Is an AAT apprenticeship as good as a university degree?

AAT Administrator, Tutor Posts: 102 🤖 Admin 🤖
edited December 2014 in Apprenticeships
Clearly there’s no straightforward answer to this question; however, if you’re looking for a career in accountancy, there are lots of reasons to pursue an AAT apprenticeship over a university degree.

Firstly, AAT apprenticeships are based around the AAT Accounting Qualification – the leading vocational qualification for accounting and finance staff in the UK. As a vocational qualification we focus on developing practical skills relevant to accounting and finance roles, whereas university degrees tend to be less practically focused.

This means you will qualify with a qualification actively geared towards the workplace – something employers really value.

As an AAT apprentice you’ll be translating these skills into your day-to-day work, meaning you’re not only gaining a recognised qualification but also the work experience to back it up.

Ask any graduate about the hardest part of finding a job after graduating and they'll tell you it's finding a job without work experience. This is where AAT apprentices tend to have a head start over most graduates; by the time you’re fully qualified you’ll have 3 years' work experience to put on your CV. The benefit of this has been backed up by recent Government research, which found that many employers now value apprentices more than university graduates.

Apprenticeships also make a lot of sense from a financial point of view. In the short term you’ll avoid student debt and earn a wage while you’re working, as your studies are fully funded. That means no astronomical tuition fees and no student loans.

Looking at the long term benefits, research commissioned by AAT in 2013 suggests that apprentices’ lifetime earnings can equal those of a university graduate, dispelling the myth that a degree is the only route into a rewarding career.

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More information/resources
  • Venn Group apprentices explain why they chose the AAT apprenticeship route:
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