Naturally for some, A-level results day feels like everything from here on in is based on this outcome and their fate is set. For some, results day comes and goes like a well-planned event & celebration. They get the results they’d hoped for, they have the resources and a plan in place to pay for future tuition fees, & their pick of universities or job placements are in sight. For many others, things don’t go quite to plan and they’re required to take stock, re-evaluate & weigh up their options.

Due to some societal pressures to follow a particular path (in this instance we’re referring to the traditional university route), exploring other options previously came with negative connotations, but here at Future Skills Vision, we’ve seen first-hand the (amazing) results of supporting students and employers with alternative options – which until recently have been overlooked, or seen as second-rate.

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CHANGE IS HERE

We’re starting to see an increase in students looking at alternatives – and like us, you might have noticed that opinions are also shifting around the traditional university route, with many now making some of the alternative routes their first option instead of their last. As a result, the people involved are reaping the rewards, from A-level students, to universities and some of the most innovative, forward thinking companies across the nation.

A NEW WORLD OF DEGREE APPRENTICESHIPS VS TRADITIONAL DEGREE

In 2018 the word ‘apprenticeship’ and what it means is quite different compared to recent years – it has evolved dramatically for students and employers, and it presents a world of opportunity, particularly when combined with higher education.

Recently, some fundamental and exciting changes were made to the apprenticeship system enabling students to study a Degree Apprenticeship, instead of the standard, traditional degree – but what does this mean to those who have recently finished their A-level studies, and how does it work?

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Traditional Degree; most people understand this to be full time degree study. You choose a course, an institution, work out options to fund it and lastly decide whether to live at home or in student accommodation and that’s pretty much it, you’re all set.

A FEW LONGER TERM QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING A DECISION ON THIS ROUTE;

Does the university engage with employers? Do they offer work placements or work experience opportunities? What additional facilities and benefits will you get whilst studying there compared to elsewhere? How will this route differentiate you from your competition, post course? Will you have an edge in the job market when you leave and what will it take for you to make that happen?

THE ALTERNATIVE

The Degree Apprenticeship; this option is a recent development allowing you to achieve a full degree alongside a full time job, minus day release to University. But what are the benefits? They include, no student debt, as your employer pays for the degree. You earn a salary whilst you learn, and you gain valuable experience on the job, alongside your studies – potentially allowing you to progress faster towards your chosen career path. The main thing to consider with a degree apprenticeship is ensuring you can manage and balance your time – making sure you achieve a work-life and study balance is crucial.

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In today’s labour market, degree apprenticeships are an ideal way to plug the skills gap (great for the economy and businesses) and progress in a chosen career (great for students).

However, it’s important to recognise that a degree isn’t for everyone; there are many professional certification options you can obtain whilst working, if jumping straight into employment is the preference.

Regardless of how results day pans out, what is clear is there are many options to choose from, to suit all students and also employers.

At Future Skills Vision we’re passionate about skills, education & apprenticeships – come and talk to us about how we can help you as a student considering your options, or if you’re a business exploring how apprenticeships could benefit your business.

Our team will be sharing their thoughts and experiences on this topic in our next blog, we’d love your thoughts – take a look at this and others at FUTURESKILLSVISION.CO.UK