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Got negative response to Apprenticeship from lecturer. What are your views on them??

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    I am a student on an access course for sciences.

    So today I had to present some work in a group in front of 2 lecturers, who asked us questions on the work and our research on said topic. Everything was all hunky dory. We talked as a group (I did most the talking) and then they marked us on the spot.

    When the assessment was over they proceeded to ask each of us what degree we were progressing onto. First guy say's X degree, second say's Y degree. They turn to me, and I say I am doing an apprenticeship next year. There faces looked like I had just killed a baby. I hate that kind of holy than thou dismissal look.

    Anyway, it got me thinking about how Apprenticeships are often still viewed as a lesser thing to do compared to uni. When in fact they are just a different route to a career.

    So what do you think?
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    I think it will be hilarious when the two guys going to do the degree come ot of university in three years time in massive debt, no experience and no job

    Doing an apprenticeship means you are gaining valuable experience and most businesses end up employing you full time at the end of the apprentice, so you already have already started on a career within the business! plus, I have many, many friends who have degrees in random subjects and who are now working in completely unrelated fields (or supermarkets), one of my friends who did quantity surveying is now a letting agent, another did media studies and works in Tesco, another did Politics and works in the same job that I have my apprenticeship with. But then a friend who has done Engineering is working for a big company, paid over £40k a year already (starting salary) and is being paid to go to Dubai at the moment, so degrees can get you far, but there are only so many (admittedly amazing) degree level jobs out there and only the best get them, it all depends on what sort of career you want to go in also, such as finance and science based careers, you would ideally need a degree for them, but again, there are only so many jobs and many more graduates then there is work available.

    Everyone else with a degree is left working 'normal' jobs and I feel that people like us who have experience and a qualification are much more likely to get those jobs than a graduate who has literally nothing but their degree.


    Plus university isn't all it's cracked up to be, I started last year to study Economics, absolutely hated it, dropped out and am now doing an apprenticeship in administration (where I will hopefully be able to move into the finance department after completing my part time accounting qualifications at college). I have gained both a qualification, experience, no debt and will hopefully be working for the business I have my apprenticeship with for a number of years. So if anyone want's to snub you for doing an apprenticeship I would suggest laughing in their face and telling them to come see you in 3 years after they have left university and are trying to look for jobs.
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    (Original post by A.Hopkin)
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    Plus university isn't all it's cracked up to be, I started last year to study Economics, absolutely hated it, dropped out and am now doing an apprenticeship in administration (where I will hopefully be able to move into the finance department after completing my part time accounting qualifications at college). I have gained both a qualification, experience, no debt and will hopefully be working for the business I have my apprenticeship with for a number of years. So if anyone want's to snub you for doing an apprenticeship I would suggest laughing in their face and telling them to come see you in 3 years after they have left university and are trying to look for jobs.
    No-one in their right mind would think this is rational/logical, unless you're just not smart enough.

    Accountancy is a waste of a good brain.
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    It wasn't really a logical choice as it would have been smarter for me to finish my degree as originally I wanted to go into some form of banking, trust me it took me a very long time to decide whether I should leave or not, especially as I knew that a degree could have gotten me far, but again like I said above, there is no guarentee for a job, I am getting into debt and I hated university/university life, it made me miserable to the point that I was getting physically ill all the time and felt run down, top that with problems back home with the family and it resulted in me dropping out. (they wanted me to go on a leave of absence but I felt that after a year I would have forgotten everything and would have been lumped with the £9k fee's anyway so just left.)

    My course was interesting and I love economics (the maths side to me is not so fun haha ) but I just think some people are cut out for university and others aren't, I'm obviously not and couldn't stand the thought of sticking it out for another 2 years If I went to a university close to home, enabling me to live at home still, or did the open university I'm sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more, but the universities near my home are terrible for Economics.

    I'm extremely happy in what I am doing now and hope to study accountancy, get experience in the finance department of the business I am working for and then move onto secretarial/PA work for a big firm, hopefully I'll take the chartered secretary exams (ICSA) in the far future (which I believe is degree/just past degree level?). So I guess technically I would still be getting a degree but I won't be going the university route haha.

    I would rather be happy then earning ridiculous amounts of money (which my degree may have enabled me to do) but to be honest, I don't think I am cut out for a high level career, I just can't take the stress and don't want a job that takes up a large portion of my life.

    Anyway, I am getting way of track

    Either way, I agree with you OP, apprenticeships are no where near looked upon as being as good as they use to be
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    I think it is a time to watch out with apprenticeships...

