Degree apprenticeship or Uni degree route?

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Key-Knowledge
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#1
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#1
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
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Mohammed_Islam
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#2
Report 3 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
I feel as though a degree gives you a broader range of careers depending on the degree meanwhile apprenticeships are more restrictive as you mainly train for a particular industry. An apprenticeship helps you develop much better experience in work environments and also most employers value experience and technical skill as much as qualification, if not more.

can I ask which engineering you did in A-Level and also if possible your AS and A-Level grades if you don't mind as I'm currently doing my AS
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mystudentlife
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#3
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#3
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Last edited by mystudentlife; 3 weeks ago
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Key-Knowledge
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#4
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by Mohammed_Islam)
I feel as though a degree gives you a broader range of careers depending on the degree meanwhile apprenticeships are more restrictive as you mainly train for a particular industry. An apprenticeship helps you develop much better experience in work environments and also most employers value experience and technical skill as much as qualification, if not more.

can I ask which engineering you did in A-Level and also if possible your AS and A-Level grades if you don't mind as I'm currently doing my AS
I achieved a B, merit and a C in my A levels however because I am taking a gap year, I will be retaking maths and physics as a private student as in I will just pay for exam fees. I am sure I will at least get an A in both Physics and maths and could apply for UCL or Bath Uni.

I did OCR Cambridge technicals in engineering which is equivalent to an A-Level. It's a two year course involving assignments.
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O_O.
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#5
Report 3 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
Imo apprenticeships are the way to go for most STEM-y careers and even more so the Engineering part. Hands on experience is incredibily desirable to employers in this industry which is why in CS, for example, you're seeing more people getting hired without degrees and just after doing a bootcamp/course of some kind.

I imagine the same being true for mech eng since knowing your way around an engine for example is going to be much more useful than having a teacher speak to you about an engine. Plus, if the theory side of things is still of interest to you, with a DA youre not missing out on that because youve got the 20% academic teaching.

Dont forget you can still apply to both uni and DAs so, realistically, you still have a few months to decide what you want to do. You can apply for 5 unis and 10s of DAs and then take the waiting time to figure out more about what you want to do. For me, I found that applying and the application process of both uni and DAs has given me more information to decide which one I want to do most. Naturally as you apply, youll get more and more info about each option which will make it easier for you to decide.
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Mohammed_Islam
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
I achieved a B, merit and a C in my A levels however because I am taking a gap year, I will be retaking maths and physics as a private student as in I will just pay for exam fees. I am sure I will at least get an A in both Physics and maths and could apply for UCL or Bath Uni.

I did OCR Cambridge technicals in engineering which is equivalent to an A-Level. It's a two year course involving assignments.
still seems like pretty good results so far in my AS Levels I've gotten an A in economics, B in Maths, and what I'm surprised about is I got an E in OCR Design and Technology: Design Engineering which I'm completely shocked about, in my GCSEs I did Engineering CAMNAT and got a 9 and suddenly I got an E and we're only a term in and that engineering exam is 30% of my AS grade.
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Blue_Cow
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#7
Report 3 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
Take the degree apprenticeship. Complete no brainer especially if you know you want to break into engineering.

Work experience trumps any degree. 4 years of work experience PLUS a paid-for degree is even better.
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Chris2892
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#8
Report 3 weeks ago
#8
I finished my mechanical degree apprenticeship last year. I’ve done 4 engineering apprenticeships from levels 2-6 over 10 years.

Short answer would be…

if the university is prestigious and you plan to study to PhD or MEng - do full time. They’ll likely be well funded by industry and have lots of high quality staff and equipment.

If you only want to do a BEng, can’t get into a top university, or have landed a degree apprenticeship with a good employer, then do the apprenticeship. Landing a top employer is probably the most desirable thing, it’s like doing your degree with a private professor - but they pay you instead.

Happy to expand on the above, or answer questions.
Last edited by Chris2892; 3 weeks ago
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O_O.
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#9
Report 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by Chris2892)
I finished my mechanical degree apprenticeship last year. I’ve done 4 engineering apprenticeships from levels 2-6 over 10 years.

Short answer would be…

if the university is prestigious and you plan to study to PhD or MEng - do full time. They’ll likely be well funded by industry and have lots of high quality staff and equipment.

If you only want to do a BEng, can’t get into a top university, or have landed a degree apprenticeship with a good employer, then do the apprenticeship. Landing a top employer is probably the most desirable thing, it’s like doing your degree with a private professor - but they pay you instead.

Happy to expand on the above, or answer questions.
How has your job search/application been since finishing the DA?
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Chris2892
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#10
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#10
(Original post by O_O.)
How has your job search/application been since finishing the DA?
My employer rotated us around departments every 6 month, then allowed us to settle where we want after 3-4 years for the remainder of our apprenticeship.

I was offered a few internal roles for when I finished my apprenticeship, and decided to stay in the department I’d settled in. I also had offers to either do a PhD (skipping masters) or work elsewhere.

Because I rotated around departments, I had a broad range of experience and could fit in most engineering product verification (testing), quality, manufacturing, and design roles within research and development.

I just had to sign a new contract and transitioned into the role without any hassle. They trained us very well and I was already working to the level they required.
Last edited by Chris2892; 3 weeks ago
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Mara1680
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#11
Report 3 weeks ago
#11
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
When it comes to the engineering industry, apprenticeships are the way to go. They make you much more employable - and as you said, you get a degree and a salary, instead of 60K of debt that you will be paying off until you retire.
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dpsng
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#12
Report 1 week ago
#12
(Original post by Key-Knowledge)
So I am at a point in life where I have to make a life changing decision very soon. I have just finished my A-levels in physics, maths and engineering (3 A-levels) and want to study mechanical engineering but am soo so confused between engineering degree apprenticeship route (with employers like JLR) or the traditional way of acquiring a degree through University.

》If I chose Uni path:
•A chartered degree over a period of 4 years
•Very little experience compared to degree apprenticeship
•£40k debt.
•20,000 paid out of my own pocket

》If I chose apprenticeship route
•Get paid £20k annually
•A lot of hand on experience in an automotive industry
•a degree
• No Debt

I am requesting If anyone is experienced in life and has gone through one of these routes to please take a bit of time out to advise me on this.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.
I do a degree apprenticeship in banking and finance and so far its been one of the best decision. Managing time has been fine just make sure you dont get too behind because it becomes an overload of things to do. Other than that had a blast and earning full time salary from it. We have a uni whatsapp group where we can all stay close with each other and catch up so its a very close and nice envirnoment to ask questions and make friends. My team is very supportive of me and teach me loads daily so that I can learn on the job. Pretty much perfect experience for me so far.
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justjas33
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#13
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#13
(Original post by dpsng)
I do a degree apprenticeship in banking and finance and so far its been one of the best decision. Managing time has been fine just make sure you dont get too behind because it becomes an overload of things to do. Other than that had a blast and earning full time salary from it. We have a uni whatsapp group where we can all stay close with each other and catch up so its a very close and nice envirnoment to ask questions and make friends. My team is very supportive of me and teach me loads daily so that I can learn on the job. Pretty much perfect experience for me so far.
Where are you doing your apprenticeship if you don’t mind me asking? Sounds like the perfect environment and I’ve got a cousin looking into banking/finance apprenticeships
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