The Student Room Group

is it too late to apply for apprenticeships after exams?

Trying to think about all options and some degree apprenticeships look a lot better than going to uni through clearing, but I want to take my time and learn more about the different roles/companies before applying, and I'm trying to revise for A levels rn above everything. However many seem to be closing their applications this month, and have already done most of the screening process, and I'm worried that the earliest any will start now is for September 2023??
I'm also worried that the career/salary progression won't be as good as if I took the traditional uni route :/
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
You'll be surprised many apprenticeships begin January next year and some might start earlier, what field are you looking at? I applied for loads of apprenticeships around November last year but for degree apprenticeships especially, the process is so long and as you said you need time to research the company and stuff. I would say don't compromise your revision now, wait til exams are over and there might be more openings over summer
Reply 2
Original post by Raji.x
You'll be surprised many apprenticeships begin January next year and some might start earlier, what field are you looking at? I applied for loads of apprenticeships around November last year but for degree apprenticeships especially, the process is so long and as you said you need time to research the company and stuff. I would say don't compromise your revision now, wait til exams are over and there might be more openings over summer

Thanks for the reply that's really helpful to know! I'm not 100% sure what field which is why I'm still looking at my options. It seems like accounting sets you up for the best but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it :/ My problem is I'm already on my gap year and the thought of taking two is terrifying. Do you think I could do a higher apprenticeship then apply for degree apprenticeships during that time?
hi! why are you applying for an apprenticeship instead? what do you want to study and do career wise?
Reply 4
Original post by gracieee16
hi! why are you applying for an apprenticeship instead? what do you want to study and do career wise?

I'm worried that I wont get into my uni choice and after researching my options, going into the workforce and gaining a qualification sounds so much better and much more appealing lifestyle-wise than getting a degree at an average uni through clearing.
I applied for philosophy at uni with the plan being to go to a reputable uni and do internships each year then secure a grad role in consulting during my 3rd year, but I don't know if I can get into this uni anymore.
Career wise I want project-style work where I'm not doing the same thing everyday/week/month/year but moving onto different things after a while (such as in consulting and project management). I feel pressured by my family and community to do something that pays well and is reputable, and I am honestly terrified of being branded a failure which is really harming my mental health. I'm hoping an apprenticeship (maybe even a degree one ideally?) will provide me with a alternative path through which I can succeed in life. I'm not sure if these are bad reasons to go into an apprenticeship but it's the truth.
I'm on my gap year currently and retaking an a level subject- one that I'm not passionate about at all and I'm doing this all on my own, self teaching parts I didn't understand back when I was in college etc and it's been the worst experience ever, making me think a traditional uni education might not be for me. However I love learning, and I'm really interested in learning about business since business is all around us and learning it has a direct link to the real world, so I'd like to think I would fare well in a degree apprenticeship that is in the business realm. Sorry for the big reply but I feel so stuck and overwhelmed with life and I would really appreciate any advice :')
Original post by nooneeee
I'm worried that I wont get into my uni choice and after researching my options, going into the workforce and gaining a qualification sounds so much better and much more appealing lifestyle-wise than getting a degree at an average uni through clearing.
I applied for philosophy at uni with the plan being to go to a reputable uni and do internships each year then secure a grad role in consulting during my 3rd year, but I don't know if I can get into this uni anymore.
Career wise I want project-style work where I'm not doing the same thing everyday/week/month/year but moving onto different things after a while (such as in consulting and project management). I feel pressured by my family and community to do something that pays well and is reputable, and I am honestly terrified of being branded a failure which is really harming my mental health. I'm hoping an apprenticeship (maybe even a degree one ideally?) will provide me with a alternative path through which I can succeed in life. I'm not sure if these are bad reasons to go into an apprenticeship but it's the truth.
I'm on my gap year currently and retaking an a level subject- one that I'm not passionate about at all and I'm doing this all on my own, self teaching parts I didn't understand back when I was in college etc and it's been the worst experience ever, making me think a traditional uni education might not be for me. However I love learning, and I'm really interested in learning about business since business is all around us and learning it has a direct link to the real world, so I'd like to think I would fare well in a degree apprenticeship that is in the business realm. Sorry for the big reply but I feel so stuck and overwhelmed with life and I would really appreciate any advice :')

I'm in a similar position to you, I'm not really sure if uni is for me right now but I wanna take a gap year and try to apply to some more apprenticeships hopefully. I think you should just focus on smashing that a level subject you're retaking, so that it's one less stress factor when you're applying after exams - it's basically what I'm doing rn so that I can not worry about a levels on my gap year! Maybe you should consider taking another gap year since you said you're overwhelmed and stuck, but then again that would depend on if you're really willing to give up another year to apply again.
Reply 6
Original post by saulgoodman246
I'm in a similar position to you, I'm not really sure if uni is for me right now but I wanna take a gap year and try to apply to some more apprenticeships hopefully. I think you should just focus on smashing that a level subject you're retaking, so that it's one less stress factor when you're applying after exams - it's basically what I'm doing rn so that I can not worry about a levels on my gap year! Maybe you should consider taking another gap year since you said you're overwhelmed and stuck, but then again that would depend on if you're really willing to give up another year to apply again.


