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Are Universities now the underdogs?

University applications have declined in recent years, most notably a 5% drop in University applications in 2017 compared to applications made in 2016

My name is Zakary Morton King. I was recently approached by The Recruiting Times to write an article about my experience with Apprenticeships and Degree’s.

I have done two apprenticeships and am currently doing my degree in Information technology at the University of Derby. I have also worked for an apprenticeship training provider, so I hope my opinion and experience will give a balanced discussion to the Apprenticeship vs Degree’s debate.

Since the inception of both academic hall marks of modern British education, there has emerged a schism that has left recruiters on one side or the other, the first side being pro-apprenticeships and the second being pro-university. To most, a person is only capable of doing one or the other, not both.

The trouble with this thinking is that it makes young people between the ages 16 to 18 must choose between the two, and such a young age it is a very difficult decision. Therefore, this choice could have fair reaching consequences should they not enjoy their chosen path. So, the individual must weigh up which is more plausible to reach their chosen career.

As, the mandatory age to stay in Education has risen to 18, some young people have been forced to stay in education, when it is not right for them.

The framework offered by Sixth forms and Colleges doesn’t meet the needs to help develop the individual. This has been often led to disenfranchised students and has caused retention rates in further education providers to drop significantly.

This desire to move away from traditional education paths has funnelled young people into Apprenticeship programmes with the gov.uk website showing that during 2016 almost 160,000 starts were under 19 years old.

Over the life span of apprenticeships, they have evolved from hands on roles such as, mechanical engineering to more technical trades to take advantage of emerging sectors such as; Information Technology, Recruitment and Digital Marketing.

Such a variety of programs is unprecedented and has given young people the chance to work in an industry that previously would have required three years of education and thousands of pounds of tuition to access.

It could be argued that University applications have declined in recent years, most notably a 5% drop in University applications in 2017 compared to applications made in 2016.

This, is in part due the to rise in popularity of apprenticeships, with over 490,000 apprenticeship starts between 2016 to 2017. However, degrees are still very applicable to high end positions such as, Doctors, Software Engineers and Accountants to name a few, as these types of positions require a more formal and structured form of education.

Apprenticeships are good choice as they allow young people to pursue a career, that 10 years ago they would have had to attend university to gain the skills needed to even be able to apply for such roles. The Telegraph Graeme Paton, Education Editor said, “Graduates are more likely to find themselves in low-paid jobs and are earning less than people who decide to do an apprenticeship instead of going to University, figures from the Office for National Statistics show”.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the amount apprentices earn over the course of their lives is outstripping that of graduates by up to 270 per cent, according to a report produced by Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

However, in another article published by the Telegraph they have said this there is pay gap between graduate and non-graduates “Jobseekers without a degree could earn up to £12,000 a year less than their graduate peers” this would highlight that despite apprenticeships assisting young people in breaching the skill gap, they are still very likely to earn significantly less than graduates.

The degree versus apprenticeship debate is long-running and choosing your next educational move requires careful consideration but ultimately both methods of study are highly regarded by employers and are sure to help you grow in your chosen career.

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5 comments

  1. They came in as a 41 point underdog. The biggest direct spread for an underdog toward win. They go to a first year recruit QB, have been known for a lousy football group, and genuinely App State could victory Stanford. USC was battling, BUT was as yet positioned #2 subsequent to winning some defining moments.

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