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University VS. Apprenticeship (Skilled Trades)

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  • Aug 29th, 2013 3:17 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 8, 2010
7206 posts
424 upvotes
York

University VS. Apprenticeship (Skilled Trades)

Why go to university for the minimum 4 years, when you can start to earn good money the day after you leave high school? Why do many pick the "struggles" (money, stress, etc) of university when they can do an apprenticeship program, and then get taken in for the real deal? I guess what I'm asking is to list the pros and cons of post secondary and apprenticeship, because when I think about it, I don't see a down side to an apprenticeship.
38 replies
Member
User avatar
Sep 26, 2009
419 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Money isn't everything. Some prefer 'intelligence'. I rather be poor than ignorant. One reason why I am going through university is to 'hopefully' become a better person. I've personally transformed over my 12th grade, and I would like this transformation to happen once again. It's not guaranteed in university but it is a place to start. And plus, you can make money for the rest of your life, but you only stay in school for the first quarter, if not less. But hey, I am one of those guys who follow the "Legacy over currency" quote.
Deal Addict
Apr 6, 2008
2464 posts
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Toronto
Some are more skilled in the brain than the hands.
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2009
543 posts
67 upvotes
I'm an electrical apprentice and am enjoying it. I had the oppurtunity to go to university but I didn't feel like spending the time and money. Instead of university I bought a truck a boat and a motorcycle lol. I think I made a good decision :D . Plus, I'd rather work in the field than at a desk. Keep in mind times aren't like they used to be and apprenticeships are hard to come buy. The days of showing up at construction site with work boots and a hard hat and getting a job have long past.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2009
543 posts
67 upvotes
I just want to add a point after reading the previous posts. Don't think that because you choose to not go to university your learning days are over. You will learn and experience many things whether you go to university or find an apprenticeship.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 8, 2010
7206 posts
424 upvotes
York
It's just my parents think anything but university is "bad", although it is my decision in the end, they greatly influence it. I mean can I make good money (support myself and have leftover sums) when I'm 25? 30? University takes a huge chunk of money but choosing an apprenticeship seems like choosing "work" over study, and when people work directly after high school its 99% McDonalds... I don't want to be earning 10 an hour 'till I'm 50. It's hard to imagine someone at 20, making 30 - 50 thousand a year. Once the apprenticeship is over where does one go? You don't have a degree. Also, are there any business related apprenticeships? (Marketing, HR, Management, etc)?
Member
May 14, 2008
266 posts
6 upvotes
Scarboro
You will be a stuck at a point in your career where you wont be able to be promoted further UNLESS you have education (undergrad/postgrad). This is why some organizations actually fund their employees to get further designations.
Member
User avatar
Sep 26, 2009
419 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
I think with apprenticeship, you have to be at least good at hands on work. And one good thing about apprenticeship is that you will gain CONNECTIONS. Networking is probably the most important thing one can do in order to secure a job. University rarely gives you the opportunity for networking, unless you're in co-op. But if you plan on going on to graduate school, don't bother with co-op, you'll find yourself a decent paying job once you have your masters or PhD but you will NOT be guaranteed 6 figures (so keep that in mind), and by then you're probably in your early 30s. Yeah... when you think about it, you would have accumulated a lot of debt already, and if you were to go to apprenticeship, you would have enough to buy a house/car already. Anyway, whatever you do, just keep in mind you can always restart, so if university isn't cut out for you, drop it but be careful.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 8, 2010
7206 posts
424 upvotes
York
KeVan wrote: I think with apprenticeship, you have to be at least good at hands on work. And one good thing about apprenticeship is that you will gain CONNECTIONS. Networking is probably the most important thing one can do in order to secure a job. University rarely gives you the opportunity for networking, unless you're in co-op. But if you plan on going on to graduate school, don't bother with co-op, you'll find yourself a decent paying job once you have your masters or PhD but you will NOT be guaranteed 6 figures (so keep that in mind), and by then you're probably in your early 30s. Yeah... when you think about it, you would have accumulated a lot of debt already, and if you were to go to apprenticeship, you would have enough to buy a house/car already. Anyway, whatever you do, just keep in mind you can always restart, so if university isn't cut out for you, drop it but be careful.
Right, but I'm always stuck with one level of pay from 20 - retirement if I choose an apprenticeship.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 8, 2010
7206 posts
424 upvotes
York
Are there any business skilled trades?
Banned
Dec 3, 2009
1291 posts
23 upvotes
dankup wrote: Are there any business skilled trades?
You can go always start a business with you skills in a particular trade. I graduated from a trade school/program and a few of my teachers went on to start their own business and ended up making good money on top of the teacher salary.

