know anyone personally that did an apprenticeship). However, these friends that essentially opted to start their career straight away and work their way up are, without exception, doing much better than my graduate friends. They are happier in their work, more secure and make more money! Now, this could just be an inditement against me and my other lazy student and graduate friends, but to my mind there is a lot to be said for apprenticeships and simply working your way up!

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