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University vs Advanced/Higher Apprenticeships

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Most apprenticeships don't have degrees worked in.

Some have parts of degrees in.

Some have other 'higher level' (HE/equivalent to at least first year of a degree) content.


And that's the trouble with them.

If someone does a degree, then everyone/employers etc knows what that is.


In many trades there is a long tradition of valuing certain qualifications (and perhaps not others).

But none of us knows which of these new-fangled qualifications will stand the test of time and will be in demand by employers in the future. We've seen a lot of disasters of students doing qualifications (eg NVQs) which are no longer valued by x industry


So it's important to find out about the particular are you're interested in - especially through work experience. Ask current bosses what they are recruiting/what they will be recruiting in the foreseeable future.


My only exception would be if the employer was offering to pay for the degree/apprenticeship completely. Then it's a no-brainer - you can always top up to a 'proper' honours degree later on

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Remember that he won't pay anything until he reaches a certain salary level and anything left after 30 years is written off. So don't let the loan arrangements be a barrier. However, Advanced Higher Apprenticeships are established in Mech Eng, because it has had a strong apprrenticeship tradition. The young person usually goes straight into a job with the company, has no debt and is very valued by the employer because they are " job ready". My young neigbour who got excellent A level grades, is coming to the end of one of these, has earned a good wage, has no debt, and a permanent job at the end of it.


Her school advised her against it because it didn't reflect on their targets at the time. Luckily, she ignored them. Many of her friends about to graduate or those who have graduated are struggling to find a job.


I would recommend any young person to consider them, especially in engineering, or high tech. I'm afraid graduates are two a peny these days in many employment sectors. Schools don't understand them properly so the best advice is from the employment sector the young person wants to enter.

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