Degrees vs Degree Apprenticeships 

Written by Calvin Bowers

Whether you’re wondering about the differences or simply can’t decide on which to choose, use our helpful Degrees vs Degree apprenticeships guide to help.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

The difference between a degree and a degree apprenticeship is that a degree apprenticeship combines a university degree with employment. A degree apprenticeship is a partnership between a university and an employer. Students spend part of their time in a job with the employer, and part of the time studying at university. A standard degree doesn’t tend to integrate employment with education.

Universities and employers develop degree apprenticeships in partnership. This means that the two sides complement and support each other; the knowledge you learn at university helps develop your skills in the job. Your experience in the job helps you understand and contextualise the academic knowledge.

Degree apprenticeships are specific courses offered by universities and employers. Thus, they are not available in all degree subjects.

Deciding on a Degree 

Doing a university degree is a great way to get stuck into a subject. You can expand your academic knowledge, practice reading and writing, and grow as a person. Deciding to go to university to study a degree is a very popular choice, with more young people attending than ever. Because it’s such a popular decision, especially for those who have excelled academically, it’s important to interrogate the decision of doing a degree, to make sure it’s right for you.

Some of the benefits of doing a degree are that you get the opportunity to delve deeply into a subject you care about, learning about it from experts in the country and having the time and support to form your ideas and opinions about it. Further, doing a degree is great for employability. It shows you have independence of mind, discipline and academic skills.

One of the significant downsides to degrees is the cost and subsequent student loans. University is expensive, and this can be very off-putting to young people. You may spend the rest of your adult life paying off your student debts. However, it’s important to note that you only pay back small amounts at a time, and only after you earn a certain amount.

Due to these reasons, degrees are an excellent idea for anyone with a passion for a subject. If you don’t know what you want to do in your career, but you do know you want to study first, a degree can be a great way to open doors.

Choosing a Degree Apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship is a perfect way to combine a university education with earning a salary and gaining practical experience in an industry you care about. Thus, degree apprenticeships are great for people who know the sector they want to work in and know that that sector has a practical or vocational element—for example, engineering, or fashion design. Through a degree apprenticeship, you can enhance your learning with the skills you learn through employment.

One of the most important advantages of doing a degree apprenticeship vs a degree is the cost. During a degree apprenticeship, your employer covers your degree’s cost, which means you leave with no student debt. And on top of this, you will be earning through your job. For these reasons, a degree apprenticeship is an excellent solution for someone apprehensive about university because of the financial strain. Another benefit of degree apprenticeships is that you leave university with the practical experience you need to secure a job. Many employers find a skills gap in graduates who are not prepared for the working world.

On the other hand, degree apprenticeships aren’t for everybody. If you are unsure of your career path, a degree apprenticeship may be too specialised for you and leave you closing doors rather than opening them. And further degree apprenticeships are not available as widely as degrees, which means you may not be able to find one that exactly matches your interests.

For more information, visit our guide to types of apprenticeships and to find degree apprenticeships opportunities, visit our apprenticeships board.

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Last Updated: Sunday August 20 2023
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