Maybe University Isn’t for You? Why Apprenticeships Can Be Attractive Alternatives to Traditional University Education
Every autumn, more than 50% of young people venture off to continue their education in universities across the United Kingdom. Economics, psychology, law, computer science, and medicine are among the top degree picks for incoming first-year students. Historically, the traditional university route was the most popular option for most but in recent years, apprenticeships have emerged as an equally attractive alternative to university. Unlike the historical conception of apprenticeships as focused on manual trades like construction, the scope of apprenticeship offerings are wide and include:
- Human Resources (HR)
- Science laboratories
- Information Technology
For young people who do not want to continue down the route of research, education, and theory, apprenticeships are an attractive alternative that offers practical, hands-on learning whereby you learn your trade by actually doing the job. A sample schedule could be a four day work week and a fifth day spent at a college or designated training center to gain a nationally recognized certification. Apprenticeships take 1-5 years to complete. You may start an apprenticeship if you are 16 or older in England.
What are apprenticeship levels?
- Level 2 qualifications are intermediate apprenticeships equivalent to GCSE passes.
- Level 3 qualifications are advanced apprenticeships equivalent to A-level passes.
- Level 4+ qualifications are higher apprenticeships roughly equivalent to the first year of a degree.
- Level 6 is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
- Level 7 is equivalent to a master’s degree.
Benefits of an apprenticeship
You can start immediately earning while learning because you are essentially an employee. The minimum apprentice wage £3.70 per hour but the majority of apprentices earn far more. The average weekly wage is £170. At a time when a university degree costs £9,000 per year, the ability to earn immediately is extremely attractive due to a lack of student debt.
Why might I choose a traditional university degree?
If you are an aspiring lawyer or doctor, a traditional university degree is still non-negotiable. Choosing an apprenticeship may pigeonhole you into one industry.
For more information on apprenticeships, visit UCAS .
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