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Why you should consider doing a Degree Apprenticeship

I’m Ella, a first-year digital marketing degree apprentice studying and working at the University of Chichester. In this blog, I have been given the opportunity to talk about my experience, in recognition of degree apprenticeship week!


What Degree Apprenticeship are you currently studying? 

I am studying a Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship working and learning here, at the University of Chichester. On the job, I gain a wide range of opportunities and knowledge as I support the social media coordinators, the videographer, and the website developer to enhance our digital marketing and aid with new research and ideas. As well as this, I am going to be working on an advertising project and am already assisting in organising the National Student Survey campaign alongside colleagues. 

At University, I will be learning about social media, marketing, management, technology, website development, working with others and much more.  


Can you briefly explain what a degree apprenticeship is? 

It is a higher education course, usually 4 years long, in which you complete a degree and paid work alongside the learning. It’s also likely to be split one day a week for university and four days a week for work. Allowing you to grow the practical experiences as well as the theoretical background knowledge of a specific industry/ career path. 


Why did you decide to study for a degree apprenticeship? 

I was never massively interested in the university lifestyle; I much preferred focusing on my personal development and career. I have always wanted to be successful and when my dad and sixth-form careers advisers told me about this optionI knew this would guide me down a successful and stable career faster than other people my age. I also absolutely loved work. I used to go to sixth form five days a week and then would work both days of the weekend. I never had a free day and always loved being busy, so I was fully prepared for the busier schedule lifestyle and responsibilities that come with being part of a professional workplace.  


What do you believe are the benefits of studying a degree apprenticeship? 


In no particular order, here are just some of the benefits: 


  •  An apprenticeship is a great opportunity to connect and meet people in the industry/business that you are interested in. 


You are learning on the job! It may not always be easy, but there is always support and guidance when needed from your peers, colleagues, and apprenticeship support staff. 


  • It is the SAME degree that other people will be getting. A huge misconception is that the qualification is worth less- it is the same! (just with an extra 4 years of experience…)


  • It is a paid position, as well as gaining the degree for free. This means a chance for savings AND no student debt! 


  • The degree, alongside the work, will allow me to learn about and gain experience in many different aspects of the industry. For example, I work in social media, website, videography, advertisements, and even dabble in Campaigns… I am not limited to just one! 


How has the university supported you during your degree apprenticeship? 

We have our course leaders and lecturers who are always happy to help in conversation time after lectures as well as online forums.


We have staff who specifically support hundreds of apprenticeship students around the University, setting up meetings every 12 weeks with ourselves and our managers to ensure we are happy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


There are also the student support staff that we can also go to if in need. Just because we are not ‘normal’ students, does not mean we don’t have access to all the same help. 


What are you hoping to get out of the degree apprenticeship? 

Using the keyword again – experience. This is something not everybody graduating will have, especially not to the extent I will, and I would really like to make the most out of this. It is a chance to make new friends and connections as well as organise my life. I have a long list of things I want to have achieved by the end of the four years and having a consistent pattern is going to really improve my well-being and lifestyle, as well as push me to succeed in my goals. 


Any advice for someone who is still deciding to study for a degree apprenticeship? 

I would say ask yourself if you are ready for the commitment of working and remaining in education for four years. Ensure you understand and research the pros and cons, and the ins and outs of each option after college. I 100% think it is worth it for the opportunities you are presented with that you wouldn’t normally get at university. 

Also, in terms of applications – put in the effort. Finding a job really is a full-time job so go into detail and sell yourself! I applied to over 15 apprenticeships, and this is the only one I got. Ensure you have a detailed CV and cover letter, as well as good references and definitely try and point out any sort of experience you may have already, whether this be in work, school, or even personal life! 


A pro and con of studying a degree apprenticeship 

A pro – the experience (my favourite word when talking about apprenticeships) is unlike any other route. Gaining a degree (for free!!!) as well as four years of work experience is not something people come across every day. It is exactly what employers will be looking for when you finish studying and will boost your career before you have even graduated! 

A con – it is the same amount of Uni work as a normal degree, just less time to do it as you work 4 days a week and are in lectures 1 day. The key is to prioritise and effectively organise time. I love to use checklists and schedules!  


Check out the Degree Apprenticeships we offer by tapping the link below!


Degree Apprenticeships

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Date published

09 Feb 2024

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