After successfully leaving school, A Level students have the agonising choice: Do I start an apprenticeship or would going to university be better for me?
You should ask yourself this question in due course and consider the arguments carefully. Research the advantages and disadvantages of apprenticeships and degree courses. But remember that it is also possible to combine study and training with a dual degree course. There are also advantages to completing an apprenticeship first and then adding on a degree course afterwards. Much is possible. What’s important is that you are 100% confident in your decision so that you don’t throw away unnecessary time starting an apprenticeship or a degree course and then not completing it.
The advantages of a corporate apprenticeship are numerous. If you decide in favour of an apprenticeship, you can look forward to two to three and a half exciting and informative years. You’ll jump straight into working life, earn money and become more independent. Naturally there is also teaching at the college but for the majority of time, you will be actively contributing at the company. This is generally a good experience, especially when you’ve had enough of learning and being in school.
An apprenticeship is characterised by the fact that it is very practical in that you can immerse yourself in working life right from the get go. In the majority of training companies you will pass through various departments thus getting to know the entire business.
Future prospects following an apprenticeship
Skilled workers will continue to be in high demand in the labour market of the future. Maybe you’ll be taken on at your training company directly after the apprenticeship or maybe you’ll find a position at another company. With a solid apprenticeship, you’ll have a good chance at getting a permanent position both in the German and international labour markets. In order to progress professionally, you could undertake a wide range of training activities or even combine a degree course thus further improving your career opportunities.
The bigger the choice, the harder it is to choose.If you decide to study after A Levels, you will have to choose an appropriate subject. In Germany alone, there are over 15,000 different degree courses with admission criteria such as ‘numerus clausus’, entrance examinations and various internships. Your choice should, of course, reflect your aptitudes and talents.
Studying at university often means considerable financial burden for the entire family. Most of the time, parents are required to pay for a student’s living costs including rent, university fees and cost of living. It is not uncommon for students to have to work on the side to be able to afford student life.
The proverbial student life with semester holidays and a free timetable can certainly be a particularly intense time of life but it can also become a challenge: Studying requires a lot of initiative and discipline. Independent learning, organisation and team spirit are needed in order to graduate successfully.
Future prospects following a degree course
Studying offers very good career and promotion opportunities and earning potential as an academic is very good.
Dual degree course
On a “dual degree course“ you combine an apprenticeship at a company with a degree course at a university. Upon graduating a dual degree course you will, at a young age, already have gathered business and academic work experience.
This style of education is becoming increasingly popular in Germany as it combines practice and theory very effectively. During the practical phase at the company, you’ll become familiar withworking processes and corporate departments just like a normal apprentice. In the theoretical phase at the university, you’ll deepen your theoretical knowledge, which you can then directly implement at the company. The advantages include a varied education, a training allowance that makes you financially independent and specific work experience at the company as well as an academic degree following successful graduation.
Future prospects following a dual degree course
The job prospects for dual degree graduates are outstanding. After all, once you graduate a dual degree course, you can boast an academic degree that includes practical work experience.
With a dual degree course you also don’t need to implicitly decide in favour of training or studying, but can rather combine the two.
Research thoroughly universities and companies in the places and industries that you find interesting. This may be the perfect solution for you. However, please note: Since this option is very popular and costs companies a lot of money, there are more applications for such courses than there are offerings. You must therefore be quick if you want to get your hands on such a placement. Inform yourself also here.