Advanced search

engineering....Sponsored apprenticeship or uni?

(16 Posts)
mooseloose Thu 28-Mar-13 07:26:51

Ds is leaving sixth form this year. Has four uni offers. Also has reached final stages of two higher apprenticeships, interviews next week. It's a bit of a conundrum because although the scheme is an engineering one, its not a engineering degree, it business and management. Fully sponsored. So aplus is a salary and no fees with a hugely prestigious firm. Or does he go uni for a systems or aero degree that is accredited. Don't know if you would turn down the apprentice if offered (not got it yet). We've said people go to uni to dream of a job in a firm like that!! But that said it won't be a a proper maths physics degree. Any thoughts from anyone who knows about higher A level degrees please. Thanks.

nagynolonger Thu 28-Mar-13 07:35:41

I would say go for the apprenticeship. He will get one shot at that but he can do a degree at anytime.

Also being paid while you learn, everything paid for (including work clothing) and no tuition fees is a bonus. There maybe extras as well my sons could already drive but those that couldn't had help with lessons. They also have learnt to drive 4x4 off road.

DH and me didn't go to university ourselves it may have made the choice easier for our sons.

nagynolonger Thu 28-Mar-13 07:37:58

Sorry just reread your post! What my sons did/ are doing is probably not what you are asking about.

Areyoumadorisitme Thu 28-Mar-13 07:48:37

I never thought I'd say this in the past but I would go for the apprenticeship.

Both DH and I went to uni, I was brought up thinking that it was the right thing. I have until recently been convinced that I would encourage dc to go to university.

That said, DH is a senior engineer in an engineering firm and be always has a lot more time for the apprentices rather than the graduates. He says the apprentices are a lot more useful and applied in their knowledge. He would pick an apprentice over a graduate every day (despite being a graduate himself). A lot of apprentices then go on to do further qualifications whilst working.

I have in the past few years come around to the view that uni is not the only way to go. Especially now when there are large costs and debts involved.

I think in your DS's case I would very seriously consider going for the apprenticeship. Especially if it is with a prestigious firm, that just adds to the package.

Areyoumadorisitme Thu 28-Mar-13 07:50:41

To add, I shared a house with aero engineers when at uni, both dropped the aero but before graduating and ended up with mech eng degrees bone is now a doctor and one works with trains.

mooseloose Thu 28-Mar-13 07:59:15

He's not ever so hands on in the fact that he's never tinkered with cars etc, but he's doing his maths physics a levels, which he enjoys and so the engineering is a natural choice. And I now understand there is a vast difference between a man who fixes your fridge/ aeroplane to one who designs the concepts. He has offers for aero and systems, didn't get a mechanical offer, and so theses are accredited so they can the masters eventually. This particular apprentice is a year of craft type, and then more specialised , I suppose where you are suited to. It is initially a foundation degree (looked this up!) and this is the first two years with the opportunity to top to a full honours degree. It's a RR one. I think he wonders if he would iss out on the uni experience? Me and dh didn't go to uni.

titchy Thu 28-Mar-13 08:53:49

Could you ask why their apprentices do a business degree, and see if its possible to do engineering degree, or foundation degree instead?

boomting Thu 28-Mar-13 13:17:21

Whilst he may initially get ahead, I suspect that not being a chartered engineer will mean that he eventually finds that there is a glass ceiling, and the fact that he would not be doing an engineering degree does ring alarm bells for me.

However, I'm not an expert in the engineering industry. I would suggest reposting to somewhere like The Student Room's engineering forum.

DeParker Thu 28-Mar-13 13:35:21

Both me and my husband did some of the top engineering degrees in the country (electrical + general engineering and management respectively), and were sponsored throughout our degrees on thin sandwich courses (6 months study, 6 months work for 3 years, then full time study final year). When I was on my work placement, it was the apprentices who got the most technical and interesting assignments, whilst the undergraduates got the admin jobs as we were deemed to be less knowledgeable about practical stuff.

A couple more points to consider:
Note you can always go back to do a degree after an apprenticeship (one guy did a HND and apprenticeship and was allowed to skip first year of degree), but unlikely to do it the other way round.

From what I know of the engineering industry, especially heavily industrial ones (which yours sound like it is), there is little prejudice about apprentices. In fact those who have risen up the ranks command huge respect. And in response to boomting, it would not be at all unusual to find a Business graduate not an engineering one running engineering firm.

He may find that an engineering degree is not what he thought it was. I also enjoyed Maths and Physics A levels and loved finding out how things worked, but the degree taught me nothing of the above. Instead it focused on processes and theories. I learnt much more during my placements than in my degree.

DeParker Thu 28-Mar-13 13:36:44

Oh should also add that in job market, especially in engineering, job experience counts way more than a degree.

nagynolonger Thu 28-Mar-13 17:21:49

DH did exactly that apprenticeship/HND, degree, and then chartered.

Two of our sons are hoping to do similar. Both are practical and able at maths and sciences. Less good at essay stuff in school but more than able to right a report etc.

MariscallRoad Fri 29-Mar-13 16:44:36

DS studies Meng. His University has links with firms and nearly all their students there are guaranteed a placement/job at the end. Unis have links. It depends though where one plans to study. As I saw in one magazine most firms specified they wanted an eng degree plus job experience.

It is important though to try and get good grades at A Level.

stressyBessy22 Tue 02-Apr-13 08:32:36

But he won't be a chartered engineer if he does the apprenticeship will he? I have to say all the engineers I know are charterd

jazzcat28 Tue 02-Apr-13 08:40:25

I have worked for two of the uks biggest engineering consultancies. I have to say that your DS will reach a glass ceiling without a chartered status. I have worked with exceptional engineers who are burning the midnight oil to try to do a part time degree whilst juggling young families in order to get chartered. Also, and this may change by the time your DS goes to work, I do notice snobbery when reading CVs - e.g. One university is better than another, etc.

I only have experience in working in two major firms, but would say that if he wants to beak £35k salary he would struggle without being chartered.

stressyBessy22 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:05:33

which universities are favoured jazzcat?

jazzcat28 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:32:13

Generally Russel group universities, Brunel also good.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: