University vs Apprenticeships: Pros and Cons

When you leave school or college, you have the world at your feet and a whole range of options to choose from. With most people opting for university or an apprenticeship, it can be a daunting decision to make. Get your notepad ready, in this article we make a university vs apprenticeships pros and cons list so, you can decide which is the route for you.

University Pros

University vs Apprenticeships: Pros and Cons
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 Social Life

Right from the get-go at fresher’s week, university is all about socialising. You hear people talk a lot about the ‘university experience’, which if we’re honest, consists mainly of getting drunk. If you choose to live in halls, you get the chance to be independent and move out of your family home. With endless societies and sports clubs to choose from, there are a lot of opportunities to meet new people.

Increased earning power

Graduates are likely to earn more than none graduates, with some professions such as medicine and law, requiring you to have a degree. Money is a big motivator for why people choose to go to university.

University Cons

University vs Apprenticeships: Pros and Cons
Source: Canva


At an average price of 9k a year, University is expensive. You rack up a hefty amount of debt, debt and more debt by the end of it. Unless you have a part-time job, you may not have much disposable income while at University, so budgeting is essential and money can be tight.

No guaranteed job afterward

As more people are choosing to go to university every year, the competition for graduate jobs is getting more difficult. When you’re thrown into the real world, it can be hard to find your feet and get a job as soon as you graduate.

Apprenticeship Pros

Chance to earn money

University vs Apprenticeships: Pros and Cons
Source: Canva

With an apprenticeship, you can earn as you learn. As they’re much more practical and are more likely to involve you being on the job, as an apprentice you will get paid. This is appealing for people who know what they want to do and can start earning as soon as they leave school.

More work experience 

During an apprenticeship you’ll experience first-hand what it’s like to do the job, and therefore will be more qualified than someone who has no experience. This means you’re more likely to land a job, whether you’re offered one by the company you did your apprenticeship with or are hired by someone else right away.

Apprenticeship Cons

University vs Apprenticeships: Pros and Cons
Source: Canva

Specific direction

Apprenticeships can sometimes be limiting as they’re more specific than University degrees. You’re trained to do a specific job and it’s most likely that’s the route you will go down. So if you’re not sure, it may not be the best idea.

 Competitive with funding requirements

With more and more young people opting for apprenticeships, they are becoming more and more competitive. Especially those with big, well-known companies. You will most likely have to apply to multiple apprenticeships and can’t rely on getting your first choice. Apprenticeships also have funding requirements as they’re funded by the government and so you have to meet a specific criteria.

As you can see there are positives and negatives when comparing university vs apprenticeships, and one shoe doesn’t fit all. It depends whether you learn better practically or from reading textbooks, and what you feel will work best for you. Remember, everyone is different and there are many routes you can take – it’s all about finding which is yours.

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