Apprenticeships or University? What is the right option for you?

Thursday 14th Oct 2021

Apprenticeships or University? What is the right option for you?

Leaving school and having to decide what to do next can be very daunting for many. So, whether you are considering an apprenticeship, going down the university route or are just confused about your options after school, college or sixth form then Pathway CTM can help! This blog post is here to explain to you the different routes available to you, and to help you decide what to do next.  

With so many options to choose from, such as applying for University,  gap year, taking on an apprenticeship or internship, we want to explain to you in more detail your options to help you find the answers to all your questions about your next step in life.  

Apprenticeships are very practical and vary in different sectors

Considering an Apprenticeship:

You can start an apprenticeship whether you’re just starting out in your career, want a change or you’re upskilling in your current job. An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience, and get paid! There are different levels of apprenticeship opportunities which impact the length it takes to complete it and this can vary between one and six years.  

There are over 1,500 apprenticeship roles available within a variety of different sectors from, construction to engineering even to digital marketing and tv broadcasting. If you are someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy classroom-based learning and prefers to be more hands on and earn whilst you learn then an apprenticeship may well be for you! I mean, why not avoid the £40,000+ university debt and have your employer pay for you to gain a degree anyway?! 

There are four types of apprenticeship: 

Level 2: Equivalent to 4 GCSEs 

Level 3: Equivalent to 2 A-Levels 

Level 4/5: Equivalent to a foundation degree or higher 

Level 6: Equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree 

Applying for university: 

Data from UCAS revealed that searches for jobs and apprenticeships had increased to a record 1.35 million searches in the last 12 months which shows that more people are looking into alternatives of university. Of course, we’re not saying University is not an option! 

If you are passionate about a certain topic or know that you will enjoy studying and learning everything about a specific subject, then university is a good choice. But it does come with an expensive bill and doesn’t always guarantee employment at the end of it. Whilst many industry sectors now offer a route into it via apprenticeships, certain careers may only be accessible with a university degree.  

Don’t forget that by joining the Pathway CTM programme, we can help get you in contact with a variety of different companies who offer alternatives for university. Don’t forget to sign up here 

Taking a gap year: 

Given the current climate and the uncertainty of employment as well as some universities sticking to online learning, some people may be considering taking a gap year.  

This is a fantastic opportunity if you are unsure of what you want to do and can give you a chance to think about what you want to do with your time. Many gap year students choose to go into full time work, either at home or overseas, or combine work and leisure to help build life experience. An alternative is volunteering. This could be volunteering within the sector you wish to pursue a career in, or something completely different like teaching a language abroad.  

If you choose to take a gap year, everything you do with your time can help provide an insight into working life, give you skills and work experience for your CV and gives you a sense of independence and responsibility.  

Straight into the working world: 

With extortionate tuition fees, a rapidly growing number of young people are going straight into work. This may be a good option if you have not decided what it is you want to do but are interested in earning a wage. 

Joining a company as a school leaver may seem daunting, however most companies will support you with relevant training and support during your probation period. Additionally, some companies offer school leaver programmes which are for people who do not wish to continue with full-time study but know exactly what they want to do. A school leaver programme may give you the chance to work towards relevant qualifications and build your skillset.  

Many of the companies we work with offer School Leaver Programmes, if you would like to find out more about the employers we work with click here alternatively follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with all our upcoming events and opportunities!