Apprentiships or university

University can be a costly few years, and you may think it's a necessity to get your dream job, but is it really, do you need to go to university.

Apprenticeships are a viable, realistic, and valuable alternative to doing a degree. There are loads of jobs where you might assume you have to have a degree, but you don't. You can go into them straight after school doing an apprenticeship, for example, accountancy, banking, insurance, HR, public relation, veterinary, nursing, loads of science careers, construction, surveying, IT, or even teaching. You will get the same professional qualification, not the degree but the professional qualification. You'll get the same whether you go straight after school to do an apprenticeship or whether you go and do a degree first, the same qualifications will still apply, but with an apprenticeship, you'll be getting specific job-related work experience from day one. You'll be getting paid a little bit, but not as much as a fully qualified person will be but you will be getting paid, and then you won't have the massive student loans at the end of your degree course. The average wage of an apprentice is about £170 a week, and you'll be learning to apply what you know straightaway right from the beginning, instead of reading it from a textbook and just thinking how to implement it. You'll be learning something and learning how to apply it straight away. People that start an apprenticeship are going to get a higher starting salary. They might also find it easier to get a job because they have the work experience and they might be offered a job with the people they did their apprenticeship with.

However, university is fantastic. There's the social side being in an academic environment for years, the long holidays; it is lots of fun and degrees still have this particular level of kudos. So both pathways have advantages and disadvantages you need to work out which route is right for you.