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Continue with Apprenticeship or Uni

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Posted 14th Aug
Help needed
My son has completed a year of a Management Apprenticeship Course and in January will start a 4 yrs Degree course along side of it, that is paid by the company.
He is now saying he wants to pack this in and go to university for 4 yrs doing a similar course.

I think this would be a wrong move with the recession because he would need to find a part time job to support himself through out uni and these are very hard to find.
What would you do?
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I’d say it’s a wrong move unless he is really unhappy. Jobs are scarce at the minute especially in management settings, so he will struggle with finding internships for he did go to university etc plus student debt is a big burden especially if your going into high paying job like management as you will end up paying a lot back.

I’m currently doing a degree apprenticeship at my current job in IT as I don’t have a degree, so took the opportunity to get one at no extra cost to me. Apprenticeships are scarce at the minute, so I would probably rule out the option of finding another, harsh but true.

I would go with what your son chooses, but would make sure he has all the relevant information to make an informed decision including debt, Costs, graduate job issues etc. A lot of kids just want to go to uni to party etc, make sure he is aware it ain’t just partying!

In terms of further job prospects, easily the apprenticeship. If your an employer and go, one candidate has a degree and the odd internship or someone has a degree plus four years work experience, it would be obvious who would be chosen.
Edited by: "Xboxgamer321" 14th Aug
Stick with the apprenticeship best move. Career plus education degree what’s not to love about it???
Why does he want to quit, is it the social aspect of wanting to go university?
sounds like he doesn't want to stay working for the company for the next 4 years and want to experience uni life like other kids. what course is it?
No brainier really unless there is some info missing . You only have to look at the debts racked up by students just for course fees let alone additional costs . There really aren’t that many employers that pay for degrees so it would be crazy to throw it away unless he is seriously unhappy . Has he actually finished his apprenticeship, my sons ran over the 18 months it was supposed to take by quite a substantial period , which has now delayed his employer sponsored degree. Also has your son checked he has the entry requirements for the course , either employer funded or via the Uni , my sons has thrown into the mix now that he needs a grip on A level maths ( he did 3 other subjects prior to his apprenticeship) , which wasn’t part of the criteria last year for the degree he wanted to study for . So many things are up in the air at the moment , what are your sons reasons for wanting the change ?
Like others, I would say it’s a no brainer to stay with the apprenticeship; especially within a management setting - learning theory is good and important but you can not be an effective manager without experience, so blended learning is a much better approach here.

He won’t thank you now as he has to continue working and studying at the same time without experiencing the social aspects of uni, but in my opinion in 5 years when has that experience alongside the degree and is standing out above his peers - he will thank you then.
It is a Management Apprenticeship at McDonalds. He just hates going. He has to do various shift between 6am to 11pm. Mostly weekends included.
So he can't go out socialising with his uni friends. He says he doesn't have time to do anything else or enjoy his time off.
Also due to Covid his training has been put back 6 months. He is due to start uni in January along side his job. He will have to study extra on his 2 rest days, which he doesn't like the idea of. He has done a year already and has 4 yrs left in which he should come out with a degree.
He is 19yrs old now and 4 yrs is a very long time to him. He wants the social aspect of uni and the holidays.

Keep letting me know your thoughts so he can read them later.
Thanks
ndyanem14/08/2020 14:37

Stick with the apprenticeship best move. Career plus education degree …Stick with the apprenticeship best move. Career plus education degree what’s not to love about it???Why does he want to quit, is it the social aspect of wanting to go university?

Dealfinder14/08/2020 15:43

It is a Management Apprenticeship at McDonalds. He just hates going. He …It is a Management Apprenticeship at McDonalds. He just hates going. He has to do various shift between 6am to 11pm. Mostly weekends included.So he can't go out socialising with his uni friends. He says he doesn't have time to do anything else or enjoy his time off. Also due to Covid his training has been put back 6 months. He is due to start uni in January along side his job. He will have to study extra on his 2 rest days, which he doesn't like the idea of. He has done a year already and has 4 yrs left in which he should come out with a degree. He is 19yrs old now and 4 yrs is a very long time to him. He wants the social aspect of uni and the holidays. Keep letting me know your thoughts so he can read them later.Thanks


Looking at what you’ve just said, I see where you are coming from. May I ask what type of degree he is wanting to do? I can understand not wanting to work shifts late, from your original description I thought you meant a 9-5 office type job. Does he always want to be in retail or want’s to branch out what’s his sort of end goal if you get me.
Edited by: "Xboxgamer321" 14th Aug
His best bet is to suck it up and deal with the sacrifice for the next few years. Time will go by faster than he thinks. Also he would be silly to walk away from a debt free degree and a guaranteed job at the moment. (Also I've noticed that when companies have invested in people they tend to get promoted faster so their earning potential is greater).

Covid has dealt the economy a SERIOUS blow so there is no guarantee that if he walks away he will find a decent part time job and could end up with student loans and no real security. Also the "university experience" for the next few years is very uncertain as we don't even know what normal will look like at the end of this. Let him know that partying with friends at 23 with no debt hanging over his head will feel a lot better than struggle will. Besides, don't forget that things may feel hectic during term time but he will still get to hang out with friends and travel etc during breaks.
My niece became a manger at a McDonald’s for a few years and yes she hated it. However years on now and see 23 with her own business and working hours. I know for a fact McDonalds made her see the world for a different view point and she’s a lot grown up compared to some of her peers. She missed out on a lot however she now makes up for it and enjoys the social life but has so much more stability. If your son could stick at it, it would be his best bet.
Its his life - help him see all the implications of both choices but do not try to influence his decision. Once he comes to his own decision, then fully support him in that choice.....
If they are paying for it, I'd stick with it. But I can see why he wants out of there and wants something independent. He can certainly reduce his hours whilst doing the course.
Edited by: "MR1123" 14th Aug
If it was my son i would encourage him to stick with it. It is funded by his employer and he will gain work experience ....and the icing on the cake is he also gets paid. Going to uni will mean racking up debt.....why do that when you get a similar degree at work?
Edited by: "ran123ran" 14th Aug
Dealfinder14/08/2020 15:43

It is a Management Apprenticeship at McDonalds. He just hates going. He …It is a Management Apprenticeship at McDonalds. He just hates going. He has to do various shift between 6am to 11pm. Mostly weekends included.So he can't go out socialising with his uni friends. He says he doesn't have time to do anything else or enjoy his time off. Also due to Covid his training has been put back 6 months. He is due to start uni in January along side his job. He will have to study extra on his 2 rest days, which he doesn't like the idea of. He has done a year already and has 4 yrs left in which he should come out with a degree. He is 19yrs old now and 4 yrs is a very long time to him. He wants the social aspect of uni and the holidays. Keep letting me know your thoughts so he can read them later.Thanks


my brother used to work for macdonalds and it was very hard work with very little pay. so i don't blame your son for not wanting to continue with the apprenticehip.

moneywise it would be better, but he is young and he is entitled to have a life as well. so i think you should not try to force him to stay with something that he doesn't want to do, and look at ways to support his new studies.
Only issue may be if he sticks to the apprenticeship the company might have a certain criteria he has to meet on grades, if he misses those he may lose his job. Other than that free university is worth it than 4 years of fees.


edit just seen who his employer is, I would Be going to university and paying the fees myself.
Edited by: "eslick" 14th Aug
Some HUGE pros and cons either side here.

What I will say is that the debt mountain is effectively just a tax that will essentially be written off in the end unless he starts earning more money than most of us can dream of.

University is one of the GREATEST experiences I have ever had and would do it again in a heart beat, the socialising and drinking was about 99% of it. (unless you ask my parents, then it was 99% studying which grew me professionally and personally)

In the current state of the world, I dont know what I would choose, But if the conditions where the same now as when I went id drop it in seconds.
Xboxgamer32114/08/2020 14:24

I’d say it’s a wrong move unless he is really unhappy. Jobs are scarce at t …I’d say it’s a wrong move unless he is really unhappy. Jobs are scarce at the minute especially in management settings, so he will struggle with finding internships for he did go to university etc plus student debt is a big burden especially if your going into high paying job like management as you will end up paying a lot back.I’m currently doing a degree apprenticeship at my current job in IT as I don’t have a degree, so took the opportunity to get one at no extra cost to me. Apprenticeships are scarce at the minute, so I would probably rule out the option of finding another, harsh but true.I would go with what your son chooses, but would make sure he has all the relevant information to make an informed decision including debt, Costs, graduate job issues etc. A lot of kids just want to go to uni to party etc, make sure he is aware it ain’t just partying! In terms of further job prospects, easily the apprenticeship. If your an employer and go, one candidate has a degree and the odd internship or someone has a degree plus four years work experience, it would be obvious who would be chosen.


I'd just sit my lad down and tell him you're not leaving the apprenticeship. Choice? What choice..
EN1GMA14/08/2020 19:33

I'd just sit my lad down and tell him you're not leaving the … I'd just sit my lad down and tell him you're not leaving the apprenticeship. Choice? What choice..


My parents did something like that and i really resented it. Let your children make their own choices in life.
I don't understand why the normal route of school > college ( A levels ) > Uni is not followed by all.
Azwipe14/08/2020 19:52

My parents did something like that and i really resented it. Let your …My parents did something like that and i really resented it. Let your children make their own choices in life.


