With A level results coming out this week, the press has understandably been quite full of talk of university degrees, higher education, tables of results, and more. If you decided not to go to university you may be feeling a little bit left out, but what if we were to tell you that there is a way to get a degree without having to have applied to university, and without having to pay tuition fees? You’d probably think it was a joke or a con, or maybe you would wonder why you hadn’t been told about this before?
A sponsored degree is where a company pays for you to get your degree instead of you paying the tuition fees, in return the company will have a well-educated employee who is ready to step in and work for them. It is something of a win / win situation for both young people and businesses who want to train and retain the best staff. Of course, for this to work, the degree you take has to be related to the job or the business – after all why else would they pay for you to study?
How Does It Work?
Different companies have different rules over how they run their sponsored degree programmes, but typically you would work for the company during the holidays or part-time while studying for your job-related degree. You will get a salary for your work too – much the same as with an apprenticeship – while also building up valuable work experience which other regular students would struggle to achieve.
Is There Much Choice?
A quick look at the current sponsored degree opportunities will show you what sort of thing is on offer where you live right now. However, generally-speaking, sponsored degrees are to be found in subjects that are directly related to the business you are working for. As a result they tend to have a vocational edge to them, rather than being more purely academic. Still, that is not such a bad thing, especially when coupled with the three years of direct work experience you will build up alongside your studies.
Am I Tied To Working For The Company Who Sponsored Me?
Of course, any company that has paid for your study will want to see some sort of return on their money. It wouldn’t make much sense to pay to have someone trained only for them to turn around and take a job elsewhere, or even with the competition. The idea is that the company that sponsored your education will be able to make use of your skills. This usually means that there will be a contract regarding what happens when you finish your course. However, this does not mean you are tied to the same company for life, and can actually be reassuring. Unlike many graduates you will know that you have a job to walk into once you finish your degree, and you won’t have had to pay for it!
Is A Sponsored Degree Right For Me?
As with any choice over your future, it is down to your own personal circumstances as to whether a sponsored degree is right for you, including what you want to do as a career. If you have a good idea what you want to do, or want to get involved in something right away, then a sponsored degree could be the perfect way to improve your qualifications while starting your career. That said, a sponsored degree is not for everyone as you will need to balance your studies with work. It is about working out what will work for you, socially, financially, and as far as your career goals are concerned. Still, it can’t hurt to at least look at all your different career options, can it?