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Ambassador View: Why an Apprenticeship Might Be the Right Option for You

Hey everyone! I'm Aaminah - an A-level student, aspiring accountant and Uptree ambassador - and in this blog post, I'll be exploring apprenticeships and why they might be the right option for you.


Apprenticeships are programmes that allow you to earn while you learn. Each type allows you to work towards a different qualification. They are an alternative to university and could be a better option for you. This is something you need to decide by weighing up the pros and cons of a degree vs an apprenticeship.

So, what is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid programme where you are working towards a recognised qualification (eg. a degree) whilst also gaining practical experience. This means that your time is split between independent study and on-the-job training - all while earning a salary!

Apprenticeships are an alternative to college and university and you can apply to both - which is something I fully intend to do!

There are many different types (or levels) of apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate apprenticeships – Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes)
  • Advanced apprenticeships – Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A Level passes)
  • Higher apprenticeships – Level 4 (equivalent to an HNC, a foundation degree, or the first year of an undergraduate degree)
  • Degree apprenticeships – Level 5-6 (equivalent to a full degree) Level 7 (equivalent to a masters degree)

How do I choose between apprenticeships and other options

  1. Research! Take a look at different industries and what types of apprenticeships are offered in them – see which ones are interesting to you. Then, see what degrees or other qualifications can get you into that industry
  2. Make a list of the pros and cons of doing an apprenticeship - as opposed to completing a qualification. These are completely unique to you. For example, going to university means I can gain the academic knowledge to become a successful accountant, but a degree apprenticeship also gives me work experience! However, someone else might not like the idea of juggling work and studies.

Some pros of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are good for anyone who wants to jump straight into their chosen industry. A university degree usually takes 3-4 years to complete and is solely academic. Sure, you may have a few work placements, but an apprenticeship means you're working in your dream industry from Day 1. You are also more likely to have a job at the end of it.

Working will also give you a wide range of transferable skills and experience, that you may not necessarily get whilst doing a degree

Earning a salary is also a massive bonus of an apprenticeship – and if you’re completing a degree apprenticeship, the company will usually cover your tuition fees as well.


Remember – these are just my pros! Every person is different, and what is a pro for someone will be a con for someone else. Make sure to think about the best option for you – don’t focus on what everyone else around you is doing; picking the right option for you is important because you’re the one who is going to have to do it!

So whether you are applying for an apprenticeships, university, both or another option – I wish you luck!

By Uptree Ambassador
Published on: Mon 8 Nov 2021

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