Why do a Degree Apprenticeship?

Explore the advantages of doing a Degree Apprenticeship, from the bachelor’s or master’s degree you could gain, to the paid work experience at high profile employers. 

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Degree Apprenticeships offer the highest academic attainment – bachelor’s or master’s degrees – without the associated student debt, as well as workplace experience that will set apprentices apart from their peers on standard degree courses.

As with other apprenticeships, the cost of course fees are shared between government and employers, meaning that the apprentice can earn a full bachelors or even masters degree without paying any fees.

Degree Apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.

Degree Apprenticeships are especially useful as they are designed with the industry’s needs in mind. Groups of businesses, universities and colleges develop practical, vocational degree courses that allow students to build up skills and experience relevant to that particular industry, making them very employable in the future.

Another advantage of a Degree Apprenticeship is the working relationships apprentices forge with their employees and colleagues, developing the so-called ‘soft skills’ – effective teamwork, communications, negotiating skills, ability to work under pressure, problem-solving – that employers so desperately want in young recruits.

These are often what people say standard graduates are missing, despite their academic credentials, so a Degree Apprenticeship can arm you with a desirable, and quite rare, skills set alongside a university qualification.

How long is a degree apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete, depending on their level. As a guide, a Degree Apprenticeship usually takes between three and five years – although this ranges widely between employers.

Degree Apprenticeships sit within the “Higher Apprenticeships” group, which refers to all apprenticeships that include the achievement of academic and vocational qualifications and learning from Level 4 up to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Levels 6 and 7 respectively. All levels can include vocational qualifications and academic qualifications.

Higher Apprenticeships must last a minimum of one year and Degree

Apprenticeships in particular will last longer, though there is no official fixed maximum duration.

The Higher Apprenticeships displayed on the AllAboutSchoolLeavers jobs board (many of which offer degrees as part of the programme, making them Degree Apprenticeships) demonstrate the range of lengths employers give their programmes; from unusually short one and two year schemes, all the way up to a much longer five years. 

Degree Apprenticeships offer the highest academic attainment – bachelor’s or master’s degrees – without the associated student debt, as well as workplace experience that will set apprentices apart from their peers on standard degree courses.

As with other apprenticeships, the cost of course fees are shared between government and employers, meaning that the apprentice can earn a full bachelors or even masters degree without paying any fees.

Degree Apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.

Degree Apprenticeships also offer the rare opportunity to gain experience and form working relationships with high profile, well-respected companies – potentially even more advantageous than the academic qualifications on offer. Companies such as John Lewis with its IT Degree Apprenticeship, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering or commercial Degree Apprenticeship, Goldman Sachs with its technology Degree Apprenticeship and BT’s IT Degree Apprenticeship.

As well as being suitable for school leavers as an alternative route to gaining a degree, Degree Apprenticeships strengthen are a great option for existing apprentices on lower levels looking to progress in their careers.

What qualifications do degree apprenticeships offer?

Degree Apprenticeships offer the highest academic attainment – bachelor’s or master’s degrees at qualification Levels 6 and 7– without the associated student debt, as well as work-based learning and training, the same as at other apprenticeship levels, that will set apprentices apart from their peers on standard degree courses.

As with other apprenticeships, the cost of course fees are shared between government and employers, meaning that the apprentice can earn a full bachelors or even masters degree without paying any fees.

Degree Apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.

In practice, this might mean apprentices spend two days a week at college or university and three days in the office or workplace.

Alternatively, they might only go to college or university once a fortnight (or maybe even less). Some employers use a ‘block training’ approach, concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly slots across the year.

Degree Apprenticeships also offer the rare opportunity to gain experience and form working relationships with high profile, well-respected companies – potentially even more advantageous than the academic qualifications on offer. Companies such as John Lewis with its IT Degree Apprenticeship, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering or commercial Degree Apprenticeship, Goldman Sachs with its technology Degree Apprenticeship and BT’s IT Degree Apprenticeship.

There are new Degree Apprenticeships being developed all the time. The government has also formed a board of leading business, university, and college groups to oversee these new programmes, including representatives from the CBI, FSB, EEF, Universities UK, University Alliance, Russell Group and the Association of Colleges.

As well as being suitable for school leavers as an alternative route to gaining a degree, Degree Apprenticeships strengthen are a great option for existing apprentices on lower levels looking to progress in their careers.

Image courtesy of Alexis Brown

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