With A-Level results day just round the corner, students are already looking at alternative options to university. One of these alternatives is the option to complete an Apprenticeship – this can be done in many sectors such as business, media and engineering – and students are turning to The Student Room for advice, experiences and opinions.
barnsleyjames chose to complete an apprenticeship because he wanted to go into the world of work as soon as he left school, and could see the benefit of an apprenticeship:
“Do an apprenticeship. I was bored of school and getting a full time job working with professionals in the real world has done me the world of good and most of the time apprentices stay with the company once the apprenticeship has ended by moving into a full time permanent (and better paid!) position. Most people always says you need qualifications and experience – apprenticeships give you both plus you get paid!”
inksplodge did all three – A Levels, an apprenticeship, AND a degree:
“Having done an apprenticeship, A levels and have nearly finished my degree, I can say they’ve all got their pros and cons. A levels are good if you want to continue in academia but they don’t help in the ‘real world’.
Employers don’t care what qualifications you’ve got (I’ve got 3 As at A level.) When applying for new jobs I’ve found my apprenticeship is much more relevant – as they’re looking for experience.”
According to the responses on The Student Room, Apprenticeships seem to be a good alternative to university but there does seem to be strong emphasis on gaining GCSEs and A Levels first so that students “have something to fall back on.” There is also the recommendation of gaining an apprenticeship and then a degree in order to gain a variety of qualifications and experiences.
Sixth forms and colleges offer lots of help and support on the university application process, but despite some students not wanting to go to university, they get very little help and support if they want to do an apprenticeship or other alternative. Many don’t think of an apprenticeship as another option, as sixth forms and colleges often focus on university being the only (and best option for all).
Nevertheless, a growing number of students are realising that one size doesn’t fit all, university is not for everyone and undertaking an apprenticeship may be a better course of action for some.