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Courses vs. Apprenticeships – What’s Best?

Courses vs Apprenticeships - What's Best?
Deciding on the next step after school or college isn’t the easiest decision to make. Sure, whatever you choose isn’t the be all and end all, but it can have an impact on your life, at least for the next few years. If you’ve recently got your results or are looking to pursue a new avenue, there might be a lot of questions going through your head...

“Maybe I should start an apprenticeship?”

“What about a training course?”

With loads of questions whirling round your head, making a decision can be tricky. With the average uni student debt rocketing to a huge £50,000, it’s no surprise more people are opting for alternatives. If you’ve already decided you don’t want to go to university, what’s available to you? The main two options people like you look at are training courses and apprenticeships, but which is best?

Let’s look at the good and bad sides of both to see what’s best for you:
Courses vs Apprenticeships - Infographic

Apprenticeships – The Pros and Cons


Gain practical experience – as you’re working while you learn, you’re gaining the practical experience that employers love

Earn money while you work – you’re learning on the job so you get paid at the same time. Be warned though, you won’t be living the high life: the current wage for an apprentice is just £3.70 an hour

You won’t be left in debt – unlike university debt, after your apprenticeship you won’t be left owing money for your education

Build your knowledge on the job – just like starting on the bottom rung in a new job, with an apprenticeship you’re building your knowledge as you go. Sure, you might be asked to do a lot of menial tasks, but you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth!


1/3 of apprentices don’t finish training – that’s a huge proportion. With the salary being low, training not always of great (or regulated) quality and some of the tasks being a bit boring, 66% of apprentices drop out

Takes around 12-14 months to complete training – your apprenticeship will last at least a year, so you need to weigh up whether you can afford to study in this way

Huge competition for places – with few quality apprenticeships around, the competition is high and the places are low. It might be difficult for you to find a suitable place

You’ll learn less than a graduate – once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and are ready for your new career, you’ll find you’re earning much less than other grads – the starting salary is an average £9,500 less, according to the 2016 Graduate Labour Market Statistics report

Qualifications aren’t always recognised internationally – so you won’t always be able to take your career overseas

Not all apprentices have experienced tutors – some apprentices don’t have experienced tutors

Training Courses – The Pros and Cons


Learn career focussed skills – training courses are tailored to the career you’re looking to achieve, so you’ll get the most important knowledge and skills

Flexible learning options – most training providers have a variety of course types, like part time, full time and online so you’ve got a choice over how you study

Work while you study – that way you won’t have any loss of earnings

Funding options – learn more here

Get internationally recognised qualifications – like diplomas that enable you to work abroad and at home

Be actively supported in getting your first job – good training providers also support you in starting your new career after you’ve graduated. Look for career support when looking for your course

Gain the skills employers are looking for – on your course you’ll develop the knowledge and skills that are aimed at specific careers

Qualified and experience tutors – so you’ll receive the best support and education

Guaranteed interviews with big brands and companies – the best training providers do the leg work for you in developing relationships with the companies you’d want to work with, some even guarantee interviews with these companies too!

Qualify in as little as 5 weeks – there’s no long wait like with apprenticeships, some courses, like Personal Training Diplomas, can get you qualified in as little as 5 weeks

No competition for places – you might find one date is booked up for your course, but there’ll always be an available date just around the corner

Earn as much as uni graduates – you can achieve junior roles just like uni graduates, so you’re starting on the same salary, without the associated debt of degrees and the 3 years it takes to graduate!


Time to study – you’ll need to set aside some time to study, even if you’ve opted for an online course

Travel to an academy – if you’ve chosen face-to-face learning, you’ll have to factor in travel time and costs when you’re weighing up your options

Self-funded – just like university, training courses aren’t free. However, they’re a cheaper and quicker alternative!
Weighed up your options and interested in training for a career you’ll love? Learn more about our courses below:

Teaching assistant course PT courses  IT courses events management course  

The Training Room | 17/08/2018 09:00:00

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