So, coming from a trade school graduate, I can say there are many downsides to working in the trades that aren't really given much attention in those 'go learn a trade' commercials. After graduating, I realized I simply did not want to work in the trade I studied. The profession sounded fine on paper, but in the real world, I simply was not cut out for it. More specifically, I didn't care too much to work around people who could not keep up a decent conversation that didn't include beer, sports, or women. I mean, all those things are fine, but, I needed to expand my intellectual muscles. Also, this trade required one to left heavy things, be physically demanding, get super dirty, and work in cold and hot and wet and sweaty conditions.

Don't get me wrong - I have friends who continue to work in that trade and a few of them have moved on to owning their own operations. Most of them complain about back sores though.

Now I am a University student and I cherish the fact that I get to do what I want. And that is to learn. I reckon that this isn't for everyone, and the accumulating debt deters many, but for me, I love it. Stretching those intellectual muscles eh.
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Jan 6, 2009
1942 posts
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Toronto
How do you find someone willing to take you on as their apprentice? Do you knock on their office and beg or what? They never teach you that in high school. It's all about college or university.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2007
1170 posts
12 upvotes
I like the misconceptions that almost all people have of skilled trades' apprentices.

First, what is "good" money? I know for a fact that almost all newly entered apprentices do not make "good" money... Wouldn't everyone be flocking to apprenticeships if they paid so well with virtually no real trade experience?

The well paying skilled trade jobs are often the ones with a high physical calibre demand... meaning you are on your feet 7 + hours a day in unfavourable conditions such as being high on a ladder, hot/humid conditions, hazardous areas etc... Look no further to pipe/sprinkler fitters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC and auto mechanics. All these mentioned trades require intensive physical work in order to get paid well.

Third, some people do not have the physical/psychological build to handle skilled trades.. They lack the patience, physique and mindset in order to be a skilled technician. Therefore, some people are more suited for other jobs.
Sr. Member
Mar 27, 2009
543 posts
67 upvotes
dankup wrote: It's just my parents think anything but university is "bad", although it is my decision in the end, they greatly influence it. I mean can I make good money (support myself and have leftover sums) when I'm 25? 30? University takes a huge chunk of money but choosing an apprenticeship seems like choosing "work" over study, and when people work directly after high school its 99% McDonalds... I don't want to be earning 10 an hour 'till I'm 50. It's hard to imagine someone at 20, making 30 - 50 thousand a year. Once the apprenticeship is over where does one go? You don't have a degree. Also, are there any business related apprenticeships? (Marketing, HR, Management, etc)?
in a factory setting many tradesmen are sent to upper management.. or you can start your own business. My dad was an electrician and was promoted to manage several other tradesmen. he was making well over $100,000. Now he owns his own electrical business and makes even more! If he plays his cards right he should be a millionaire by the time he retires.

In regards to your parents thinking anything less than University is "bad". They are plain and simple wrong. I'ts all about what you want to do. If you WANT to be a doctor, youll have to take the schooling and the debt to become one. if you WANT to work with your hands (and your mind) you can become an apprentice. I think not going to university was the best decision I made... especially seeing friends that went through are in 10s of thousands of debt and still cant find a job.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 8, 2010
7206 posts
424 upvotes
York
custy wrote: I like the misconceptions that almost all people have of skilled trades' apprentices.

First, what is "good" money? I know for a fact that almost all newly entered apprentices do not make "good" money... Wouldn't everyone be flocking to apprenticeships if they paid so well with virtually no real trade experience?

The well paying skilled trade jobs are often the ones with a high physical calibre demand... meaning you are on your feet 7 + hours a day in unfavourable conditions such as being high on a ladder, hot/humid conditions, hazardous areas etc... Look no further to pipe/sprinkler fitters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC and auto mechanics. All these mentioned trades require intensive physical work in order to get paid well.

Third, some people do not have the physical/psychological build to handle skilled trades.. They lack the patience, physique and mindset in order to be a skilled technician. Therefore, some people are more suited for other jobs.
So if I want to work for a marketing department for a company - apprenticeships aren't the way to go?

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