Apprenticeship or A levels? Watch

abbie-here
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I have posted this in another section but had no replies, so am hoping someone will help me here?.

I am leaving school in June and am still so confused what to do afterwards. I have applied for business admin apprenticeships,for sixth form and a local college.

The reason that I want an apprenticeship is because I don't like school very much, I feel more mature than everyone there and want to be around adults. The fact I will be earning money also has drawn me into applying.

I don't want to go to sixth form at my school as have been put off by everyone saying the teachers treat you like children and it's just like school. I'm not sure what exact A Levels I would take but am interested in Human Geography so if I went to University I would study that. The A Levels that I would maybe take are Geography, Sociology & Politics - and R.E is compulsory at that sixthform. I could instead go to a local college, and study my A Levels there but am nervous about meeting new people. If I went to a local college I would need to get the bus, my mam isn't in a situation where she could provide me bus fair money everyday, are there any grants available? That is what else is putting me off A Levels.


However, although at this moment in time an apprenticeship does seem to be the best option for me, where could it actually lead me? I get quite good results and wouldn't like to think I would be wasting my life away working somewhere where i'm unhappy when I could be doing something more interesting and higher paid if I had a degree.


So, my question is - what do you think I should do?

Any advice would be really appreciated x
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barnsleyjames
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Do an apprenticeship. I was bored of school just like you and getting a full time job working with professionals in the real world has done me the world of good and most of the time apprentices stay with the company once the apprenticeship has ended by moving into a full time permanent (and better paid!) position.

Everybody always says you need qualifications and experience - apprenticeships give you both plus you get paid. In a few years when all your school friends are leaving uni with next to no work experience, you'll be way ahead of the game.

Good luck!
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loyalty is royalty
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(Original post by abbie-here)
I have posted this in another section but had no replies, so am hoping someone will help me here?.

I am leaving school in June and am still so confused what to do afterwards. I have applied for business admin apprenticeships,for sixth form and a local college.

The reason that I want an apprenticeship is because I don't like school very much, I feel more mature than everyone there and want to be around adults. The fact I will be earning money also has drawn me into applying.

I don't want to go to sixth form at my school as have been put off by everyone saying the teachers treat you like children and it's just like school. I'm not sure what exact A Levels I would take but am interested in Human Geography so if I went to University I would study that. The A Levels that I would maybe take are Geography, Sociology & Politics - and R.E is compulsory at that sixthform. I could instead go to a local college, and study my A Levels there but am nervous about meeting new people. If I went to a local college I would need to get the bus, my mam isn't in a situation where she could provide me bus fair money everyday, are there any grants available? That is what else is putting me off A Levels.


However, although at this moment in time an apprenticeship does seem to be the best option for me, where could it actually lead me? I get quite good results and wouldn't like to think I would be wasting my life away working somewhere where i'm unhappy when I could be doing something more interesting and higher paid if I had a degree.


So, my question is - what do you think I should do?

Any advice would be really appreciated x
In the long run A-Levels will definitely give you better options after you've finished them. I would recommend staying where you are and finish your A-Levels in whatever subjects you like.
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mike101
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As above, do your A Levels.

I did my A Levels, then did an apprenticeship. Now I'm leaving to go to uni after finishing the apprenticeship.

Doing A Levels gives you something to fall back on if you don't enjoy the career you choose/it doesn't work out for other reasons.
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abbie-here
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(Original post by barnsleyjames)
Do an apprenticeship. I was bored of school just like you and getting a full time job working with professionals in the real world has done me the world of good and most of the time apprentices stay with the company once the apprenticeship has ended by moving into a full time permanent (and better paid!) position.

Everybody always says you need qualifications and experience - apprenticeships give you both plus you get paid. In a few years when all your school friends are leaving uni with next to no work experience, you'll be way ahead of the game.

Good luck!
Ooo thanks! did you do business admin?
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M1011
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A Levels. If you want practical experience, do an industrial placement year at Uni.
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Balloon Baboon
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Apprenticeship > A Levels.


Qualifications mean nothing nowadays - Companys have so many people applying for jobs that experiance is what they are looking for.
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Balloon Baboon
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(Original post by abbie-here)
... when I could be doing something more interesting and higher paid if I had a degree.

Most of my friends went to university and gained good degrees. 8 of them who have degrees dont earn anywere near what I earn - I did an apprenticeship. The days when people who had degrees all had good, high paid jobs is over i'm affraid.
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leukybear
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(Original post by Lee R)
Most of my friends went to university and gained good degrees. 8 of them who have degrees dont earn anywere near what I earn - I did an apprenticeship. The days when people who had degrees all had good, high paid jobs is over i'm affraid.
It depends on your field of study...Money is not everything but education is. End of story.
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Balloon Baboon
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(Original post by leukybear)
It depends on your field of study...Money is not everything but education is. End of story.