That sounds like a solid plan, I hope you manage to figure it out! Yeah I'm trying to focus on my exams but I can't help but think about the worst-case scenario happening where I fail to get the A grade this reputable uni wants. Retaking A levels alone is something I seriously underestimated :/ Good luck with your exams!
Yea, I just hate the thought of it- staying at home another year, whilst everyone else moves on with their lives onto greater things. If I were to apply to unis again I'd have to retake again, and I really don't have the heart to do A levels for a 4th year D:
Reply 7
Original post by nooneeee
Thanks for the reply that's really helpful to know! I'm not 100% sure what field which is why I'm still looking at my options. It seems like accounting sets you up for the best but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it :/ My problem is I'm already on my gap year and the thought of taking two is terrifying. Do you think I could do a higher apprenticeship then apply for degree apprenticeships during that time?


I would say if you get a higher apprenticeship go for it because they are high in demand and once your foot's on the ladder and you've got experience you can work your way up the company or continue applying for more apprenticeships. The apprenticeship route is a lot more exciting than uni in my opinion but the degree ones do last up to 4/5 years so try and do something you're interested in you know? I know you mentioned accounting so if you're into maths or business look into audit apprenticeships or business management bc they usually have opportunities for you to rotate around different areas of that field and really get an idea of what you'd like to do long time
Original post by nooneeee
That sounds like a solid plan, I hope you manage to figure it out! Yeah I'm trying to focus on my exams but I can't help but think about the worst-case scenario happening where I fail to get the A grade this reputable uni wants. Retaking A levels alone is something I seriously underestimated :/ Good luck with your exams!
Yea, I just hate the thought of it- staying at home another year, whilst everyone else moves on with their lives onto greater things. If I were to apply to unis again I'd have to retake again, and I really don't have the heart to do A levels for a 4th year D:

A levels for a 4th year would be really exhausting tbh I don't think anyone would have to motivation for that!! But the best advice I can give is to just work on smashing that a level out the park, do every single past paper and revise everything, even revise content that's not on the advanced info just in case because you never know what they could ask in an exam! I hope you don't mind me asking, but what is the a level that you're currently retaking?
Reply 9
Original post by Raji.x
I would say if you get a higher apprenticeship go for it because they are high in demand and once your foot's on the ladder and you've got experience you can work your way up the company or continue applying for more apprenticeships. The apprenticeship route is a lot more exciting than uni in my opinion but the degree ones do last up to 4/5 years so try and do something you're interested in you know? I know you mentioned accounting so if you're into maths or business look into audit apprenticeships or business management bc they usually have opportunities for you to rotate around different areas of that field and really get an idea of what you'd like to do long time

That does sound really appealing, especially compared to my other option being to go to a average/below average uni to do a 'unemployable' degree like philosophy. Is it true that it's hard to climb up the ladder without a degree though, or does it depend on the company/type of apprenticeship? Yes I agree, it is really exciting! Good point, I'll bare that in mind! Business management sounds really interesting and I feel like would have opportunities to progress higher right?
Reply 10
Original post by saulgoodman246
A levels for a 4th year would be really exhausting tbh I don't think anyone would have to motivation for that!! But the best advice I can give is to just work on smashing that a level out the park, do every single past paper and revise everything, even revise content that's not on the advanced info just in case because you never know what they could ask in an exam! I hope you don't mind me asking, but what is the a level that you're currently retaking?

Yup, even a 3rd year of A levels has been extremely taxing- at the start I thought I had it easy but I'm now realising how much support there is at a college/sixth form compared to doing it all alone! You're right, thanks for the encouragement I really needed it :') I don't mind- it's maths 🤮 was initially further maths and chemistry too, but I qualified for contextual offers and so dropped further maths, and have recently dropped chemistry too to focus on getting at least 1 A. I had to pay £700+ for the exams out of my own pocket only to be doing 3 out of the intial 9 exams in the end :')
Reply 11
Original post by nooneeee
That does sound really appealing, especially compared to my other option being to go to a average/below average uni to do a 'unemployable' degree like philosophy. Is it true that it's hard to climb up the ladder without a degree though, or does it depend on the company/type of apprenticeship? Yes I agree, it is really exciting! Good point, I'll bare that in mind! Business management sounds really interesting and I feel like would have opportunities to progress higher right?

