A new trend in education is the emergence and popularity of degree-level apprenticeships. These offer part-time undergraduate and master’s degree educations to full-time working professionals. This propositions them the chance to study whilst working, applying their studies on the one hand, and gaining practical, job training on the other. Companies who see potential in certain employees offer them time to study their degree so they can learn important vocational skills, tailored specifically to business needs.
These degrees can be studies through distance learning; blended learning, which is partly at university and partly online; or block mode study, where employees take a complete break from their work and enrol as full-time students. One of the biggest positives of degree apprenticeships is that they still hold the status of employees while studying. This is useful since most people are afraid of leaving a full-time job to go to study.
Another incentive is that people taking up the degree incentives do not have to worry about college fees. They still receive wages from their work, and tuition fees are handled by the employer and the university. This is most useful for young, disadvantaged students that need to work and would not be able to attain a degree in other circumstances. Increasingly, it is also becoming a popular choice among mature professionals, who foray back into student life to learn again.
These courses afford employees with vocational skills and training that increase their management and other related skills. They also allow for career changes later in life. Of course, juggling a full-time job and degree education can certainly be challenging; it requires focus and strict adherence to a schedule to successfully keep up with both. However, most professionals believe that the advantages of being armed with education, and the advantage of being able to apply their studies to their work in real time, far outweigh the temporarily increased workload.
Such a degree essentially creates a rounded individual, armed with education and years of relevant work of experience. Compared to traditional, complete degrees, individuals who do degree apprenticeships are at a disadvantage if they want to study something more specialized or related to the Humanities. However, for this is still a very popular option for many people, studying courses ranging from nursing to leadership and engineering to financial services.
Overall, degree apprenticeships allow for a stronger career progression moving forward and open up a whole new world of possibilities for candidates. It doesn’t seem unlikely that, with time, these degree apprenticeships become a more traditional approach and maybe even redefine the entire educational experience.