Think you’ve missed your chance to get an apprenticeship? Think again.
There was a 9% increase in applicants for Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships in 2023, showing that demand for further education is growing. Whether you’re interested in re-training to switch careers, getting your master’s degree or securing a qualification in a relevant field, an apprenticeship can help you achieve your academic and career goals.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship program enables you to study while gaining hands-on work experience. You’ll spend 80% of your time working on the job and 20% studying. There are a few different apprenticeship levels:
- Level 2: Equal to GCSEs.
- Level 3: Equal to A Levels.
- Level 4-5: Equal to a foundation degree or a higher-level certification such as a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND).
- Level 6-7: Equal to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Yep, you can earn another degree after university by completing a Level 6 or 7 apprenticeship.
Can you do an apprenticeship after university?
Yes! The minimum age for an apprenticeship is 18, and there is no maximum.
You can’t apply for a degree apprenticeship in a subject you already have an undergraduate degree in. For example, if you have an undergraduate degree in marketing, you can’t do a Level 6/7 degree apprenticeship in marketing, but you can pursue a related field like PR.
Ask the apprenticeship provider for clarification if you are unsure.
What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship after university?
The job market is highly competitive, especially in industries like law and fashion. After completing your undergraduate degree, you can pursue a master’s degree, and earn a nationally recognised qualification or accreditation by a professional body that will add extra pizzazz to your CV.
Get your master’s degree
Congrats – you have your undergraduate degree. If you are excited about pursuing your master’s but not so thrilled about returning to full-time education, a Level 7 apprenticeship is the way to go. Level 7 apprenticeships are equivalent to a master’s degree and usually take around four years to complete.
Fancy doing something different? If your post-university career isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, an apprenticeship is an excellent way to re-train without returning to full-time study. You can continue to get paid while gaining valuable hands-on experience to help you make the first step in your new career and build connections in the industry.
Gain hands-on training
Apprenticeships equip you with hands-on training in the real world of work, which many university degree programmes lack. If you spent your degree sitting in a classroom and missed out on the chance to apply your skills to the workplace, an apprenticeship can give you what you need to get a competitive edge over your peers.
No more debt
University is expensive, that’s for sure – whereas, with an apprenticeship, you will earn while you learn. Keep in mind that student loans don’t cover degree apprenticeships, so you’ll have to plan ahead for your living expenses. Otherwise, enjoy getting paid while you study.
4 tips for doing an apprenticeship after university
Thinking about taking the plunge and doing a post-university apprenticeship? These tips will help you get started.
Carefully review your experience
Your undergraduate degree isn’t a hindrance to an apprenticeship application – it’s actually a huge bonus. Now’s the time to re-write your CV and portfolio, carefully considering what you learned at university and how your existing skills are relevant to the apprenticeship in question. You likely have more academic and work experience than most younger apprenticeship applicants, so make it count.
You’re not ‘too old’
As we mentioned above, there is no maximum age limit for apprentices, and apprenticeships are not reserved for post-A level students. It’s more normal and common than you might think to do an apprenticeship as a mature student. It opens doors to new learning opportunities, career progression, colleagues and friends, no matter your life stage.
Review your earnings potential
The highest-paying apprenticeships offer up to £27,000, which is more than most graduate jobs. Transitioning from full-time, post-university work to an apprenticeship might not be the financial setback you expect, as you’ll earn at least the National Apprenticeship Wage. How great is that?
Expand your horizons
What can you study with an apprenticeship? Well, pretty much anything, including:
- Nuclear engineering
- Business management
Don’t wait for job applications to go live. Instead, take matters into your own hands by applying for an apprenticeship at one of these world-renowned brands, even if you choose a new field of study. You’ll be able to work for a global company and get the honour of learning from their top talent and sharpest minds.
Never. Stop. Learning
Your undergrad degree might be over, but your personal and professional learning and development journey is only just beginning.
Relax. We’ll send the jobs to you.
Reckon you know what you want to do, but can’t find the perfect role? Most companies hire their apprentices in a ‘recruitment window’. This means many great jobs are only available for a short time once or twice each year.
Sign up for our job alerts service, and we’ll send you any jobs that fit your search criteria.