Originally posted by: promsan
I have to say that I wouldn't advise my kids to do a degree (or A-levels) in a hurry. If you actually want a job, it seems you're far better off doing an apprenticeship or HNC (or two), and then chasing the expensive kudos later on after you've got established in something you actually enjoy. The kudos is only shorlived, the grade is only really useful when trying to get past HR goons.
I know this is a few months old now, but I just found it and feel I need to add my 2c... I completely agree with this, I have recently finished an apprenticeship/HNC/FdSc and am now enrolled on a BEng/MEng 4 year par time course, and I couldn't be happier.
Instead of doing what all my friends did and stay on for A level I chose the apprenticeship route and now am much better off (than most of them, some of them are obviously doing well for themselves!) But in the time it has taken for me to complete all of that, they have either just finished a BSc/BA/BEng etc with a placement year in industry, or are just finishing an MEng/MSc/MPhys etc without a year out.
My employer has been funding my studies for the past 6 years, and is continuing to fund the degree, which is cheaper anyway as a Foundation Degree is equivalent to the second year of a full time degree and as such is subject to legacy rates.
So if i can give any advice to the 16 or 18 year olds out there that are wondering whether to go to uni or not, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship instead! in the time it has taken my friends to get their A levels and Degrees, I have stacked up a load of vocational qualifications (BTEC's, NVQ's, National Certificate, HNC, FdSc) and also have 6 years of experience working for a company... no brainer if you ask me
(although, if you want to do that route and have an MEng in your sites, be aware that it could take over 10 years.. :-S)