Apprenticeship vs College Degree

Apprenticeship vs College Degree

How to Determine the Right Career Training Path for You

There once was a time when a college degree was considered a necessity in order to land a high-paying job and secure a career path. However, in recent times, there has been an attitude-shift away from the necessity of college study due to a large number of college graduates competing for a declining number of job openings, and the rising costs of college tuition. As a consequence, apprenticeships and trade schools are surging in popularity. These career training opportunities offergreat career prospects at the completion as well.

If you are undecided about which path is right for you, check out these points to consider:

What do you Enjoy in Life?

First and foremost you need to consider where your passions lie in life as this will ultimately determine the post-secondary education path you'll need take.

Consider your Financial Situation

As previously mentioned, most apprenticeships provide, an albeit small, salary whilst you undertake your training. This can be incredibly helpful in paying for the basics such as food, rent and utilities. A college degree on the other hand can be very financially challenging.

The Big Picture

So far it would seem that choosing an apprenticeship is the better option, however it would be ill-advised to choose a career path based solely on the ease of which you can obtain the qualifications. Keep in mind that your career will most likely span 30-40 years and your earning potential post-apprenticeship can plateau while if you have a college degree it will continue to rise.

How Far Can an Expensive Piece of Paper Take You?

Even though you may be able to obtain work in some fields without formal qualifications, you will likely reach a point where your career progression is hindered by the absence of a college degree. Put simply, companies favor those employees with college degrees because of a common perception that college graduates are more committed to their career path. The echelons of senior management positions are almost exclusively reserved for those possessing these degrees.

So… Which Should I Choose?

If you're still unsure of which path to take, you should attempt to gain an insight into the careers that you are considering.

If like myself, you choose Building Design, this can be achieved either through experience gained with a hands on apprenticesip progressing your necessary qualifications on a part time basis, or equally for Architect status, acquiring a professional qualification at university, be it a Degree or a chartered member with RIBA, or both!

Once you have decided upon which direction you ’d like to take, you ’ll need to determine what education level is required.

Ultimately the decision between college vs. apprenticeship is a choice that only you can make for yourself. Grab a piece of paper and write down what you want in life/your career then, after considering the points made above, get out there and make it happen!

Just remember… Not everyone can be the next Brain Surgeon or Fighter Pilot!

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