#2 The Loch Ness Monster, Area 51 and other myths about Alternatives to University.Blogs
Ok. We'll be honest. We don't have any concrete evidence about the first two. We' d like to think they're real though… We know our stuff when it comes to apprenticeships and school leaver programmes though! We've personally met and spoken to tens of thousands of young people and we always ask them what they know about the alternative options to university. Some know a lot, some know a little and some of you don't know anything yet. We're here to help all of you. We do however, find that the old myths about apprenticeships and school leaver schemes still sometimes prevail and so today's task is to address five of them. #1. A Degree = Passport to the good life An opinion still widely exists that getting a degree will sort you out for life. Employers will be throwing their jobs at you.... Unfortunately this isn't the case. At the end of 2013, 47% of graduates were in non-graduate jobs. We're not here to discredit degrees in the slightest. However, you also have to consider the fact should you join a school leaver programme, apprenticeship or sponsored degree you'll often be working towards similar if not the same qualifications as a university student whilst getting the work experience that graduates are crying out for.
#2. Apprenticeships = Terrible Pay £2.68 per hr. That is the minimum wage for an apprentice. But it is exactly that. The minimum. However, we find the average pay tends to be £150 to £200 a week (That's between £4 and £5.50 per hour). The vast majority of school leaver providers pay their school leavers a competitive salary and they cover the cost of all training and any qualifications they gain, which can be very expensive! Salaries usually increase as you progress through the programme and take on more responsibilities which means you will have more money to spend or to put towards buying your first home.
#3. School Leaver options are for people who didn't get into university. This one is simple really. It's just not true. All you need to do is look at the requirements for many clients on our site and discover that they expect you to be of graduate calibre and will be competing with some of the best universities in the world to take you onto their school leaver programmes.
#4. I don't want to miss out on the social life. We're not going to lie - university isn't exactly known in most circles for the strict limitations it puts on your social life. But consider this - If you join a school leaver programme or start up as apprentice, the companies you join will be fully aware of the choices you've made and will seek to address the imbalance. You'll get work socials, the occasional pub lunch and maybe at some point access to the Holy Grail - The company card! On top of this you'll be working and earning so your nights out won't be relying on that slightly suspect looking £10 note you found behind the sofa cushions.
#5. Apprenticeships are all for hands-on jobs, like plumbers and electricians. There's usually an overriding belief that apprenticeships are only designed for manual roles, with such an emphasis on vocational training. This belief often stems from our parents who saw apprenticeships used in this way when they were younger.
It's true though; there are a huge number of excellent roles available in these sectors. Yet, some of the most numerous and popular apprenticeships available are in IT, Accountancy and Business. You can even do an apprenticeship in Law at a number of firms across the country.
Next Week: #3 What are you and what do you want from me?
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