It is an important decision which will determine what type of job you will get. The standard was about ten years ago if you decided you take A-Levels you would have likely been asked by teachers and friends: “when are you going to university?” instead of “if you are you are going to university?”.

After students reach 18 and have finished their A-levels or BTECs they tend to go off to university or apprenticeships (although some go one a gap year first). This mindset has changed rapidly as the value for money has fallen significantly. In 2012, 53% of students across the UK thought university was “very good” or “good” this has dropped to 35% in 2017. Unsurprisingly, students in England tended to have lower opinions as their tuition fees are significantly higher than the rest of the UK.

The high levels of student debt along with the increase in “Mickey Mouse” degrees (degrees which are regarded as worthless or irrelevant) has led more students to apprenticeships. In the 2009/2010 year there were 280,000 apprenticeships that were started however five years on in the 2014/2015 year there were 500,000 apprenticeships started. That is a 79% increase in just five years.

Additionally, once people leave universities they are left with a large amount of debt and no job. This means a lot of the time the degree studied for three years or more is never used at the job they worked for whereas with an apprenticeship you learn whilst earning. Once the apprenticeship is over you start to climb the corporate ladder of the company or leave to join another one.

Overall, I think that the one you choose should depend on what course/area you want to get into and whether you want a more practical experience – an apprenticeship or a theoretical exam based studying.