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Is An Apprenticeship Better Than College

Previously, apprenticeships were mainly centred on manual trades such as electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, and plasterers, but this is no longer the case.

Nowadays, you may complete apprenticeships in almost every field that you may study in college. Certain professions, such as medicine and law, require you to study for A levels at college before enrolling in a university degree programme. Apprentices may work in various marketing, accounting, finance, and business administration fields.

You must have a clear vision of where you want your career to go. For example, if you wish to practise law, you must attend college and university. On the other hand, if you’re going to work in accounting but don’t have a degree, you may become a qualified accountant by completing an accounting apprenticeship.

Money! Apprenticeship vs College

Money may be a consideration when selecting between an apprenticeship and college. As of April 2022, the minimum wage for apprentices under the age of 19 and trainees in their first year is £4.81 per hour (regardless of age). After your first year of apprenticeship, you will be paid the national minimum wage, depending on your age.

You will earn less per hour as an apprentice but will be working full-time. If you are a full-time college student, you will not make anything unless you also work, giving up your evenings and weekends. 

Given your workload and need for rest, you will most likely be able to work just a few hours a week. You may be able to find work in retail, customer service, or hospitality, all of which will help you gain confidence and transferable skills.

Remember that apprenticeships are more than a full-time job; you will also learn and earn nationally recognised qualifications. So an apprenticeship is a mixture of education, on-the-job training, and a salary.

An apprenticeship is ideal if you are ready for the job and wish to broaden your expertise. On the other hand, if you do not want to work in an office right now, schooling may be a better option for you.


It’s no secret that companies prefer to recruit individuals who have real-world experience in a relevant position, as you’ve probably heard. One of the reasons why many young people choose to work as apprentices is for this reason.

College is essential for theoretical knowledge and prepares you for university. Some courses give practical experience inside a classroom, but what college lacks is real-world experience.

Apprenticeships place you in a firm to get practical experience in a real-world situation. As an apprentice, you will work alongside people who have been in the industry for many years, learning tricks of the trade that you would not learn in college and becoming highly helpful to an employer.

Other vocations, such as teaching and social work, need a degree and employment experience. However, if you can enter your preferred field via an apprenticeship, your experience may give you an edge over others with college degrees.

It’s all up to you!

Consider your circumstances when deciding whether to attend college or become an apprentice. For example, is your desired job path accessible as an apprenticeship? If not, college may be an option.

It would help if you also thought about each option’s financial benefits and drawbacks – apprentices will start earning money immediately, but it doesn’t mean college students can’t work part-time.

Consider if employers value experience and qualifications more than qualifications alone – in many cases, they will! As an apprentice, you are more of a part of the workforce than a student, so be sure you are ready.

Updated on September 1, 2022

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