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Degree Apprenticeship or a Full-time Degree
When deciding on the best route for you to take on your path to higher education there are two main options to consider. In this blog, I will make a brief comparison of full-time degrees and degree apprenticeships so that you can make an informed decision on which suits you best.
Yes, both provide a degree. The time scale for a degree apprenticeship typically ranges from 4-6 years depending on the field whereas a full-time degree can be 3-5 years. The timeframe is important to consider as in most cases a degree apprenticeship will be a longer commitment however it does have other benefits which I will discuss below.
In a degree apprenticeship, you are employed full time for the whole of your apprenticeship which exposes you to different parts of the business to build experience and it also helps to build professional contacts. For a full-time degree work experience can be gained from a summer internship or a placement however it is not guaranteed and can be very competitive.
In a degree apprenticeship, a salary is provided and you get all the added benefits of a full-time employee. For a full-time degree, your income will depend on your part-time work, student finance or family allowances.
The great thing about a degree apprenticeship is that you will be tuition-free whereas with a full-time degree you will be paying the fees via student finance or any other means.
The biggest downside of a degree apprenticeship is social life, you will not get the same experience as a full-time student. You will have to juggle work, social life and studies all at the same time. You will get limited time on campus and to spend with your peers. Participating in student societies and events are almost impossible with other commitments. If you are doing a full-time degree the full student experience is there for you to take. This is something you have to consider and could be a tipping point for many of you.
The great thing about a degree apprenticeship is that you can obtain professional qualifications. For example, in Civil Engineering I will be able to gain Incorporated Status (IEng) with the Institution of Civil Engineers with my apprenticeship scheme. You will also have access to professional training schemes provided by your employer. In a full-time degree, you won’t be able to obtain any professional qualifications until you are employed.
These are caparisons from my experience of doing a degree apprenticeship, everyone’s experience can vary. You need to think about what is important for you and go for the right choice. Good luck from me!