Degree Apprenticeships aren’t what you think…
For many, apprenticeships have never been the ‘obvious route’. Much less Degree Apprenticeships, which are sometimes unknown and often poorly understood.
At the close of each academic year, many young people are assessing the different options for their future. For those already in employment and looking for a change, there are also numerous routes to consider when it comes to retraining.
We believe that not only students and professionals, but employers too, should have all the facts before making a choice around hiring and further training.
By lifting the lid on the true nature of degree apprenticeships, vs other paths out there, we want to empower leaders to find the solution that works best for their unique business and teams.
So, let’s bust some myths.
Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about what degree apprenticeships are, and what they aren’t.
1. ‘Not many programmes are available’
Excuse us, but – are you kidding?!
The number of level 6 and 7 Apprenticeship standards in the UK (that’s equivalent to Bachelors and Masters level respectively) is 205. At QA alone, we offer a portfolio of 7 unique degree apprenticeships spanning the major areas in tech: Data, Cyber security, AI, User Experience, Digital Marketing and more.
That means the potential careers these programmes can prepare learners for is vast, varied and future-oriented.
Not only are there plenty of degree apprenticeships to choose from, but in the tech sector, they are an optimal way to access futureproof skills. What do we mean by futureproof?
Forbes reported that ‘According to the WEF, more than half of the jobs that we do in 2030 will require an understanding of digital technology.’ This means that to set yourself and your career in good stead for the future, you’ll maximise your chances of success by choosing a path in a digital discipline.
Remember that these paths are many, and diverse! Just ‘working in digital’ doesn’t mean you can’t follow a unique route that you’re passionate about, including something creative if that’s your bag.
2. ‘The world of degree apprenticeships is elitist’
Some claim that as Degree Apprenticeships have become just as sought after as traditional degrees, those from disadvantaged backgrounds have actually been shut out, with wealthier areas and populations benefitting more.
This is contrary to the purpose and design of degree apprenticeships, and at QA we work actively to increase diversity and promote social mobility among our learners.
Our candidate screening process and talent attraction ensures we are capturing talent from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds in a number of ways:
- Initiatives like Teach the Nation to Code, a free open-to-all, one day workshop to get people started in tech and ready to springboard straight into an apprenticeship, is specifically effective in harnessing otherwise ‘hidden’ diverse talent with digital potential.
- When attracting candidates, we utilise a wide array of channels and partnerships for access to a diverse range of candidates. This is underpinned by our strong relationships with educational and career institutions, including local job centres, career networks, youth groups, and universities.
- We partner with charities and organisations that share our goal to promote diversity in tech. Just a few of these include STEM Women, We Are Tech Women, Coding Black Females, TAP (The African Pot Project), Women in Tech, Women's Engineering Society (WES), Young Professionals, Stemettes and Graduate Women
3. ‘Companies aren’t taking on new talent’
Degree Apprenticeships are suitable for either employed learners who are looking to upskill or reskill in a chosen discipline within their company, or brand new hires with the potential to progress to more senior and-or specialist positions.
The misconception here is that companies are only looking to upskill their existing employees, so jobseekers are essentially blocked out of the market. In fact, apprenticeships open doors for both groups.
4. 'They aren't realistic for older learners'
Much like Lego, ‘suitable for ages 4 to 99’ – there is no true upper age limit for degree apprenticeships!
The misconception of this is huge, with two thirds of the UK working population (according to HR magazine) believing that apprenticeships are only for those aged 16 to 24.
Age is just a number, as they say. In truth, finding the right kind of training is about lifestyle, career and responsibilities, and ensuring that workplace training integrates effectively into talent’s daily lives.
14% of those surveyed said that time commitment was the main obstacle discouraging them from retraining with an apprenticeship, and 30% stated family or financial responsibilities. At QA, we make our training flexible, remotely accessible and learner-paced, to minimise strain and maximise success.
Could choosing a degree apprenticeship be a career masterstroke?
We get it. Between a full-time job, keeping up productivity, staying in step with change, and juggling commitments such as parenting outside of work, your employees and hires are sure to wonder where they’ll find the time for learning!
That’s why we designed a way for degree apprenticeships to integrate seamlessly with talent’s day to day life and careers.
Our digital delivery is flexible and self-paced, as well as 100% virtual online. No rigid schedules or unmanageable travel commitments!
The three-stage methodology Discover, Practice, Apply, ensures that instead of putting their careers on the ‘back burner’ to focus on learning, your apprentices can apply new knowledge to your business from day 1 of learning, accelerating the benefits to you as an employer, and empowering your employees to progress faster.
If you believed in some of these myths, hopefully we’ve changed your mind!