A long time ago, apprenticeships were necessary for construction and similar jobs that required learning through practice. With the increased popularity of college degrees, this type of learning fell in the shade. Nowadays, a degree seems to be more important than practice. Apprenticeship is seen as the “second best” alternative to an undergraduate degree, and it’s usually linked to vocational qualifications.
Here comes the surprise: some of the most successful entrepreneurs were once apprentices. Laurence Graff (a famous English jeweler and owner of a multibillion business), popular chef Jamie Oliver, Sir Ian McKellen, Stella McCartney… the list can go on. Although apprenticeship is seen as a not-so-good alternative to a university degree, it still holds tons of benefits.
Here are 4 reasons why it is a good thing to be an apprentice:
1. You Gain Real Experience Earlier than People Who Go to University
When you decide to be an apprentice in the industry of your choice, you start gaining practical experience way earlier than your friends who carry on with their education. You will become independent and you’ll get an opportunity for making career progress. Four years from now, the best students will be graduating. Most of them will take longer. By that point, you’ll already be further on your career path.
If you’re productive enough, you’ll have enough time to combine your apprenticeship with actual studies. You can sign up for part-time studies or an online degree and do the studying in your free time. Unlike most of the people who go to college or university, you’ll be paying for your own studies. That’s a huge accomplishment for a young person.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein
2. You’ll Be Learning and Making Money at the Same Time
We already mentioned the money, right? That’s the greatest advantage of being an apprentice. You’ll be getting fair payments for your work. You’ll be doing hard work, but you’ll also be learning. Apprentices are not gaining tons of money however, you’ll be making enough for a living and you’ll be moving towards an actual job.
You’ll constantly learn new skills and put them immediately into practice. At university, the students are learning a lot. They are developing some skills along the way, too. However, they don’t get to implement those skills, and can’t make any money for studying. As an apprentice, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
3. Apprenticeship Is Great When You’re Not Sure What You Want
Many people are completely confused when they graduate from high school. They have no idea what direction they should take. Most of them pick one of these two options:
- They go to college anyway. They assume they could pick a major after taking several courses and deciding which one they like best. This method works for some, but others are so indecisive that they pick a random major just because they have to. You’ll agree, this is an insanely expensive method of deciding what you want.
- They take the year off, hoping they could figure things out. Then, they are still not sure what they want. They go to college anyway and do the same thing as the students from the previous example.
An apprenticeship gives you an opportunity to experiment with different fields and decide what works for you. If you don’t like it, you’ll just quit with no financial risk involved.
“For young persons just starting out in the world of work, apprenticeship has important advantages. It offers an efficient way to learn skills, for the training is planned and organized and is not hit-or-miss.”
4. You’ll Learn How to Bear Responsibility
The apprenticeship is not a real job, but it still comes with real responsibilities. You’ll give your best to get good results. If, for example, you’re going for a position in the restaurant business, you’ll be responsible for the outcome of your work. If you’re not good enough, they will get rid of you. If you’re great, you’ll make progress sooner than expected.
Taking responsibility for your work will be scary. You’re young and wild, after all. Sometimes things won’t go as planned. However, taking responsibility is a huge part of growing up, and you’ll be learning from mistakes before university students even get to make them.
Remember, you’re free to make your own choices. Just because society expects everyone to go to college doesn’t mean you should go with the flow. Now is the right moment for taking responsibility for your decisions. If you want to become an apprentice, you should stand behind the choice you make. Now that you’re aware of all benefits you’ll gain, maybe you’re closer to the decision.
What is your experience with being an apprentice? Leave your experiences below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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