How to choose between apprenticeship and college degree?

It is rightly said that the best learning happens through experience. In-depth understanding of any task comes by doing it on your own and that is why, in many organizations, there is a lot of emphasis on the concept of on the job training.

College Degree

In order to be a master in a particular field, many students enroll themselves for apprenticeship so that they can get a hands-on experience of a job.

With the advancement in the education system and new methods of learning being introduced, there is a shift from imparting purely theoretical knowledge to more of practical knowledge.

As a result, apprenticeship programmes have become very common in many streams of study. Many a times, students feel confounded about whether to focus more on apprenticeship/trainings or on their academic degree right now and pursue any training programme at a later stage.

Well, it varies with the kind of course that one is pursuing. If someone is pursuing a vocational course such as tourism management, home science, technician or any such course that requires certain amount of peculiar skills then it is extremely important for the person to get his hands dirty in the field. He/she has to have a hands-on experience of the work, in order to be a skilled professional.

On the other hand, if one is pursuing a traditional degree course then it is important to focus on the academic curriculum. This is so because it is necessary to make your concepts strong by having a strong command on your subjects. Many students, after pursuing a degree course go on to become professors and lecturers and they are expected to impart subject knowledge to their students which can be done only when they themselves will have a good hold on their subject.

In most of the professional courses and vocational courses, person’s skills and expertise play a huge role, instead of his/her academic grades and therefore they must go for apprenticeship at an early stage, which could be six months or an year after their course begins. For such students, any kind of training that bolsters their on the job expertise is just like their bread and butter and hence it becomes inevitable for them. E.g. A technician who deals with the technicalities of a computer cannot solely rely on the theoretical knowledge, his course will not hold much importance if he is completely aloof of how things actually go at the job.

Therefore, there are no clear cut rules that let one decide if a degree is more important or an apprenticeship. Nowadays, however, students are eager to enrol themselves in an apprenticeship or any internship that would provide them with practical learning and earn them a decent amount of stipend, but before going for it, it is the responsibility of the student to ask the following questions to himself – Does it hold enough importance at this point of time or it can be pushed back? Is it worth the time and effort, in terms of learning as well as the monetary benefit that it would provide? Will it impact my academic grades? How this would add value to my resume? Therefore, one has to be really astute in choosing between a degree and an apprenticeship.

There are no distinct rules, basis which one can choose between an apprenticeship or a degree, the decision totally varies as per one’s preference, as well as the type of course that one decides to pursue.


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