May I ask how old you are? and what field you're in?

[EDIT] - The reason I ask is that your quote tells me (and I may be wrong) that you have a degree, or are studying towards a degree - which is great. But, to say that a degree or A Levels are 'everything' is wrong.
Afterall, in real-terms an apprenticeship actually gives you more educational values than a degree does - this is because you gain qualifications and also, and more importantly, you gain educational hands on experiance in the subject, something that a degree doesnt give you.

And to end, money, after everything, is pretty much everything. - When you have a family, your education doesnt add up to much but money does. :-)
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abbie-here
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(Original post by Lee R)
Apprenticeship > A Levels.


Qualifications mean nothing nowadays - Companys have so many people applying for jobs that experiance is what they are looking for.


That's what I thought! I'm going to definitely going to do an Apprenticeship if I find one, I do agree with you...everywhere requires experience and an apprenticeship will give me education and experience
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Balloon Baboon
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(Original post by abbie-here)
That's what I thought! I'm going to definitely going to do an Apprenticeship if I find one, I do agree with you...everywhere requires experience and an apprenticeship will give me education and experience
Good luck with your future :-)

Here is a good website if you haven't been here before:

www.apprenticeships.org.uk
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abbie-here
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(Original post by Lee R)
Good luck with your future :-)

Here is a good website if you haven't been here before:

www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Thanks, you too! And thanks for the website
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mike101
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Most people in this thread are wrong, my opinion is to do a levels, and then decide, just so you have options to fall back on if it doesn't work out.

Money is not everything, neither is education, the most important thing is that you end up living a life you enjoy. Your job is a big part of your life, you spend most of your productive hours at work, so you need to make sure your doing something you truly enjoy.

Don't rush into doing a degree for the sake of it, make sure it leads to a career you have an interest in. Same goes for an apprenticeship, don't rush into one thinking only of the money, if you go down this route make sure it's the beginning of a career path that you again have an interest in and are likely to enjoy.
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M1011
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(Original post by Lee R)
Apprenticeship > A Levels.

Qualifications mean nothing nowadays - Companys have so many people applying for jobs that experiance is what they are looking for.
Degrees and A-Levels are considered a requirement by many top companies. To say they mean nothing is borderline moronic, try applying to a top city firm without one and we'll see how far you get.

That said, depending on your own aspirations an apprenticeship may be the better choice. I don't deny that. But please don't be so dismissive of what other people do, as frankly it doesn't reflect reality.

(Original post by Lee R)
Most of my friends went to university and gained good degrees. 8 of them who have degrees dont earn anywere near what I earn - I did an apprenticeship. The days when people who had degrees all had good, high paid jobs is over i'm affraid.
I'm walking in to a high paid position straight out of University. I won't be childish enough to 'compare' but again, let's not pretend degrees don't open doors.

(Original post by Lee R)
in real-terms an apprenticeship actually gives you more educational values than a degree does - this is because you gain qualifications and also, and more importantly, you gain educational hands on experiance in the subject, something that a degree doesnt give you.

And to end, money, after everything, is pretty much everything. - When you have a family, your education doesnt add up to much but money does. :-)
Not to be insulting, but read your own quote back. Great educational values there I jest, I'm sure it was written in haste.

However, again I disagree. You imply that education doesn't equate to money, but it clearly does? Your long term earning potential clearly increases if you can achieve a decent degree (obviously this is a generalization, individual attributes apply).

(Original post by abbie-here)
That's what I thought! I'm going to definitely going to do an Apprenticeship if I find one, I do agree with you...everywhere requires experience and an apprenticeship will give me education and experience
OP, I wouldn't dream of telling you what will work best for you, but be wary of putting to much emphasis on what you've heard here. For the most part people are simply supporting whichever path they took (myself included), so these aren't the most objective of views. Also, you have placed this thread in the 'Apprenticeships and alternatives to University' section, so it is hardly surprising that many of the readers have advised for exactly that. I imagine if you post this thread in one of the study help or university sections you would get a different picture from the responses.

So to summarise, make sure you think carefully about where you want to be in the future. If you have a good idea then look at some job specs, see what will be required. Better to do that now before you make this decision IMO.
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StefanieLouise
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It seems you've already made your mind up that you want to do an apprenticeship, so there's no point asking other people really. You've basically answered your own question.

