Should you go to college or do an apprenticeship?

Posted: 15th of August 2018 by Anonymous

It’s tough trying to make decisions that will impact your future. Your school may be pushing the academic route of college and university as your best option for success.

Putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make a decision isn’t helpful, whatever your age. Don’t feel that your whole life will be affected by one single decision about your education. The good news is that right now, you have more options than ever.

So which option is better, college or an apprenticeship? The short answer is that only you can decide, but we’ve put together a short guide to help you figure it out.

What are your career ambitions?

You may have a very clear idea on your career ambitions, or you could still be making your mind up. Either is fine.

If you want a specific job, like being a midwife or doctor, then you will need to go to university, so college will be the route you need to take.

If you’re interested in a career that has different routes, such as accountancy, or engineering, you can become an apprentice. Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes, from digital marketing, project management, to customer service. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to explore your interests and passions.

Having a better idea of what you’d like to do can help you figure out if you should go to college or do an apprenticeship.

How quickly do you want to be earning your own money?

Having your own money means you can do a lot more with your life. An apprenticeship gets you earning from day one. If you go to college, you’ll have to consider finding a part time job where you may have to work evenings and weekends.

An apprentice aged 16-19 is entitled to £3.70 an hour which equates to around £500 a month. However, many employers actually pay more and some salaries start at £12-15k for an advanced apprenticeship. After your first year is complete you will then be paid at least the minimum national wage for your age.

In a part time role you may have to find a job that is flexible such as retail or hospitality, which will pay the minimum wage for your age group.

Are you prepared for the workplace?

An apprenticeship will accelerate your maturity and workplace skills. If you feel that you don’t want to enter the workplace just yet, then college may be a good option, and then you can see if you want to pursue a higher level apprenticeship.

You can do an apprenticeship at any age, so if you’ve finished college and feel an apprenticeship is for you, you can find something that fits your needs and interests.

By law you have to stay in full time education until you are 18, and if you’re fed up with school life, then an apprenticeship still counts as full time education. An apprenticeship offers you a lot of options, from getting a qualification debt free, to getting you on the career ladder as soon as you’re out of school.

If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming an apprentice, have a look at our vacancies page here.

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