Why I chose an Apprenticeship over University

By Nicole Ryle, Apprentice

Deciding your career path is difficult. Nowadays there are so many external factors which affect our life choices; from parents to friends to school teachers. Despite these outside pressures, ultimately it is YOUR decision – what do you want to do?

In my case, my school pushed me the apply for university – I was an academic student and I worked well in a school environment. At this point, I was confused and unsure about my future so I was influenced by my teachers and I applied to study a Sports Science degree at Loughborough University. As time flew by, I started to doubt my decision – was university really for me?

As I wasn’t 100% sure on whether university was the right choice, I decided to start looking for other options. The first thing I came across was the Microsoft Business Apprenticeship Programme – instantly I was interested and felt passionate about the prospect of following through with this; a feeling I hadn’t felt when applying for university. As I worked through the application process I wanted the apprenticeship more and more. At the same time the likelihood of me going to university was rapidly decreasing.

Having said this, I believe apprenticeships have an unfair stigma and aren’t as well respected as a degree. Despite this, times are changing. Apprenticeships are slowly becoming more respected – as they should! The Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme has been incredible so far; I have learnt so much, been given massive responsibilities and got real life working experience – things you wouldn’t get whilst at university. I will finish my apprenticeship, not only with a qualification, but also 18 months’ worth of invaluable experience (and hopefully some savings!!). This puts me in a much better position than those at university.

Making such a big decision is tricky so take your time, keep your options open and do what makes YOU happy.

As Microsoft say:

“come as you are, do what you love.”

Written by Nicole Ryle, Apprentice

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