    During hard times apprentices tend to get the rough end of the stick as employers could easily take you on and dismiss you soon after your apprenticeship finishes, or even before it finishes. It's cheap/slave labour for them and they get paid by the government to have you afterall, so just bare that in mind.

    I think this is why a degree is more "secure" in a way, since at least you are guaranteed to actually be able to finish the course and there are a huge amount of vocational degrees that offer work placements throughout the course.


    But yes I'd agree that it is wrong to have a stuck up view on apprenticeships. It's like the A Levels vs. BTEC situation.
    People just apply their skills in different ways and different routes reflect that and all aspects have their positives and negatives.

    The people who tend to think they're so intellectually amazing tend to be very niave and narrow minded...which won't actually get them very far in this diverse life. Granted, apprenticeships ARE NOT as good as they used to be. But like with most things in life, its what you make of it, making sure you take up every opportunity out there to available to you keeping an open mind at all times.
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    (Original post by 331sam331)
    I am a student on an access course for sciences.

    So today I had to present some work in a group in front of 2 lecturers, who asked us questions on the work and our research on said topic. Everything was all hunky dory. We talked as a group (I did most the talking) and then they marked us on the spot.

    When the assessment was over they proceeded to ask each of us what degree we were progressing onto. First guy say's X degree, second say's Y degree. They turn to me, and I say I am doing an apprenticeship next year. There faces looked like I had just killed a baby. I hate that kind of holy than thou dismissal look.

    Anyway, it got me thinking about how Apprenticeships are often still viewed as a lesser thing to do compared to uni. When in fact they are just a different route to a career.

    So what do you think?
    Academic people are less likely to value apprenticeships and conversely if you go and find a load of electricians you'll probably find them pretty dismissive of University.
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    (Original post by Fraga)
    It's cheap/slave labour for them and they get paid by the government to have you afterall, so just bare that in mind.
    Couldn't agree with this more! there are some ridiculous apprenticeships out there with really bad wages, I think the minimum wage for an apprentice is £2.60 at the moment? it's quite amazing how many apprenticeships actually offer this bare minimum and then make you do the same work that other full time employees are doing who are also getting three times the amount of pay as you. Some of the courses they offer are also hilarious, I've seen some for sales assistants where you only get a qualification in customer service and are being paid £2.60 an hour for it!

    Originally I was offered an apprenticeship with as an admin in a pharmaceutical company and was offered £120 a week, which I turned down, the one I am with atm is £220 a week, lasts a year and they have offered to take me on full time after the year is up and help pay for some of my higher level accounting qualifications (much better!). My friend is doing an apprenticeship as an architectural technician and his wage is a bit below mine and lasts 6 years :eek: but then his is from the basic level to degree. So you really do have to look around at the different wages offered/what the company offers as a whole, as companies will try and take advantage of you and the second the apprenticeship is done they will just get someone to replace you.
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    Definitely agree with Norton. Also, bear in mind that when it comes to Access courses, colleges prefer students to move onto higher education as it makes for better statistics to fill quotas for the next year. Unfortunately, education has evolved into an industry like any other.
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    I did a level 2 apprenticeship and tbh I had a bad experience, very low wage, long hours and limited job responsibility. Not only that the training provider I used were very unorganised and pretty useless.

    I worked through it and got my qualification. At first I thought it was pointless and I had wasted my time but looking back now I think I have benefited. It prepared me for work, granted in a different sector but I gained experience and became more sociable in working environments.

    I gained employment and within a year I got a promotion then decided that I want to try further my career so I am now doing an advanced apprenticeship.

    University wasn't really an option for me but I still have a chance to go later on in life if that is what I want. For now I am quite happy doing my apprenticeship and being paid a wage at the same time. It also makes me feel really happy that I don't owe thousands of pounds!
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    (Original post by A.Hopkin)
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    (Original post by Fraga)
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    (Original post by Linzikins)
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    Thank's for all the opinions. I love a good debate

    I suppose what it boils down to is what makes you happy. I would hate to go through life putting money first and happiness/time with family and friends second.

    Yes, it's true that the quality of apprenticeships varies MASSIVELY. However, the ones I am applying to are paying £200+ a week plus great training and benefits.

    I understand that the competition is fierce, but If you show them enough personality and drive, as well as knowledge on their company then you are in with a good shot.

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Updated: March 20, 2012
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