It’s an overwhelming problem that many teens face when approaching end of High school trying to figure out what you want to do in the future, whether you want to go to college then University or join an education program which will help you find student jobs and guides which will help you in an apprenticeship while working.
Sceptically, Apprenticeships were falsely seen as the route to take for those that hadn’t always achieved fantastic grades or commonly thought of as plumbers, electricians and engineers but now it seems there are a number of apprenticeships out there which can lead to a specialised job such as care assistance and is usually a cheaper and more valuable option than University.
While a student studies at University for 3 – 4 years, an apprentice would have gained 3 – 4 years hands on experience within an industry and NVQ qualifications which can be approximate equivalent to the following.
• NVQ 1 = foundation GNVQ, three to four GCSEs at grades D-E, Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC) first certificate.
• NVQ 2 = five GCSEs at grades A*-C, BTEC first diploma.
• NVQ 3 = two or more A levels, BTEC Ordinary National Diploma (OND), City & Guilds Advanced Craft.
• NVQ 4 = BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND), or City & Guilds Full Technological Certificate / Diploma
• NVQ 5 =NQF 7-8
However there are benefits of going to university, besides the debt from the student loans, the hangovers from fresher’s week and a diploma once you have graduated, you should have gained the following
• More confidence in social situations
• Being able to use your own initiative at university or in a work place.
• Becoming more independent. At first this might just mean learning to cook or wash your own clothes, but in year’s time, it will be self-reliance and ability to organise and motivate yourself.
While going to University or completing an apprenticeship provides valuable life skills, these skills often differ massively, from how to set goals and manage time to how to negotiate, use contracts, and not get taken advantage of.
As mentioned above, There are pro’s and con’s to be considered before taking a place on both an apprenticeship and university but in my honest opinion, I really do think apprenticeships are more beneficial to students then going to university if you’re considering doing less academically challenging subjects, unless you want to stay in legal or medical industry, where you cannot miss anything as there are other people’s lives involved and where learning on the job isn’t an option.