Hell no! Life is tough and I'll do my best to make sure they have the best possible options. They'll thank me later for it.

As parents I have the wisdom of years. They can make their own mistakes but they ain't making the same one's I did.
zworld14/08/2020 20:11

I don't understand why the normal route of school > college ( A levels ) > …I don't understand why the normal route of school > college ( A levels ) > Uni is not followed by all.


Because thats not the best for everyone.
Its a difficult one.

A free degree now a days is like gold dust, but enjoying your youth with your mates is also priceless.

He needs to decide for himself what feels right for him. Being depressed with a free degree may not be the way to go.

Are you able to support him if he decides to go to uni on his own?

I went to uni, as did all my mates, we had a laugh, but now I have a great job and income, all due to my degree.

I socially more now then when I was at uni, because I can now afford to do so.
I’d say 4 years sounds a long time but really isn’t, stick it out get qualified while earning money and gaining experience.

once he’s qualified he can go off do what he wants as you have it to fall back on. But a degree from uni and no real experience won’t help get a job either.
EN1GMA14/08/2020 20:16

Hell no! Life is tough and I'll do my best to make sure they have the best …Hell no! Life is tough and I'll do my best to make sure they have the best possible options. They'll thank me later for it.


They probably won’t - at best they will always wonder what their life would be like if they had went to uni. At worst they will blame you for everything that goes wrong in their life because you persuaded them not to go.

The OP's lad has worked for a year, completed a years apprenticeship so sounds like he is mature enough to make his own choice. If he does go to uni worth asking if the years apprenticeship counts towards his degree.
Edited by: "gari189" 14th Aug
Interesting thread. The majority of peeps have gone with the 'stick with it' option, which was my first reaction to reading the OP. Currently from my 2 children's cohort of school friends, the one who did a modern engineering apprenticeship is the most well off by a country mile. From their Uni friends its a mixed picture with some still unemployed 1 year post graduation to some with very interesting well paid careers already. Those without jobs now are really struggling as the competition is fierce and likely to get worse. But, it occurred to me, your son will not graduate for at least 3 years and the economy and job situation is likely to be really different by then, yes it could be worse, but the chances are we will be on the upward trend again. Risk in every choice. But being tied to a job you hate, even with the tempting financial inducement, is not a great way to spend a third of your twenties. The student loan aspect is really overblown. You don't start paying it back until your income is in the mid 20k's and it just sits there foreever being chipped away like another bit of taxation. What I would explore is your sons motivation for doing a particular course as you can be just as miserable at Uni stuck studying stuff you hate as you can serving burgers on a Saturday evening. I'd also look at the Uni he want to go to. Nobody likes admitting it, but in an employers eyes where you studied is often (not always) as much a barrier to getting a job as your grade. Also, worth having a look at a graduate recruitment site like Gradcracker to see how many quality jobs require a 2.1 or greater to be considered. One final thought, my wife is a Uni lecturer, life is going to be a very much less social experience in the convid19 world. Many courses are going to be video lectures only for the 1st semester. Not much social interaction there. It is doubtful that Freshers Balls and the like will officially happen. Since the OP stated that the son wants to experience the social side of Uni, I wonder if it will live up to expectation? If it were me or my child, I'd be inclined to say stick to MacDonalds for another year and if he still hates it transfer to Uni in 2021 when hopefully some normality to life has returned. Best of luck.
If he hates working there then I can't see him lasting 4 more years of it.

What happens if he gives up part way into it?
Would it be worse to be 2 years in and jack it all in?
Could he not work part time at McDonalds or elsewhere and pursue the course he really wants? After all he has experience now which is worth a lot when applying for jobs.

Personally I can't think of much worse then being stuck at McDonalds for 4 minutes....I mean years
The McDonald's degree is Business Management (Retail). He has worked a year to gain a hospitality course and to see if he is suitable to do the Apprenticeship. He hasn't started Uni it will start in January rather than September due to covid. The course will last 4 yrs.
The course he is interested in for September is a 4 yr Business Course also but at a different University.
The McDonald's he is at is franchised owned and they don't seem to be doing the training needed due to covid. So he's worried they might not get the training done to enable him to start University in January.
I appreciate all your time and it's very interesting to read.
Keep them coming...
Edited by: "Dealfinder" 15th Aug
zworld14/08/2020 20:11

I don't understand why the normal route of school > college ( A levels ) > …I don't understand why the normal route of school > college ( A levels ) > Uni is not followed by all.



