its a personal choice
Before making your decision, ask yourself ‘What is my learning style?’. At university, you will focus on theory based learning, that you apply to the real world. Whereas as an apprentice, your learning is primarily practical. A key disadvantage of traditional degrees is that you will not have experience in working environments, while an apprentice will be exposed to the environment almost every day.
An apprenticeship could limit your future career options as you will focus on training for one very specific path. If you’re not confident on the career route you want to pursue, then a degree may be better suited. The various modules you study at university will allow you to experience different elements within your chosen field. You could start university thinking you want to go down one route and end up having a passion for something totally different! University will allow you to explore more and gives you a little more flexibility than an apprenticeship.
If you are certain of your career path, an apprenticeship may be the path for you. With dedicated learning in the industry of your choosing and on-the-job experience, you can come out the other end a highly experienced, qualified employee who has an inherent value to both the business and the industry you are in.
Another consideration, is the value you place on life experience. At university, you will get first-hand experience of living alone and will socialise with people from all walks of life. As an apprentice your social life may be less vibrant, weekday nights out will be a thing of the past, as you’ll need to be up for work at 7am! Although, what you lose there, is gained elsewhere. An apprentice will generally be more at ease at corporate events. Generally, apprentices are more confident at corporate events because they learn in the environment and are experts quicker than graduates.
Ascent value both routes
There are pros and cons to both routes into adulthood, and there is no wrong answer! You should consider various factors like your financial circumstances, the way you learn, and the experiences you desire.
From an employer’s perspective, here at Ascent Group we don’t place more value of either career route. We believe that employees are vital to company growth, and both apprentices and graduates are key to that.
We have an even balance of apprentice and graduate workers. We find that graduates generally work more independently, but believe this is more due to their age, rather than experience. Our apprentices have developed to become key members of our team, with many displaying high levels of expertise at a young age. As a company, we try to take the time to nurture all employees, to develop them as well-rounded employees.