Parenting S.O.S. – “I’m not sure if I want to go to Uni or join an apprenticeship”

Parenting S.O.S. – I’m not sure if I want to go to Uni or join an apprenticeship programme, can you help me?

By Donovan Grant

decision time teens

Parents face these teenager dilemmas every single day…

“Help! I’m not sure if I want to go to Uni or join an apprenticeship programme?”

How do you answer that one?

The non-parent view would be that it depends what experience you want over the next few years.

The gut instinct parent answer would probably be “you know you need a degree to get any job these days.”

Parents always have a child’s best interests at heart.

The conclusion lies in what motivations your teen has in this decision.

Do they want to go straight into the world of work? Do they want to earn a salary now? Do they want to make a better start on the career ladder than a new graduate? If so, maybe the apprentice is the one to pick.

Do they want independence of living away from home? Are they clear what, why and where they want to study a particular subject? Are they hungry to get a degree? If so, then University is the way to go.

Teenagers tend to have many motivating factors and take it from my experiences, parents don’t know half of them. What you can do, as a parent is to be their sounding board and work through the pros and cons of all options.

Remind your teen that people have gone to both apprenticeship and graduate routes and they have enjoyed themselves. So, ultimately it boils down to individual appetite; plus of course appetite for a student loan if they go to Uni.

As for me, both my elder daughters chose the university route. One had a gap year and the other went straight from school. They both had enjoyable experiences. They called the shots!

Will it be the same for your teens?

We can’t answer that for sure, but we can say is that they deserve to make their own choice. It’s great for you to talk it through with them, but leave the decision for them.

Growing from teenager to young adult is a fun stage in life for young people and they come face to face with some big decisions. As they grow, us parents grow too and we become aware there are far more options available to our children than we realised. Help them to choose wisely!

Let’s raise the next generation for success!

From my heart


What do you think? What worries you most about university or apprenticeships? How do you help your teen with these big decisions? Share your thoughts with us in the comments box below!

DG smallDonovan Grant is a people development expert, seminar leader and writer who brings his wisdom as an IT professional for over 20 years to coaching clients from the stages of career struggle through to career freedom. He is a committed leader who believes that we get more growth, satisfaction and happiness at work when we are doing what we love.



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