It is a commonly held belief that graduates earn more than those who go to university, but statistics have shown that this isn’t really the case. It has long been thought that going to university is the path to a better career and therefore, more money, but that is not exactly true. You may already be aware of the competition for well-paid ‘graduate’ level jobs is fierce, with more student s graduating from university each year. With more graduates than there are appropriate jobs, it is evident that some will be forced to take lower-paid jobs. But, it is often believed, if you manage to get one of these more desirable jobs, you should stand to earn more as a graduate than as a qualified apprentice – however, you might want to think again…
As the government works to increase the number of apprenticeships by 2020, they also have the task of showing that an apprenticeship is a desirable option – especially to parents, whose opinions hold great sway over the career choices their children make. Of course, parents will want to help their teenagers make the right choice when choosing between university or an apprenticeship, which may mean looking at the facts and figures.
Research compiled by the Boston Reporting Group and analysed by the Sutton Trust has shown that far from earning less than their graduate peers – apprentices with a level 5 qualification can earn up to £50,000 more those who went to university. Graduates from non-Russell group universities have been shown to earn as much as £1.5 million less over the course of their careers than the highest-achieving apprentices!
With apprentice wages on the rise, as compared to paying out for university, could it be that the tables are turning on the university / apprenticeship divide?
At the moment it seems that perception does not quite match the reality of life after university – with a recent poll showing 80% of student feeling their long-term job prospects will be improved by having a degree.
Clearly, there is still work to be done in changing people’s perceptions of apprenticeships, and moves to strengthen the image of the apprenticeship system and apprenticeships in general can only help to achieve that.
Young people and their parents deserve better quality advice and information about the options that are available in order to make the best decision for the future. Of course, for some, university is a terrific option – but it is not a one-size-fits-all route to more money and better work.
Indeed, while apprenticeships have been consistently shown to at least rank alongside degrees in terms of average earnings – both as a potential and in reality – it statistics say that apprentices are happier in their jobs too!
Better prospects, more money, and a happier working life? Isn’t it tme that you started to take a serious look at apprenticeships?