Comparing a legal apprenticeship with a law degree is not straightforward. There is value in both options. If you want to avoid debt, then being employed as an apprentice has its attractions. Typical debt levels of undergraduates are estimated at upwards of £50,000, which has to be repaid after you graduate. Often in the form of government loans, this debt will be paid off once the graduate is earning a salary between £18,000 and £25,000 depending on when you started your course
The arguments in favour of university were more compelling when it was the exclusive route into a professional career. That situation is changing, with young people able to access a career in law as a Chartered Legal Executive
or solicitor through the apprenticeship route (in fact, the Chartered Legal Executive route has been open to non-graduates for over 50 years).
There are non-monetary reasons for attending university: the social life and other activities that universities offer. But our apprentices tell us that their apprenticeship doesn’t prevent them from having a social life and their salary allows them to aspire to more (holidays, savings plan, car, etc).
It is also worth noting that the options are not mutually exclusive and you can go on to do a degree at university after completing a lower-level apprenticeship.