Apprenticeship vs University: Which is the best choice for a career in IT?
With the escalation of university fees in 2012 and the huge amount of student debt that came with it, it’s no surprise that students preparing to leave school are encouraged to explore other academic routes.
Apprenticeships have always been a staple for school leavers, and it’s for good reason. One of the advantages of apprenticeships is the fact that they can, in many cases, suit the apprentice’s learning style far more than a university course. For those whose style is ‘learning by doing,’ apprenticeships can be an ideal opportunity.
At Aspire, our apprentices do department rotations throughout their learning, which allows for hands-on experience in each area of the business. As apprentice Franchesca mentioned in her recent chat with Profound Services, the Networks rotation involves apprentices building their own networks, under the guidance of our Networks and ISP Manager.
Not only does this help with gaining real-world experience, but after the network is completed, it is ‘broken’ by one of the networking team, and the apprentice is tasked with finding and fixing the fault. In short, the practice simulates the level and kind of work a member of staff in our networks team would be doing in a day-to-day role.
So what are the main differences?
The benefits of working in an environment with industry professionals and supported by a reputable trainer cannot be understated. One major difference between university and apprenticeships is the working environment – it’s fair to say that the working style is worlds apart.
Universities are heavily geared towards teaching hours followed by self-regulated study. On the other hand, apprenticeships allow practical learning in a professional environment throughout. Aspire’s apprentices also train and learn with Profound Services for the duration of their training, which allows them excellent academic support.
Perhaps, when it comes to the choice between an apprenticeship and a university course for a career in IT, it boils down to this: it may be best to simply pick your path based on how you prefer to learn. If university fees were not involved in the equation, or apprenticeships were not paid, which would you choose?