The Student Room Group

Apprenticeship or uni??? help

Hi,
I'm really struggling right now deciding whether to go to Uni or do an apprenticeship.
I have offers from 3 Uni's to study geography, but I have found some apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships which would get me a degree in environmental studies which would be what I would like to go into after university.
- I would get a degree + be payed for it and not be in masses of debt once i'm done

- I'm worried about missing out on the Uni experience, but I'm also not sure I would enjoy it????
- most of the programmes I have found are 5 years, what if i don' t like it?
-Im not sure whether I should just reject all my unis and take a gap year to decide ( i would get a job etc )
Thank you, sorry if this was a bit ranty haha, any help would be appreciated :smile:
-indi
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 1
I assume you are doing your A Levels this year and have offers to start Uni in September ?

I think it's normally a good idea to keep your options open. So don't reject your university offer.

If there are degree apprenticeships available in the specific field you are interested in then that seems like a good opportunity. Why not apply and see what you get offered?

If you take the apprenticeship and subsequently decide you don't like it you can always treat it as a way of earning some money for a year or so and apply to go to full time Uni in 2025.

There's a big financial difference. With the apprenticeship you will be earning a salary and not incurring student debt. Likely you will be contributing towards a pension also. And gaining years of valuable work experience . Do the sums. There will be a massive difference. Then ask yourself whether you think the full time university experience is worth it. Not everyone enjoys it and you already appear to have some doubts about whether it's for you.
Reply 2
Original post by indigoooo
Hi,
I'm really struggling right now deciding whether to go to Uni or do an apprenticeship.
I have offers from 3 Uni's to study geography, but I have found some apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships which would get me a degree in environmental studies which would be what I would like to go into after university.
- I would get a degree + be payed for it and not be in masses of debt once i'm done

- I'm worried about missing out on the Uni experience, but I'm also not sure I would enjoy it????
- most of the programmes I have found are 5 years, what if i don' t like it?
-Im not sure whether I should just reject all my unis and take a gap year to decide ( i would get a job etc )
Thank you, sorry if this was a bit ranty haha, any help would be appreciated :smile:
-indi

I’m considering apprenticeships vs uni too. I’ve been to uni before- just for a year and honestly it’s what you make of it. I partied harder than I studied. Friends that did their uni work properly enjoyed lectures more but if you’re a more hands on/ learn better doing activities than reading about them then an apprenticeship will probably be better for you.

Yes you get into debt at uni but don’t let that put you off too much bc it doesn’t affect your credit score and you pay it off once you earn enough (over £30k possibly, but you wanna look that up).

Friends that are graduating can’t find jobs atm/ are doing a masters instead bc they don’t have much work experience in their field. It greatly depends on what you want to study- I have no clue about geography related jobs, but more and more employers are looking for work experience. You could get an internship during your time at uni.

Uni is fun and a time where you get to enjoy yourself, be free, meet and make friends with people from all over the world. Whereas during an apprenticeship you will have more responsibility and can’t fool around too much but unless you’re set on going out clubbing all the time that aspect won’t be important. Of course, you might meet similar age people on an apprenticeship degree course which you can befriend and go out with!

Overall, whatever you decide it’ll be okay, I know it’s a stressful time making what seems to be life changing decisions but you can always change what you’re doing if you end up not liking whichever course you choose.
Reply 3
Original post by indigoooo
Hi,
I'm really struggling right now deciding whether to go to Uni or do an apprenticeship.
I have offers from 3 Uni's to study geography, but I have found some apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships which would get me a degree in environmental studies which would be what I would like to go into after university.
- I would get a degree + be payed for it and not be in masses of debt once i'm done

- I'm worried about missing out on the Uni experience, but I'm also not sure I would enjoy it????
- most of the programmes I have found are 5 years, what if i don' t like it?
-Im not sure whether I should just reject all my unis and take a gap year to decide ( i would get a job etc )
Thank you, sorry if this was a bit ranty haha, any help would be appreciated :smile:
-indi
Hiya!

Ex-Apprentice at a Tier 1 Investment Bank here...

I'm a very strong advocate for Apprenticeships because of the world of opportunity it has opened up for me. I have many school friends who have left University and struggled to get a placement on Graduate programmes due to the competitiveness and ended up in roles which have no significance to their degree or personal interest to them. A lot of firms value Apprentices highly because they can 'mould' you into the employee they want you to be and you're left without the financial burdens in this forever spiralling economy disaster of a country!

Bit of knowledge on me... my Apprenticeship was 14 months in Investment Operations. I've received 3 promotions in the 6 years I have been in the industry and have tripled my salary since being an Apprentice. The industry I'm in is very experience/connection based and not so reliant on further studies (although these may open you up to more specialised roles where a degree may be required such as Financial Law).

The University experience is certainly something I feel I missed out on but like yourself, I'm not too sure it would've been my cup of tea. It was definitely difficult working a 9-5, five days a week whilst you saw all of your friends out partying, etc. However, one thing which helped me cope was going to visit my friends at University and staying there for a long weekend. With an Apprenticeship you will get to experience the after work drinking culture sooner aka. Thirsty Thursdays lol. These are great fun and made up some of my best nights out as a teen!

Five years is a long period of time... I would say to always read through the job specifications in detail and research online forums (Student Room, Glassdoor, Reddit) to hear other peoples' experiences. Alternatively, you could look for a lower-level Apprenticeship which doesn't result in a degree as this wouldn't be so long and you would gain enough exposure to decide if it was the role for you. I'm not too sure what the Environmental industry is like but certainly in Banking it is a lot more connections/experienced based where your employability isn't reliant on a degree. Also consider you're at an age advantage! Even after completing the Apprenticeship you will still be able to change industry if it's not for you.

I wish you all the best with whatever you decide. I'm sure you'll succeed in whatever avenue you wish to pursue!

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