University or Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship vs. University
Which one is right for you? Before joining Sixth Form, you don’t have to make any concrete decisions. It’s useful to know, however, what your options are for life after Sixth Form. Times are changing and apprenticeships have evolved over time to become equally good options to university. You will need to figure out which suits you. Here are some things to consider:

Myth-busting
Going down the apprenticeship route doesn’t mean turning your back on a university education necessarily. Apprentices can go on to college or university and study for higher qualifications. Read our blog, Four Common Myths about Apprenticeships. One of our current Sixth Formers, Cameron, has achieved a high-level engineering apprenticeship, including a fully-paid degree from Liverpool John Moores University, starting July 2016. What a result!

They are a genuine alternative to university for those who want to go straight into work and gain experience.

Many companies want bright school leavers, keen to jump into the world of work – so even if you get fantastic grades, don’t feel obliged to go to university.

What are your career aspirations?
There are certain jobs you can only do if you have a degree from a university. If you’re desperate to be a doctor, a teacher or a lawyer, you cannot do an apprenticeship, so ensure you consider your career aspirations before making any decisions.

If you don’t know what career you want to pursue, studying at university can help keep your career options open, while gaining a qualification. Plus, going to university, whether you stay in your hometown or move away from home, is an enriching experience and considered “a right of passage” by some. The social side of things, plus full-time academic study for three years, means the overall environment and experience will be incredibly fulfilling.

What about the money?
It’s important to consider your financial situation: apprenticeship training is free, and you are paid while for your work. University is no longer free and fees are now over £9000 per year. Living costs have to be considered too if you move away from home. However, there is financial support in the form of loans, grants and bursaries from the government, so your parents’ financial situation will determine what you may be entitled to.

Can you apply for both apprenticeships and university?
Yes! You can apply to universities and apprenticeship schemes simultaneously; you don’t have to choose one or the other.

Take time to do your research, talk to people who have done an apprenticeship and to those who have been or are at university, and consider your personal motivations.

University Experience: Adam’s Story (featured in our Sixth Form Prospectus)

adam website

Apprenticeship: read Josh’s story here. 

Apprenticeship including a degree: read Cameron’s story here.