University vs apprenticeship

(10 Posts)
petal2008 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:45:15

Has anyones DC had to make a decision between these?

DS been swapping and changing his mind about university for a while now and courses etc. He's got a bit of time as in year 12 but the school have started harping on about uni open days already. One of the options is to try get an apprenticeship and to study for accountancy exams through a local college. The other option is to do a maths and statistics degree and he would eventually like to be an actuary or similar.

I know he will get support through the school etc but DH are very much in the dark about what to advise. Neither of us went to uni so don't know the pros and cons about that, plus how easy is it to get an apprenticeship these days? Would he then end up staying there in a job with few prospects - would he be better off getting a degree and take it from there? It's all a bit daunting and we want him to make the correct choice as much as that's possible.

Just wanted to hear of a few experiences so we can make an informed decision.

Thanks

boomting Thu 31-Jan-13 12:39:43

I don't know much about accountancy, but is there any reason why he can't apply for both simultaneously?

titchy Thu 31-Jan-13 14:55:38

Aren't accountancy and actuary exams different? So doing accountancy exams as an apprentice may be a waste o time if he's then got to do actuarial exams? I might be wrong of course! Has the college careers service told him the normal route to being an actuary?

housesalehelp Thu 31-Jan-13 21:22:18

I had a quick google and it seems that you need a degree to be an actuary

www.actuaries.org.uk/becoming-actuary/pages/how-become-actuary

to be a accountant you don't it might limit your prospects a bit - but if he got an apprenticeship with a big name then it might not so much - see here
www.pwc.co.uk/careers/schools/careers/our-opportunities.jhtml

I assume he is predicted goodish A levels - if he is and enjoys studying I would really recommend university - it opens so many oppertunites -good infomation on finances here

www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/

Has he had any work experience that might help clarify things
I agree look into both streams at the same time - visit some unis etc etc

petal2008 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:32:37

Thanks all. Think the plan is to go to the open days and there is an employer/university thingy at the local tech we are going to next month so hopefully this will be enlightening.

househelp He is trying to sort some work experience now for an allocated week in the summer. He has written to nearly thirty local firms and only 4 have had the courtesy to reply which I think is disgusting. How long does it take to email: "Dear petalsDS, Sorry we cannot offer you a place at the moment. Good luck in your search. Regards......"

He is a bit bemused at the lack of response (must be a reaction to all those thank you letters I insisted he writes) but, as I told him, this is how it works nowadays but don't follow their example.

housesalehelp Fri 01-Feb-13 13:53:13

petal2008 part of the problem is that they get so many requests and it is the way things work - I have had no response from job interviews!!
Can the school not help , and would suggest targeting a few and ringing them up

parched Fri 01-Feb-13 14:59:27

How about doing an accountancy degree? I'd suggest looking for courses that offer exemptions for professional qualifications and also offer placements or internships. I work for a uni and would definitely recommend going along to an open day where he will be able to get advice on everything from the course, to career opportunities, to student finance.

webwiz Fri 01-Feb-13 15:07:20

Wouldn't it be much better to just do a Maths degree and that would leave his options open? Being an actuary is a with well paid career with plenty of employment available even in this economic downturn (DH is an actuary) your DS could still be an accountant with a maths degree or even do something completely different. DD2 is in her second year of a maths degree and she's applying for third year placements as a statistician which is something she wouldn't have considered at 16/17.

BackforGood Fri 01-Feb-13 15:16:21

A friend's Gson is doing accountancy through an apprenticeship and absolutely thrilled with it. Been at college for the first term, then, since Christmas is at a placement (allocated through the college) for 4 days and back in college on the 5th day. He (the GSon) is really pleased and certain it's the right thing for him - work experience, earning money, and not getting into debt while getting his qualifications.

petal2008 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:55:23

I think he would do a maths degree with statistics if he went to uni as he has also considered statistics as an option after uni. The actuary really appealed as he is very interested in that sort of thing. He is tempted by that then also he's also quite keen on the idea of doing the apprenticeship and earning at the same time - all very confusing.

Have said he needs to take one step at a time and concentrate on his AS levels, go to the open days and wait for his results. I suppose he is just worried about making the wrong choice - then again you never know that until you have committed yourself. That's not so bad if he has chosen the apprenticeship I suppose as he could go to uni if he reconsiders but if he chooses uni, pays the course fee he will feel obliged to carry on.

Just been to the local business college to see if their links can sort out some work experience in an accountants. So hopefully if he gets that it will go some way to helping him make a decision.

Thanks for all your thoughts.

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