Just wanted to share my opinion and why I would personally warn people away from doing an Apprenticeship IF you are wanting to enter the creative industry.
In 2012 I started an Apprenticeship in "Graphic Design". I use quotation marks as I was basically doing Admin and Stock Control for them. It was a horrible experience - not only was it incredibly soul destroying but the "training" provider were a joke. They did not train me at all - just came into the workplace every few weeks for a meeting which was "you need to provide us with X work". The 'on-the-job' training was non-existent - my line manager was too busy to train me. I hated every single second of it.
In late 2012 I was made redundant and frankly I was quite happy with that outcome. I can finally move on from that place.
I did apply to countless Design related jobs still using an, admittedly, crappy portfolio which I now look back on and I am glad I've moved on from there. A lot of these places offered jobs to people with:
A: Experience (I had some, very limited)
B: A degree (err, I thought Apprenticeships were meant to replace University?)
C: A good portfolio (how can I get a good portfolio if I was mainly doing Admin)
I resorted to accepting a job offer at another "sorta-Design-but-not-really" place just to try to gain some experience. I had low expectations entering the place and, frankly, it's lived up to the low expectations I had.
Still, there was an issue. I still didn't have B or C. I knew I had to do something. I ended up applying for an online degree in Graphic Design with IDI. Fast-forward two years later and I'm half-way through my degree and I have a professional portfolio.
I've now had lots of Graphic Design agencies contacting me with job interviews, which is something that I didn't get AFTER my apprenticeship. In fact, recently I had a job offer mostly because of my online degree.
Apprenticeships are still really out-dated, doesn't provide people with a suitable portfolio of work, and at the end of it you've realised that the only thing you can get is another soul destroying job. I would STRONGLY advise that anyone interested in Graphic Design (or the Creative Industry) to follow the traditional route. There's a reason why job adverts say 'requirements: degree' - it's not something you can get just from 1 year's experience in a Design-related field.
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[OPINION] Apprenticeships aren't a good alternative to University watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by Badger_; 27-08-2016 at 17:16.
- 27-08-2016 16:55
- 29-08-2016 23:03
It's funny you mention that OP.
I have recently graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. I now want to take a U-TURN in my career and want to become a practising speech and language therapist- will be applying to the Masters.
A while ago, I was searching Graphic Design jobs and I was astounded that most, if not, ALL were asking for a degree in Graphic Design. It makes me laugh as some of my family members were questioning my decision is my degree, that I don't "need" it and experience is all that matters. Well, I'm glad I didn't listen to them due to the reasons I put above. I don't know much about apprenticeships, but I defiantly think obtaining a degree is the way to go.
- 30-08-2016 11:08
I think whether apprenticeships are decent or not largely comes down to the industry.
The only one I can comment on is accounting, which has really good school-leaver programmes. They train you and some provide you with a degree and/or the ACA. You also progress normally to senior, manager etc.
Most apprenticeships are unfortunately just badly paid jobs. Research is key to avoid that sort of thing.
- 05-09-2016 11:04
My apprenticeship is well organised, and has a degree as part of it.
Apprenticeships are definitely an alternative to a traditional university degree route if you pick the right one.
They are probably more appropriate for some industries than others, but don't let a poor experience allow you to tar all apprenticeships with the same brush, there's definitely some good ones out there.