Bank of Scotland

Growing number of Scots favour apprenticeships over higher education

17 September 2018

  • A third of Scots believe university remains a good idea despite the costs
  • Increasing numbers now believe that apprenticeships offer the best career prospects
  • Almost 10% think a university education is no longer financially viable

An increasing number of Scots could turn their backs on traditional forms of higher education in favour of apprenticeships and on the job training, according the latest research from Bank of Scotland.

With thousands of students getting ready to head off to university this week, just one in three (33%)  Scots believe that university remains the best option for career prospects despite the costs, falling from two in five (38%) last year.

At the same time, the proportion of people who think that on the job training or an apprenticeship offers the best career prospects jumped from 29% to 32%. 

Cost may be a contributory factor to this shifting viewpoint, with around one in 10 (9%) Scots believing that a university education is no longer financially viable.

However, of those who are heading off to university, well over half (58%) believe that they have enough money for their higher education, with over a third (35%) stating they will need to find more.

Student loans remain by far the most popular source of funds, with 45% of students saying they use this to fund their studies. Working part time is also favoured by just over 30% of students, while a quarter (25%) will turn to savings.

Only 15% of those heading to university say they have a partner, family member or friend who will support them financially.

Ricky Diggins, Director at Bank of Scotland, commented: “While most young Scots still believe that a university education offers them the best career prospects, it’s clear that a growing number are considering the wider range of options available, including less traditional routes into the workplace. 

“For those who are heading off to university, managing their finances can be a big challenge. Therefore it’s encouraging to see that a significant majority of Scottish students believe that they have access to the funds they need to complete their studies.”

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