If you’re about to start college and find yourself having second thoughts, you may want to consider doing an apprenticeship instead.
Like any other path you choose to take right now, apprenticeships have their own pros and cons.
So it’s important to consider all of these, before making a decision.
So that’s why I’ve written this blog for you.
The 5 PROS
1. Gain real-life experience.
The experience you gain from an apprenticeship could seriously boost your CV and therefore future prospects!
Not only will it help you to evidence key skills that employers are looking for, but it will also show how hardworking, committed and mature you are.
Though academic qualifications are great, many employers now seek out candidates with real-life experience and prioritise that over academics.
2. Discover your interests.
Apprenticeships can be a great way to discover whether you are right for a certain career path or not (much like voluntary placements we discussed last week, but at least these are paid!)
You may think that you’re perfect for a certain job, but an apprenticeship allows you to gain first-hand experience and really find out the truth of the job.
You still gain great transferrable skills, but you’ll also (hopefully) find out if it’s not the right path for you…
3. Acquire new skills.
As mentioned above, a major bonus of apprenticeships is that they enable you to acquire new practical skills college courses just wouldn’t offer you.
Many of the skills you acquire will be transferable and applicable to the future jobs you apply for, attracting potential employers to your unique skill set.
4. Earn while you learn.
Unsurprisingly, saving money is a concern for many of us, whether we’re considering college or not.
Apprenticeships have the unique advantage of allowing you to “earn while you learn”, something which cannot be said for many college courses.
And honestly, that first pay slip is going to feel great.
5. Boost your confidence!
Of course, all of the above will also help to build your confidence, both in the workplace, but also for future interviews.
You’ll be able to give solid examples of how great you are, you’ll be able to talk about more technical things and your interviewer is bound to be impressed.
1. You could limit your options.
One danger of taking on an apprenticeship position is that you could end up limiting your future prospects by pigeon-holing yourself into one industry…
(Although, in fairness, you could still do this by choosing specialised college courses, so this is a danger across the board).
If you’re not really 100% sure what you want to do with your life, then going for any old apprenticeship, could put you step back, rather than forward.
That’s why it’s really important to do a bit of research and work out what you really want to do…
- What qualifications do you definitely need?
- Is there a certain level of seniority you couldn’t rise above without formal qualifications?
- What are you good at?
- What do you enjoy?
- What would you do if you didn’t enjoy the apprenticeship?
What you don’t want to is finish the apprenticeship and realise you need to go back to college, putting yourself back at square one.
It can be difficult to adjust back to unpaid education when you’re used to getting paid!
2. You may get paid less than others.
Many apprentices are paid less than their qualified colleagues.
This is inevitable and how the system works, yet it is still frustrating for some (particularly if you end up working with people who you feel are incompetent, but get paid more than you..!)
This can cause a real drop in morale – and life is definitely too short to hate your job.
3. It’s a lot of pressure.
Going straight into an apprenticeship could be a shock to the system.
It’s a different kind of pressure and certainly more accountability that you may or may not be ready for.
Of course, you may flourish under the pressure but it’s definitely worth considering before you make the leap.
Hear it from the horse’s mouth!
Here at Coburg Banks, we’re proud to work with Key Training to offer apprenticeships within our admin, marketing and IT teams.
As a business, offering these opportunities has undoubtedly improved the way we work and helped form a strong working environment.
But here’s what some of our (ex)apprentices think (they now all work with us, fulltime on permanent contracts):
“The good thing about my apprenticeship was that I was given a professional working role but I didn’t feel as under pressure as I probably would have if it had been a permanent job role.
As well as being able to work in a professional environment, I was also gaining a qualification and now have my Business Administration Level 2 certificate, so that’s great since I could work and study simultaneously.
It was difficult as a school leaver trying to get a full-time job since everyone wants experience but no one gives you the chance to get it.
My apprenticeship really opened a lot of doors in that respect.
I genuinely never thought I’d end up working in marketing by the
end of my qualification, but I love it!”
Katy Madden: Marketing Assistant
“Apprenticeships are a great way to kick-start your future careerwith endless opportunities maximising your potential!
It helps to create the foundation needed for your long-term career.”
Laura Wood: Administrator
“You get to learn and earn at the same time.
It’s a great way to start your career without having to go to university
and rack up lots of debt.”
Eamon Burke: Resourcer
We couldn’t be happier with their progress and commitment to the company.
We hope you found this blog post useful and it’s given you some food for thought.
Apprenticeships aren’t right for everyone, just as higher education isn’t.
Only you can decide what’s right for you. Just be sure to make an informed choice!
If you’d like to read more blogs like this one, subscribe to our careers blog here.