Why I chose an apprenticeship over university


Since completing my A levels, I have been quizzed by many on why I have chosen to take the apprenticeship route rather than the typical graduate path that 718,500 other UK students this year applied for.

Throughout my two years at sixth form, I was indecisive of which industry I wanted to go into. My fluctuation of interests between media and music were causing my struggle to settle with a potential career path, however, I saw more opportunity for myself in the media industry. I’ve always been a lover of writing and particularly in a media/journalistic format during my English A Level, from writing fictional newspaper articles to gossip magazine entries.

So, why not do a degree in something I have an interest in?

The thought of lecturing and the structured days were not enticing enough for me. I was more attracted to the thought of learning on the job – learning but with personally a more positive outlook. After 14 years of education, I was excited to leave the format of standard education.

Moreover, to my advantage, many employers in the world of today see experience as a notable value – some just as much as a degree, or even better.

Imagine the situation you are faced with as an employer – two people have been shortlisted for your advertised role. One hopeful holds a degree relevant to the role and position you are offering whilst the other has been working in the industry for 2 years, although at junior level, has gained appropriate and applicable experience and skills for the job. So, who gets the position? Hard decision – right?

From wanting to go into the media industry, I found that experience may be of more value to me due to the type of work carried out within the industry and the opportunities that university may not offer me. I’m not suggesting that media degrees are unusable, because I would very much be in the wrong, but I’d like to think that success can be achieved without the demand for a degree.

Just because I’ve opted for the apprenticeship route, it doesn’t mean I can’t get some form of qualification. The vast majority of apprenticeships now offer the chance to earn a qualification alongside the apprenticeship, in which I am lucky to say mine is one of them. This is such an inviting opportunity as it means you are learning and earning in a sector you enjoy, as well as the fact that you can apply realistic experience to your chosen course.

Granted, the social aspect of university is appealing, but for me personally, not enough to outweigh the debt and student loan that go with three years at uni. Another benefit to an apprenticeship, the small fees for travel, etc are lightyears away from the expenses of university.

Degree or not, if you demonstrate a good work ethic, consistency, determination and professionalism within your job, employers respect this enough and your rewards will be reflective of your behaviour.