One of the biggest debates in the education sector is what’s better, Apprenticeship or University? There is no one answer to this question, everyone thrives in different environments, everyone learns differently and everyone wants different things from life. If you are trying to decide which path you want to go down weighing up the pros and cons of both is one of the best ways to decide.

This article sums up some of the main pros and cons for each to help you.


Pros –

·        You will gain practical experience in your chosen field.

o   This can help you when looking for jobs after your apprenticeship as experience and a qualification are often required

·        You’ll earn money while gaining your qualification

o   Allowing you to still live and enjoy yourself while you are getting your qualification

·        You won’t have the debt associated with University

o   The average graduate comes away from University with £50,000 of Student Debt, this student debt doesn’t apply to Apprentices as they don’t have to pay tuition fees, student loans or grants

Cons –

·        You won’t experience the University Lifestyle

o   University isn’t just about getting a degree, you will meet new people and often make friends for life as well as all the social nights that are organised.

·        It can be a big jump with a lot of responsibility

o   Apprentices are expected to develop throughout their course, this includes taking on more responsibility that could affect the business

·        There are some careers you can’t get into through an apprenticeship

o   Careers in Medicine or science you have to go to University to get into


  Pros –

·        Allows you to become a specialist in a subject area

o   You will spend a minimum of 2 years studying a subject and will have to focus on relevant and recent research to keep up to date with current advancements

o   You will be learning from industry experts and have many assessments to develop your knowledge

·        University gives you independence

o   It is often the first chance for many people to live away from home and have the responsibilities associated with that

·        Chance to meet people from all over the UK

o   You will meet people from different backgrounds with the same or similar interests, this gives you a chance to have connections all over the UK once you finish your Degree

  Cons –

·        You will leave with a large amount of debt

o   Unless you or your parents have been saving for years, you will have to get a student loan for tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks and food

o   Tuition fees alone are around £9000 per year

·        There may not be much demand for jobs

o   Once you graduate, you will be competing with other graduates for jobs in your chosen field, if there isn’t much demand then getting a job may be very difficult

·        You may change your mind

o   University isn’t for everyone, if you change your mind on your course or on the whole experience you will have accrued a large amount of debt but come away with a qualification in an area that you don’t want to work in or with no qualification at all

There is a lot to consider when deciding what to do after College if you think an apprenticeship is the right choice for you or would like more information visit our apprenticeships page or contact our office.