As we continue to bounce back from the Covid pandemic, more people are beginning to think about the possibility of taking up degree apprenticeships. With the cost of living crisis upon us, it makes a lot of sense to look into a degree apprenticeship instead of going into massive debt in order to go to university to get a degree.
What are Degree Apprenticeships?
The term “degree apprenticeship” refers to the apprenticeships at Level 6, which means the academic achievement level of the coursework of the apprenticeship is the undergraduate degree level. On completing your degree apprenticeship, you will be awarded a degree in the same way that you would be for completing a traditional degree course undertaken at a University.
How Long do Degree Apprenticeships Take?
Degree apprenticeships can take anywhere from three to six years to complete, depending on the subject and the amount of work that is being undertaken. This compares to 3 years in total for an undergraduate degree from an English University or even 4 years at a Scottish University.
Different employers will specify how long they want their degree apprenticeship to last and you should bear in mind that a shorter degree apprenticeship will mean much more intense work in order to earn the degree in a more condensed period of time. For many people, a longer degree apprenticeship will be the preferred option as they can space out the undergraduate level work a bit easier.
Do I Have to Pay Tuition Fees?
No, this is one of the best advantages of degree apprenticeships. It is possible to obtain an undergraduate degree while working and being paid and at the same time not incurring the exorbitant costs associated with undergrad degree courses run by English universities.
Many students, maybe even the majority who are at University have to take on a part-time job in order to make ends meet during their studies. The difference is that you are receiving hands-on industry experience and making contacts all the while.
This will see you much better placed to continue on at a senior level in your field than a new graduate. They will perhaps lack industry-specific skills but have some more general transferable skills from the other jobs they did while trying to make ends meet.
Is There Competition for Degree Apprenticeship Places?
Degree Apprenticeships are popular because of the way they allow apprentices to attain a degree qualification without going into a lot of debt. There are also relatively few of them compared to the other types of apprenticeship so competition for each one will be high.
There is an expectation that applicants will already have a decent level of academic attainment and they don’t skimp on this aspect just because it is an apprenticeship. This means that when you apply you should include your CV and a decent cover letter. Use our tips to help you figure out how best to do this.
The typical entry requirements for a degree apprenticeship are on par with those necessary to get into a leading university. This makes sense because of the economics of it, those who can afford to get into top Universities will always get in but those who maybe come from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are able to get there on sheer grit and academic merit.
Employers will be looking for more than just academic merit before handing you this educational golden ticket. They want to know that they are making a good investment and want to be sure that you are the best candidate to take the apprenticeship forward.
Key Qualities and Characteristics
There are varied qualities and characteristics that will stand you in good stead, some of these are pretty obvious and some a little more esoteric in nature. The ability to perform under pressure is key to your success, and no, we do not mean a rendition of the famous song by Queen.
The degree apprenticeship will be challenging mentally and will involve deadlines and essay writing as well as the “day job” part of the apprenticeship so it is essential that you are able to organise your time well and balance all of your responsibilities well.
If you can convince the employer that you have commitment and passion for what you are learning, this will definitely make you seem much more employable. Many employers who have had multiple apprentices will have had at least one negative experience where they had someone who didn’t want to show up on time and left a bad impression on the company. By contrast, if you are a breath of fresh air and are willing to work hard, you will be accepted very easily and quickly in most companies.
People who are willing to learn and who understand that they don’t have all of the answers yet make the ideal apprentices. People who are more stubborn and stuck in their ways are a bit of a nightmare for companies who are trying hard to pass on skills and upskill their apprentices within the workplace. Leave your ego at the door and you will be much the better for having done so, as you will learn an incredible amount from experts in your field of interest and make excellent contacts who can aid you in your career advancement for years to come.
Apply for a Degree Apprenticeship
If having read the above, you now feel ready to apply for a degree apprenticeship, you should look at our job board and see if there is anything suitable for you. It is also possible to take a look at the full set of apprenticeship standards on our website Employing an Apprentice.
If you are an employer and are looking to find suitable apprentices for your degree apprenticeship, please consider posting a job article on our jobs board.