So as some of you may or may not know, last year I did a years apprenticeship at a digital marketing agency in Worthing. If you read one of my previous blog posts about starting a new job, you’d now know that I’m currently a digital marketing assistant, however I am still under going training to achieve a foundation degree in marketing so am yet to be on the wage I want to be.
In this blog post I’m going to speak a little bit about all the pros and cons that come with an apprenticeship in case any of your reading this are considering doing an apprenticeship and are still unsure, just like I was when I was first thinking about committing myself to an apprenticeship. Personally, one of the things I like the most about doing an apprenticeship is the fact you can actually go out and work in the real world, meet people with the same interests as you and discover what it really is you want to do in life.
When I first left school I was so confused with what I wanted to do with my life, I then decided to go to college (which was probably the biggest waste of time but oh well I learnt from it). Then when I left college I was like ah shit I really need to think about what the fuck I’m gonna do with my life. At the time I was working at Next and one thing I did know is that I really didn’t want to be stuck in retail for the rest of my life. I knew I definitely didn’t wanna go to university and spend the next 3 years of my life sitting in a shitty lecture hall, so I decided to look into apprenticeships and I’m so bloody glad I did as I wouldn’t be doing a fantastic job that I love right now. Anyways, enough of me rambling here are my pros and cons about apprenticeships…
1. You don’t have to pay to do it
Unlike university there are no massive fees and cost behind an apprenticeship as it’s totally funded by the government which is amazing. For me one of the biggest reasons why I didn’t want to go to university was the cost. I didn’t want to finish uni in 3 years time and be left with a massive debt, I understand you only pay back small amounts each month, but it still really didn’t appeal to me. Therefore, the fact I could do an apprenticeship in digital marketing and achieve a foundation degree and learn whilst working and earning money sounded like a total winner to me.
2. You’re earning money and learning at the same time
Apprenticeship pay may not be amazing, depending on the company you work for but at the same time you aren’t pay anything to achieve the qualification plus no money is better than none, right?! Even though the wage isn’t massive, you can definitely still survive on it. Back when I was earning £3 something an hour I actually moved out with my boyfriend and still managed to survive, I may not have had much of a life but I coped just fine.
3. It’s the best way to gain experience
Trying to get a job when you have minimal to no experience is sooo difficult – trust me, I’ve tried. However, when you apply for an apprenticeship you don’t need to have any previous experience in the industry. I personally feel that doing an apprenticeship is the perfect first step into the career that you really want to work in (unless you want to be a doctor or lawyer, then I’d probs stick to going to uni).
4. You don’t need to have amazing grades
All you need when applying for an apprenticeship is 5 GCSE’s, that’s it. You need to have a ‘C’ or above in Maths and English and then 3 other GCSE’s, which is amazing when you’re not massively academic. One of the things I love best about doing an Apprenticeship is the fact there isn’t a big exam at the end and you don’t have to spend everyday sitting in a classroom.
1. The pay isn’t great
So as I previously stated, you don’t get a pretty wage falling into your bank every month. But to me that didn’t matter. The way I look at it you have all your life to work your way up the ladder in the specific career route you wanna go down so why worry about earning loads when you’re 18 anyways? When I first started my apprenticeship all my friend were starting uni or college course so we were all just as skint as each other. I mean your teenage years wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t skint 24/7, am I right??
2. There quite a bit of work
Because obviously you’re working full time and trying to achieve a diploma or foundation degree in a specific field, such as marketing, it can be really god damn difficult to find enough time in the week to get everything done. Sometimes it can be really really stressful when you have deadlines at both college and work but I promise it’s worth it in the end. I’m not always the best person at dealing with things when under pressure, I often get pretty stressed and panicky, but once you’ve seen that you’ve achieved something at work or finished your qualification with a distinction is so bloody worth it and the feeling of being proud of yourself is one of the best feelings there is.
3. People don’t realise how much work you actually do
Oh my god, this is the bane of my life. The amount of times I’ve told people I’m an apprentice and they’ve turned round to me and said ‘oh so you like just make tea and clean the office then?’ ahhhhhh. No. Maybe that’s what apprentices for hairdressers and builders did in the bloody 80’s but not anymore. It really winds me up that people think that just because you’re an apprentice you don’t do any work because it’s so far from the truth. But hey, fuck what people think because at the end of the day you’re the one getting the fantastic qualification and will end up in a super fancy job earning a pretty decent wage.
So to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship, I really would recommend it. Doing an apprenticeship has honestly changed my life, it’s made me realise what I actually want to do with my life as well as giving me professional and personal life skills. Being essentially paid to learn and do an apprenticeship is such a fantastic opportunity and anyone to turn it down is mad. If any of youe have done an apprenticeship please let me know your thoughts on it!