It’s hard, planning your future. You may have spent the last 18 months focusing on getting strong A-level grades and planning what happens next.

You may be torn between going to university or starting an apprenticeship. Historically, university graduates were seen as the crème de la crème of education products, while apprenticeships were seen as routes mainly for more manual jobs. However, times have changed and so have opinions on work-based learning. So many school and college leavers and university graduates are now realising that potential employers value work experience and the transferable skills gained from an apprenticeship.

Obviously, for some roles such as, doctors, nurses and ecologists you will need a degree to enter the industry, but even in these cases a practical apprenticeship can support your HE or job application as it shows your dedication.

Did you know that for roles like digital marketing managers, vehicle technicians and IT support professionals to name a few, there are specially designed apprenticeships?

Graduates on apprenticeship schemes are a relatively new trend. Previous eligibility rules had always prohibited those with anything higher than a foundation degree (Level 4) from being able to sign up and get funding from the Government. In addition, as most apprenticeships available were at relatively low levels many graduates felt they were overqualified to embark on one.

However, with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, the Government opened up funding for apprenticeships at all levels and created a number of programmes at Level 6 and 7, equivalent to a degree or Masters qualification. This has attracted a whole new audience of those leaving university who can now do an apprenticeship at a level higher than their degree.

But, if you want to enter a sector or do a job that is different from your degree or college course, you may like to know that graduates -and college leavers alike- aren’t only progressing onto apprenticeships at higher levels. With new apprenticeship standards being focused on specific job roles, many with a non-role-relevant qualification are undertaking apprenticeships to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge or practical skills to perform in a role that their degree simply didn’t provide them. In this way they become more work ready.

So instead of wondering whether your choice is an apprenticeship or university, perhaps, this National Careers Week you should now consider an apprenticeship AND university.

If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship this year, check out our vacancies.