• Kae

Choosing between University or an apprenticeship

Updated: Nov 14

When it comes to choosing what you want to do with your life, it’s pretty hard to decide, especially at such a young age. So why do we have to choose at 16/17 years old what we do for the rest of our lives? That’s why I’m glad I did an apprenticeship when I left sixth form, especially after being pressured into applying for university and a course I wasn’t 100 per cent sure about.


If I had gone straight to university after finishing my A-levels, I would have graduated by now with a degree in TV and Radio, and even though I am interested in the industry, it isn’t what I want to do with my life. Instead, I applied for an apprenticeship in social media and I enjoyed it so much, I knew I wanted this to be a part of what I do in my career. I then thought about what industry I wanted to be in because tech (what my apprenticeship was in) wasn’t my thing, and so I did my research on courses at university and never did I know you could do a course solely on promotion, including print and social, in the fashion industry. Fashion has always been a massive part of my life, but when I was in sixth form, the only fashion courses I knew about was fashion design and fashion buying.


So now I am currently in a gap year, unfortunately, due to Covid-19, but next year I will be graduating with a degree in Fashion Promotion in which I am passionate about and want my career to be in. From my experience of both university and an apprenticeship, there are pros and cons to both, and this is some of them:


University

Pros

You gain a lot of training on different software and applications that you would usually have to pay for out of university.

You gain connections with guest speakers and companies that come into the university, whether that’s personalized to your course or days/events that they would attend to. Great experience for networking.

You can apply to graduate roles in your desired area and/or company, as they would only take on graduates.


Cons

Unless you take on a placement year, you wouldn’t gain on the job experience.

I think we all know that uni fees are a massive con, so most people would have to get a part-time job they don’t want to afford other necessities.

Depending on the course you do, you may not gain the skills you need when it comes to applying for jobs and when you get the job, such as teamwork or people skills.


Apprenticeship

Pros

You gain on the job experience while earning with a qualification and some people learn a lot better this way.

You can find out if this is the career you want, without any major commitment (and debt).

Depending on the apprenticeship you choose to do, you will gain connections through people you work with, people you have meetings with and networking events!


Cons

You’ll be given responsibility from the start and this can be challenging for some to take on all at once.

As you would be at the bottom of the so-called work “food chain”, you would be more than likely given the tasks that no one wants to do.

Some careers would need a degree, so a qualification in an apprenticeship wouldn’t be sufficient enough for that specific type of work.



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