Depends on the company/apprenticeship. Some (usually smaller) companies highly value experience over qualifications. But I think if you’re trying to make it in a big firm, a degree is more likely to be required so you can check that box, even if it isn’t necessary to properly do your job.
is philosophy really that unemployable? :/ i really want to study it but worry about employability, similar to you i would want to end up in consulting. would this be possible with a philosophy degree from a well rated russel group for example? or do they not care much about that
Reply 13
Original post by elliottsmithfan1
is philosophy really that unemployable? :/ i really want to study it but worry about employability, similar to you i would want to end up in consulting. would this be possible with a philosophy degree from a well rated russel group for example? or do they not care much about that


This is probably worth creating another thread about.

afaik philosophy degrees are incredibly broad so you can actually get a variety jobs with it. It’s just that there’s not many jobs with “requires philosophy degree” on the description. One google of “what can you do with a philosophy degree” will get you loads of results.

then again I don’t have nor am I planning to get a philosophy degree
Original post by O_O.
This is probably worth creating another thread about.

afaik philosophy degrees are incredibly broad so you can actually get a variety jobs with it. It’s just that there’s not many jobs with “requires philosophy degree” on the description. One google of “what can you do with a philosophy degree” will get you loads of results.

then again I don’t have nor am I planning to get a philosophy degree


fair enough i might make one tbf, cheers though
Reply 15
Original post by elliottsmithfan1
is philosophy really that unemployable? :/ i really want to study it but worry about employability, similar to you i would want to end up in consulting. would this be possible with a philosophy degree from a well rated russel group for example? or do they not care much about that

I've done a lot of research into this, and imo you can definitely get into consulting with a philosophy degree from a reputable uni. From a less reputable (non russel group) uni, I think it's 'safer' to do a course that is more 'employable', however it's obviously not impossible to get into consulting or other well paying fields- I would guess that you need to really sell your case on your CV with amazing experience etc to have a chance, and almost 'make up' for the fact that most would not be impressed by your degree/uni.

You would still need an amazing CV even at a russel group, but I think the recruiters would look upon you somewhat more favourably than if you had an amazing CV but went to a non russel group. To what extent is something that can't be calculated, and it's also worth noting the reason why, for example, more russel group graduates (in humanities like philosophy) would get more job offers is because those who go to such unis tend to have more drive/ambition than those who go to non russel group unis (broadly speaking, obviously).

Consulting and other similar business/finance jobs are sought-after by a lot of top uni graduates, increasing the competition/pressure, but if a non russel group graduate has more impressive work experience than a russel group graduate, this could make you seem even more impressive for being different to your peers at your institution.

I've snooped around on linkedin and seen a UCL philosophy graduate in an amazing job (something in consulting)- but I also saw a PPE graduate from Reading uni working in consulting at an impressive company too.

Overall, doing philosophy at a russel group will in no way disadvantage you! Consulting requires analytical and critical thinking skills and philosophy is a great subject to gain these skills through- but the biggest factor is what you do during uni (networking, gaining experience, running a society etc). There is a big misconception that studying philosophy will leave you working as a barista at Starbucks and I had to read around a lot to discover how untrue this is (probably due to philosophy students usually not being as career-focused as econ students etc), so I hope this is helpful bcos I wish someone had told me this stuff sooner!
University vs. Degree Apprenticeship video:

https://youtu.be/ui1n2JxLcgQ
Thank you so much for this! I intend to apply (and i believe i can get into) a russel group for philosophy and either continuing in academia or entering consulting will be my route i think. I will make sure to bulk up my cv as you said with experience and i also have researched the unis Philosophy Society and i think i can aim to do well there. I was wondering though, if i wanted to reach out to the people you mention on linked in, or similar graduates of philosophy, how would i find them? Can i filter by degrees and jobs there? I’m only just starting the uni and job thinking process so this would be useful i think. Thank you so much again!
Reply 18
Original post by elliottsmithfan1
Thank you so much for this! I intend to apply (and i believe i can get into) a russel group for philosophy and either continuing in academia or entering consulting will be my route i think. I will make sure to bulk up my cv as you said with experience and i also have researched the unis Philosophy Society and i think i can aim to do well there. I was wondering though, if i wanted to reach out to the people you mention on linked in, or similar graduates of philosophy, how would i find them? Can i filter by degrees and jobs there? I’m only just starting the uni and job thinking process so this would be useful i think. Thank you so much again!

np glad to have helped! honestly I don't know how linkedin fully works lol I know that some profiles you aren't allowed to view for some reason (I tried to find philosophy students from lse on there and couldn't actually go onto their profiles, something about not being in their network) but what I did to find philosophy graduates was just typing 'philosophy BA' on the search bar and going on 'posts' to see graduation posts (and from there I could actually go onto their profiles), so I think in a similar vein you can enter a degree or job on the search bar and hopefully find people that way!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by nooneeee
np glad to have helped! honestly I don't know how linkedin fully works lol I know that some profiles you aren't allowed to view for some reason (I tried to find philosophy students from lse on there and couldn't actually go onto their profiles, something about not being in their network) but what I did to find philosophy graduates was just typing 'philosophy BA' on the search bar and going on 'posts' to see graduation posts (and from there I could actually go onto their profiles), so I think in a similar vein you can enter a degree or job on the search bar and hopefully find people that way!


Ah got it, i’ll check it out thanks again!

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