You're going to get a lot of people on this website telling you that you should go and do your A levels instead, and whilst I do agree that it's important to get an education, if you can't make your mind up at this stage then perhaps you should go on to do an apprenticeship for a year and see how you feel after that. Remember though that you're only going to be earning around £96 p/w on a standard apprenticeship, the more advanced ones which can sometimes pay up to £300 p/w usually require you to have A levels or specific qualifications.

As has been pointed out, qualifications and a degree are definitely important, but what's more important for you at the moment is your happiness and making the right decision for yourself. Not everyone is cut out for university, and unless you know the sort of career you'd like to enter into, and in turn what degree you should be doing, university can sometimes end up being somewhat of a waste of time if the choice isn't right. But if you think university might be for you, then you're going to miss out on a huge experience that really would change your life.

Ask yourself if you will be happy working full time for a low wage, even if you are going to get qualifications at the end of it. It's not uncommon for people to take three years to do their A levels, so you could always go to college after you've spent a year doing an apprenticeship if you find it isn't for you after all.

You definitely shouldn't let the thought of meeting new people at college put you off though - if you do an apprenticeship, you'll have to meet new people. If you go to university, you'll have to meet new people. In every new job you have, you're going to meet new people. It should never be something that puts you off.
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Balloon Baboon
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(Original post by M1011)
Degrees and A-Levels are considered a requirement by many top companies. To say they mean nothing is borderline moronic, try applying to a top city firm without one and we'll see how far you get.
I never once stated that a degree or A levels means nothing.

(Original post by M1011)
That said, depending on your own aspirations an apprenticeship may be the better choice. I don't deny that. But please don't be so dismissive of what other people do, as frankly it doesn't reflect reality.
Reality is that a degree is not as well looked upon as it was 10 years ago.



(Original post by M1011)
I'm walking in to a high paid position straight out of University. I won't be childish enough to 'compare' but again, let's not pretend degrees don't open doors.
Again I never insisted that a degree can't open doors, but it's not the only route, and it certainly doesn't give you a better chance of gaining a high paid job today.



(Original post by M1011)
Not to be insulting, but read your own quote back. Great educational values there I jest, I'm sure it was written in haste.
Haha. Its my keyboard, I think I may be in need of a new one! Honestly.

(Original post by M1011)
However, again I disagree. You imply that education doesn't equate to money, but it clearly does? Your long term earning potential clearly increases if you can achieve a decent degree (obviously this is a generalization, individual attributes apply).
I don't agree. Young people today will have the same chance of a good career with a degree or by doing an apprenticeship or levels. Like you said, it all depends on the individual.



(Original post by M1011)
OP, I wouldn't dream of telling you what will work best for you, but be wary of putting to much emphasis on what you've heard here. For the most part people are simply supporting whichever path they took (myself included), so these aren't the most objective of views. Also, you have placed this thread in the 'Apprenticeships and alternatives to University' section, so it is hardly surprising that many of the readers have advised for exactly that. I imagine if you post this thread in one of the study help or university sections you would get a different picture from the responses.
Agreed. Although, I have both a degree and I have completed a 3 year apprenticeship. So I can see both sides of the coin. :-)
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M1011
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(Original post by Lee R)
I never once stated that a degree or A levels means nothing.

You're exact words were 'Qualifications mean nothing nowadays'.

Reality is that a degree is not as well looked upon as it was 10 years ago.

Perhaps, still thought highly of providing you attend a decent university.

Again I never insisted that a degree can't open doors, but it's not the only route, and it certainly doesn't give you a better chance of gaining a high paid job today.

How many of the future directors or CEOs of large corporations do you think will have a degree? I'd wager the vast majority.

Haha. Its my keyboard, I think I may be in need of a new one! Honestly.



I don't agree. Young people today will have the same chance of a good career with a degree or by doing an apprenticeship or levels. Like you said, it all depends on the individual.

Again, depends what you want to do really. If you don't have A-Levels behind you then doors do close, it's as simple as that.

Agreed. Although, I have both a degree and I have completed a 3 year apprenticeship. So I can see both sides of the coin. :-)

Good to hear, but does this mean you can see both sides of the coin? Or does this mean you don't really know what the impact of not having a degree might have had on your career? Food for thought
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jolee101
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Hey Op the apprenticeship is the right choice imo! check out notgoingtouni.co.uk lots of great choices for you!
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abbie-here
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(Original post by jolee101)
Hey Op the apprenticeship is the right choice imo! check out notgoingtouni.co.uk lots of great choices for you!
Thanks for the link it's great!
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