Apprenticeships vs University

The decision of whether to go to University or not isn’t always an easy one to make. Some people are determined to move as far away from home as possible, live the typical uni lifestyle and will worry about the debt later. Some want to get into work and start earning straight away, and aren’t too bothered about the whole uni experience. No one can give you the right answer as to what to do after College, you’re the only person that can decide that, but we just want to make sure you’ve got the right information so that the decision you make is a well-informed one. 

Choosing what learning pathway to take can depend on what career you’ve got your eyes on. If you’re looking at going into something like medicine or sciences, a degree would be the best bet for you as you need the theoretical knowledge that comes with a degree to pursue a career in these specialisms. However if you’re looking to go into a career in accountancy, IT or digital marketing for example, you’d benefit a lot more by being able to learn how to work practically and learn the theory as you go - due to the nature of the work. More and more apprenticeships are popping up all over the country, with companies such as the the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and many more. 

University is more than just a degree; it’s an experience in its entirety. You have the chance to live away from home for most likely the first time ever. If you choose to, you’ll be in an entirely new city, surrounded by people you don’t know that could fast become your best friends, and could shape the way the rest of your life goes. However this experience isn’t for everyone. You must also take into consideration the cost – not only will you need to take out a student loan to pay for the fees, but you will also need a maintenance loan and possibly other grants in order to live, and pay for your accommodation.

There is a huge selection of qualifications you can gain whilst studying for an apprenticeship, ranging from a Level 2 right up to a Level 6; equating to a Bachelor’s degree. The main benefits of taking an apprenticeship are that you’ll be earning a wage whilst learning valuable skills and gaining qualifications, as well as getting through the door of the industry you want to break into. Often, you will be offered the opportunity to take up a permanent position with the company you're working with. 

Julie Jeffery, Apprenticeship Engagement Manager here at Milton Keynes College, advises: "Before making a decision, you need to think about what lifestyle you want. You also need to think about the qualification you'll need to get where you want to be. If you don't know what that is, is the uni experience more important than the qualification, or is it more important to you to get straight into work? Also don't forget that you can do an apprenticeship, and then go to university if you wish". 

When it comes down to it, the decision is entirely yours. Check out our current vacancies and get applying if you've already decided on an apprenticeship. We've also got a dedicated apprenticeship zone at our Open Event on Thursday 8th March, where you can come and ask questions, meet employers and find out anything and everything about apprenticeships. 


 *Image courtesy of IFA 

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