After apprenticeships became available, they were seen as a stepping stone to university. But apprenticeships are now an option in their own right – you can choose apprenticeship qualifications and apprenticeships only if you want! So what are your options? You could work for 2 years with an apprenticeship qualification or 3 years with a degree-level apprenticeship, then move on to university (or vice versa). Or you could decide that the apprenticeship route is best for your needs. Either way, there’s no limit to what you can achieve!
Until recently, the common assumption was that you could choose to complete an apprenticeship or go to university – never both. However, that is certainly no longer the case, particularly with the introduction of higher/degree level apprenticeships. There are many alternatives after completing an apprenticeship – you will not be limiting your options by doing so.
To get into university, students commonly need A-Levels to be accepted onto the course. However, apprenticeships will usually provide you with the necessary qualifications. For example, an Advanced Apprenticeship is equivalent to four A-Levels, so apprenticeships can be a great option for those who have aspirations of higher-level education. As well as this, apprenticeship qualifications can be more relevant to the job market than traditional degrees – which means that you’re much more likely to find employment after completing an apprenticeship, degree or higher level apprenticeship.
In fact, an apprenticeship or higher-level apprenticeship can be a good way of getting into university – many universities allow students with apprenticeship qualifications to study part-time while earning money and gaining experience. This is an excellent option for apprentices, as it will enable them to get a degree while learning new skills and earning money!
Higher Level/Degree Apprenticeships
Higher-level or Degree Apprenticeships are the newest forms of apprenticeship on offer within England’s universities. They are apprenticeships that combine apprenticeship training with degree-level study, providing apprentices with a university honours qualification. There were only 12 universities offering higher-level apprenticeships in 2014 – now there are over 100! This means apprentices have far more options when it comes to choosing where they’d like to go after completing an apprenticeship or higher-level apprenticeship.
Higher-level apprenticeships are gaining in popularity, as they provide apprentices with the opportunity to gain qualifications that are tailored towards their area of interest – meaning apprentices can work full time while studying for a degree at university! These higher-level apprenticeships combine all elements of an apprenticeship (work experience and training) with academic study at university, which apprentices can study part-time as they work.
Higher-level apprenticeships are a great option for those who want to gain the skills and experience of an apprenticeship with qualifications that will help them stand out against other applicants when applying for jobs. Many universities offer higher apprenticeships in business and administration, engineering, health care and social work.
Gaining an apprenticeship qualification is not just about working – it’s also about learning new skills and gaining qualifications that are relevant to the job market. However, degree apprenticeships come with many benefits over traditional degrees:
- Apprentices get paid while studying, meaning you can earn while you learn!
- Apprenticeships are more flexible, and apprentices can study part-time, meaning that work is not limited by university commitments.
- Apprenticeship training is often tailored to the industry or sector apprentices will go into after completing their apprenticeship – this means apprentices gain experience in an area they’re interested in working in.
- Apprenticeships are more relevant to apprentices’ careers and the industry they will enter after completing their apprenticeship. This could make them a great opportunity for students who do not want to go straight into university or traditional degree courses, but instead want work experience and apprenticeship training in order to get an edge against other applicants when applying for jobs.
- There are apprenticeship opportunities in almost every sector, including business and administration, financial services, engineering, health care and social work. This means apprentices have a wide variety of choices for apprenticeships – there is something suitable for everyone!
At the end of the day, apprenticeships are no longer your only option, and there are further options if you’d like to continue your studies. If you’re unsure about continuing with education after completing an apprenticeship or degree-level apprenticeship, then don’t be afraid to do apprenticeships only – you will still be able to move on, but with relevant qualifications and experience under your belt.
To read more about higher or degree level apprenticeships, read our guide, and visit our apprenticeships jobs board to see what apprenticeships are available to you!