Personally I don't understand why that is considered the "normal" route to be honest! In an ideal world I think a bit of life experience should be the norm before making such a huge decision like going to University. A lot of 17 year olds don't really know what they want from life and making a decision to go to University and potentially get in to 30k-66k worth of debt is massive. I'm so glad I didn't go to University at age 18 with my friends, and chose to go later in life once I'd really figured out what I wanted from a career. It took real work experience to help me figure out what elements made me happy and what I knew for certain I wasn't interested in. Thinking about it, I only know one person who's currently in a career that's directly related to their chosen degree (and she went to Uni in her late 20's), everybody else eventually ended up in entirely unrelated fields!

Going straight to Uni from college works for some but it's not for everybody
Psychobunni15/08/2020 11:36

Personally I don't understand why that is considered the "normal" route to …Personally I don't understand why that is considered the "normal" route to be honest! In an ideal world I think a bit of life experience should be the norm before making such a huge decision like going to University. A lot of 17 year olds don't really know what they want from life and making a decision to go to University and potentially get in to 30k-66k worth of debt is massive. I'm so glad I didn't go to University at age 18 with my friends, and chose to go later in life once I'd really figured out what I wanted from a career. It took real work experience to help me figure out what elements made me happy and what I knew for certain I wasn't interested in. Thinking about it, I only know one person who's currently in a career that's directly related to their chosen degree (and she went to Uni in her late 20's), everybody else eventually ended up in entirely unrelated fields! Going straight to Uni from college works for some but it's not for everybody


Love this. I went to uni and guess what I’m in a job in a complete different field doing an apprenticeship at 31years old
Psychobunni15/08/2020 11:36

Personally I don't understand why that is considered the "normal" route to …Personally I don't understand why that is considered the "normal" route to be honest! In an ideal world I think a bit of life experience should be the norm before making such a huge decision like going to University. A lot of 17 year olds don't really know what they want from life and making a decision to go to University and potentially get in to 30k-66k worth of debt is massive. I'm so glad I didn't go to University at age 18 with my friends, and chose to go later in life once I'd really figured out what I wanted from a career. It took real work experience to help me figure out what elements made me happy and what I knew for certain I wasn't interested in. Thinking about it, I only know one person who's currently in a career that's directly related to their chosen degree (and she went to Uni in her late 20's), everybody else eventually ended up in entirely unrelated fields! Going straight to Uni from college works for some but it's not for everybody



You can always gain work experience when you take a gap year after your 2nd year. When you then finish uni and land in the job market, you already have a year's work experience and are ahead of your competition.
There are many career fairs that take place at colleges and other exhibition centres throughout the country which can help any 17yo make up their mind.

I do not approve of this shortcut of bypassing A levels and Uni. IMO there are no shortcuts in life. I have a family friend who did such a shortcut and he now works as a hairdresser.
Deal.hunter12314/08/2020 18:34

University is one of the GREATEST experiences I have ever had and would do …University is one of the GREATEST experiences I have ever had and would do it again in a heart beat, the socialising and drinking was about 99% of it.


You can do that without University?
Meathotukdeals15/08/2020 13:22

You can do that without University?


Plus freshers year doesn’t seem to be happening this year. Must university are teaching remotely
zworld15/08/2020 13:01

You can always gain work experience when you take a gap year after your …You can always gain work experience when you take a gap year after your 2nd year. When you then finish uni and land in the job market, you already have a year's work experience and are ahead of your competition.There are many career fairs that take place at colleges and other exhibition centres throughout the country which can help any 17yo make up their mind. I do not approve of this shortcut of bypassing A levels and Uni. IMO there are no shortcuts in life. I have a family friend who did such a shortcut and he now works as a hairdresser.



In contrast my friend and I both went into IT, he straight from school - learning on the job. Me doing a-levels and a degree (admitidly in an unrelated subject).
He was on £60,000pa when I was on £16,000pa.
Meathotukdeals15/08/2020 13:22

You can do that without University?


Didn't say you couldn't?

I did say that it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had?

Unless you've got a degree in Deal.hunter123 studies then Im pretty sure I know my opinion better than you.
Satan_Claws15/08/2020 18:59

In contrast my friend and I both went into IT, he straight from school - …In contrast my friend and I both went into IT, he straight from school - learning on the job. Me doing a-levels and a degree (admitidly in an unrelated subject).He was on £60,000pa when I was on £16,000pa.



He gained experience and then went on to his 60k. If you had an IT degree, you would have been getting more than 16k. Your mate will never be able to work for one of those Finance or Investment big names in the City as they have high standards and wouldn't even consider interviewing anyone who doesn't have a degree. Some even require you to have a degree from one of the Red brick unis.

In contrast to your mate, I went to uni, did an IT degree and now command a 76k salary.
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