If you’re reading my first blog, you’re probably a student curious about whether to study an apprenticeship or just generally unsure about your educational future, or a parent who is seeking advice about your child’s educational choices.
This blog will provide some experience from a student, advice and pros and cons of an apprenticeship.
I have been an apprentice for 3 months now and at 24 years old I had thought I missed my chance, but I was completely wrong!
Remember to do your research is the main advice I can give you. Research will always find you the information you need and may even surprise you.
There are several things you should research also:
- Colleges/Universities where you will be studying your apprenticeship.
- Companies in the field that you would like to start a career in.
- Use LinkedIn to build some contacts in your chosen career path, these connections can spark discussions and answer your burning questions about the job you seek.
- Possible job roles in your chosen career path and how an apprenticeship will help you progress.
Really consider the field you would like to be in. Keep your options open until you are truly ready to commit. As I learned at 24 there is plenty of time to do an apprenticeship – even after doing a degree (yes, I waited that long!) Giving yourself time to choose the field you would like to study and work in is crucial.
Now let’s move on to the pros and cons of an apprenticeship.
- You can earn while you learn – this is usually the main selling point of an apprenticeship, but I promise you there is so much more!
- Hands on experience – you will have a chance to learn and train in the industry you are interested in and passionate about.
- Work with trained professionals in your chosen field – this means you will get all your experience with people who have worked in the field for a long time, and the best part is you will make friends and connections with people in the field which will improve your network as you gather more contacts.
- Tracking your progress – working in the field and training at college is the perfect way to track your progress as you learn and grow in your chosen career.
- The apprenticeship wage can be low – this depends firstly on where you are learning and earning, but it also depends on your experience in the field already. I had already done a degree and worked full time in hospitality, so salary wise taking an apprenticeship was a small step backwards, but a step worth taking to get me progressing forwards in my dream career path.
- It can feel daunting – if this is your next big step after school or A-Levels and you’ve never had a job before it can be daunting to be thrown into the workplace when you’re waiting for training throughout an apprenticeship. This is where research of your chosen field and apprenticeships in that field is key because you will understand how your training is carried out and when you will learn and what is expected of you.
- There isn’t always a promised job role at the end of an apprenticeship – it’s true, it can be uncertain what will happen at the end of an apprenticeship, but this is where gathering a network of contacts pays off. Not to forget if you make a fantastic impression (for example, winning apprentice of the week and month before your first review!) on the company as an apprentice they won’t want to let you go or will give you an excellent recommendation.
I guess overall I am pro apprenticeships as this is what I have wanted to do for years, however, to be absolutely sure this is the path for you it is crucial (as previously mentioned) to do your research and take time to consider your options.
Jasmine Rocks (Digital Marketing Apprentice)