Apprenticeships Vs University

It’s an overwhelming problem that many teens face when approaching the end of High school trying to figure out what they

City and Guilds of London Institute

City and Guilds of London Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

want to do in the future, whether to go to college, then University; or join an education program which will help them find apprenticeship vacanciesand guides which will help them 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 it is usually a cheaper and more valuable option than University for a lot of students.


While a student spends 3 – 4 years at unniversity, 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

Benefits of University

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 years’ time, it will be self-reliance and ability to organise and motivate yourself.

Apprenticeships or University

While going to university and completing an apprenticeship both provide valuable life skills, these skills often differ

'New Era for Apprenticeships' campaign star Ni...

‘New Era for Apprenticeships’ campaign star Nisar Ahmed with his employers Incommunities (Photo credit: Apprenticeships)

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 pros and cons to be considered before taking a place on either an apprenticeship or university but in my honest opinion, apprenticeships are more beneficial to students than a university course, especially if considering doing less academically challenging subjects. Unless interested in the legal or medical industry, where you cannot miss out on education, as there are other people’s lives involved and where learning on the job isn’t an option.

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