Which is Better an Apprenticeship or a Degree?
In recent years, questions have started to be asked about the usefulness and indeed validity of university degrees, when the whole process has been devalued through mass adoption of lower quality degrees and less prestigious universities.
Is a degree still the passport to higher earnings? Is the cost of a three year degree worth the £27,000 investment if you still struggle to get a job in your local fast food restaurant?
With many polytechnics and colleges being reclassified as universities, and providing degrees in a wide variety of different subjects, has the degree lost its shine?
A degree used to all but guarantee increased earning power across your working life. Better job prospects and access to income not possible for non graduates.
In the past decade or so this has begun to change however, as more and more students elect for a degree course, their value has been diminished.
A first class degree from one of the leading universities now carries the weight that ‘a degree’ used to carry, meaning that your choice of university is as important as your course subject.
The sciences and maths are still highly sought after with too few people opting for these degrees, while there has been a huge growth in lower quality degrees such as ‘sports science’ and even ‘David Beckham’!
Leading universities including; Cambridge, Oxford, London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Durham, Loughborough, Warwick & Lancaster still carry a premium, while the multitude of converted colleges in general count against students in the longer term.
The Cost Of A Degree
University tuition is currently capped at £9,000 per year. This is soon to be revised, allowing the best universities to charge more to students.
With this annual tuition expense, there is a growing trend to focus on only the better universities in order to get the maximum benefit from the degree, but also in many instances, to avoid university all together opting for on the job training instead.
The Rise Of The Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships fell out of favour due to the rise in popularity of university degrees, but with the prohibitive costs of a three or four year university course, many youngsters, (especially if their parents are not in a position to supplement their finances) are opting to train while working and earning a living.
An apprenticeship course typically lasts for two or three years on a day release basis on day per week.
Employers are rewarded by the government in exchange for taking on and training school leavers, benefiting from 4 days work each week while the worker attends college one day each week.
This allows our young workforce to earn qualifications while also working, so they don’t build up a huge debt via a student loan.
The experience they also gain from a work placement also prepares them for their future career with practical experience and on the job training.
Apprenticeship training is becoming increasingly popular and has seen exponential growth in recent years, reversing the declines of the 80’s and 90’s. The benefits for business and apprentices are in many cases far more tangible than university courses.