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Monday, December 17, 2018

University vs Apprenticeship: The education debate | -TechTarget

Cath Everett, journalist and editor reports, Traditionally, a degree is the preferred route into the technology industry, but many now believe an apprenticeship may be a more valuable path into the sector.

Photo: -TechTarget
Dissent appears to have been growing lately over whether getting a university education really is the best way to find a dream job in tech – or anywhere else, for that matter. For example, a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed at the end of last year that a mere 52% of former students had found a graduate-level post within six months of leaving university.

A key problem in the tech sector in this regard, says Alan Furley, director of specialist tech and engineering recruitment consultancy ISL, is that universities tend to teach “hard skills that aren’t always contemporary or adaptable into a career, while at the same time the cost of a degree plus lost earning opportunities is ever growing”.
According to a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, for instance, nearly a third of recent graduates are currently earning less than £20,000 per year, despite having incurred an average debt burden of £50,000 – a sum that many are likely to spend much of their life paying off.

But apprenticeships, which successive governments have been pushing as an important alternative for some time, have faced their own issues too. First, they still appear to come with a stigma attached – if they register in potential candidates’ consciousness at all.
Second, there have been issues around quality in some quarters. Despite the high levels of noise around alternative routes into employment, which include apprenticeships as well as internships and returnships, employers have had mixed experiences, says Furley.
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Source: -TechTarget