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I want a change. University to Apprenticeship.

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi everyone, I'm new here so apologies if I have posted this in the wrong section or haven't followed correct etiquette. Moderators are more than welcome to move this to the correct section to help with responses.

    I'm from Scotland, Edinburgh, 20 years old and I have recently just finished College. I studied HNC Mechanical Engineering and achieved a grade A. I was enrolled onto this course as an 'Engineering Academy Student' from the University of Strathclyde. Being an 'Engineering Academy Student' at college basically means that you study your first year of university at college and attend practical activities at the University of Strathclyde throughout the first year (there was only like 4 sessions arranged by the university for us). Although I was studying my first year at college full-time, I was still a University of Strathclyde student and had full access to university facilities just like any other under-graduate student. The course is different from a regular HNC course studied at college because it requires you to study 4 extra units at college and you have to achieve a grade A to gain entry into the second year of your chosen degree programme in the department of Engineering. If you don't achieve an A then you can't progress into second year and would have to study a HND at college instead.

    The previous year, session 2014-2015, I was a first year undergraduate student at The University of Glasgow studying Aeronautical Engineering. I left midway in first year as I absolutely hated the course and just couldn't understand some of the stuff being taught. After I left I started searching for Automotive or Motorsport courses at either college or University. Unfortunately, there was no such courses being offered around my area and I can't move down south to study. The closest thing relating to cars/automotive engineering courses around my area was probably Mechanical Engineering, which made me apply to this HNC Mechanical Engineering Academy course in session 2015-2016.

    While I was studying at college during my first year, I received an e-mail last December from the university asking what course I'd like to progress onto in second year providing I met all conditions of passing all units and achieving a grade A. The five courses I could progress onto within the engineering department were:

    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Design Manufacture and Engineering Management or Naval & Marine Engineering.

    I replied I'd like to progress onto the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering course but unfortunately they replied back and said this course was full and my only options available were:

    Civil Engineering, Design Manufacture and Engineering Management or Naval & Marine Engineering.

    I didn't want to do any of these courses and hated these options available. After numerous frustrating e-mails with the university I was still unable to get them to put me on the Mechanical Engineering course. In the end I put myself down for the Design Manufacture and Engineering Management course. I know this is definitely NOT the course I want to study and can't see myself being committed to something for the next 3 years knowing it's not what i really want to be doing.

    Now that I have completed the first year at college and have achieved my enhanced HNC, I really don't feel like going to university. Reflecting upon my course and first year at college in general, it wasn't really "boosted by hands-on practical activities" as it was hyped up to be on the course description when I first applied for it. I didn't really enjoy the course much either. I just feel that university just isn't for me. Most people are excited about going to uni, but I hate just thinking about it and don't want to study the course I have been forced to take up.

    I have recently just found out more about apprenticeships (I was aware of them before but didn't look into them in detail). They really appeal to me as I like the fact that they are much more hands-on and you can earn while you learn. I would absolutely LOVE to work in a car dealership as a Technician working on cars. I have also had great experience in the past with automobiles. I would only like to work in a dealership and not end up as a bog standard garage mechanic.

    I have looked on dealers websites for any vacancies but there's nothing there. I am thinking of going into a car dealership myself and asking if they have anything on offer (even work experience) and hand my CV in. Is this a good approach? Also, who should I be speaking to when I go in? I'm a bit nervous as I have never went job hunting before in my life and don't know what to expect.

    Final question. Should I keep looking for an apprenticeship and follow my dreams to pursue a career in the automotive industry or should I just continue with the degree and get it over and done with?

    My two brothers and sister, who all attended The University of Glasgow, graduated with Honours Degrees'. This kind of puts pressure on me and makes me think I should follow in their footsteps and show I can do it aswell, although they are very supportive and tell me to do what I enjoy.

    Sorry for the EXTREMELY LONG post. I just wanted to make sure you get every detail of what I have went through and understand everything clearly.

    I just really need help urgently to get my life back together and make the best decision for my future.

    I hope there is someone out there than can point me in the correct direction. Any constructive advice is greatly appreciated.


    There are plenty of degree level apprenticeships out there in Engineering. I would say continue with your degree until you're accepted, so that you at least have something under your belt.

    What DS said^. But funding will be limited for people who have qualifications higher than level 3.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you very much for the fast responses! Right now I feel that I'm set on the apprenticeship route and really don't want to go to university. I'm in the process of looking for a good apprenticeship.Do you think it's a good idea for me to go into a dealership and hand in my CV?

    (Original post by S A I L)
    Thank you very much for the fast responses! Right now I feel that I'm set on the apprenticeship route and really don't want to go to university. I'm in the process of looking for a good apprenticeship.Do you think it's a good idea for me to go into a dealership and hand in my CV?
    Probably, but unless they already do an apprenticeship scheme, which you'll have to ask about, then at most they'll probably offer you a small role and teach you unofficially as you go along.
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