Even after finishing the GCSEs, the training or education continues until the age of 18. And that’s also the time when one has to make a major decision in regards to their educational career – Do you want to become an apprentice or pursue a college degree (course)? There is no right or wrong answer in this “Apprenticeship Vs College Course” debate as it depends on your interests, ambitions, and abilities. To help you make an informed decision, let’s look at both of these options (Apprenticeship & College) in a little bit more detail.
Career Choices – College & Apprenticeship
When we talk about apprenticeships, you have a lot of options as compared to the past. Back in the day, the apprenticeship word was associated with plumbers, electricians, plasters, bricklayers, and so on. But times have changed, and now you can do an apprenticeship in a subject of your choice!
There are some career paths that require A levels, IGCSE, or relevant educational background, such as Functional Skills English Level 2 and Functional Skills Maths Level 2. An example of a career path like this is law and medicine, which requires education!
Then there are some professions such as business administration, finance, marketing, and even accounting which are new options for the apprentices. Some will even run a Functional Skills or IGCSE course, alongside them so that you can upskill on the job.
As you can see, there are good options no matter which choice you make. If you are interested in medicine, then you should study at a college and then pursue higher education at the university. Similarly, you can also become an accountant (qualified) by pursuing the option of an apprenticeship.
Another factor that needs to be considered is the earning potential in getting a college degree or pursuing an apprenticeship. Based on data from 2018 in the United Kingdom, per hour minimum wage was £3.70 for apprentices under the age of 19. Once the first year of apprenticeship is finished, the laws of minimum wage according to the age become applicable.
To put it short, your earnings per hour will be less, but on the flip side, you will be working full time. On the other hand, getting a college degree and choosing a profession such as teaching means that you earn more per hour, but you will not be working full time. This means that you only earn for the hours you have actually worked!
But that’s not to say that getting a college degree means that you will be earning less. There is a lot of professions that require college and university education, such as law, medicine, engineering, and so on. And we all know that the earning potential in these fields is far higher than the apprenticeship.
Verdict: Apprenticeship vs. College Course
The decision to pursue a college course (degree) or apprenticeship is something that you should decide based on your personal circumstances. There is nothing wrong with either option, and both offer great career paths.
As mentioned earlier, you also need to look at the earning potential as well when making a decision between a college degree and the apprenticeship route. Furthermore, also look at the drawbacks of each option as well when an important decision such as this one!