‘Degrees open more doors’ and ‘apprenticeships are the way to go’ – your views on the university education debate

This year’s A Level results day has re-ignited the debate about whether university education or practical work experience is more important to get on in life.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 8:00 am

Sunderland Echo readers have certainly expressed a variety of opinions in response to our Facebook poll on the issue.

Many readers were in favour of work experience and some argued both were important.

Others suggested that it depended on the occupation individuals hoped to go on to.

What's more important? A university education or hands-on works experience?

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More than 1,200 readers cast their votes, with 87% saying hands-on work experience was more important.

Jimmy Winter said: “I came out of university with my degree and no-one will give me a job because I don't have the experience that people have by not going.”

Benjamin Taylor said: “Speaking as a graduate, I'd say hands on work experience is of more value. Plenty of graduates working in call centres, whilst people who did apprenticeships in trades earn more money.”

Graeme Collinson said: “Apprenticeships are the way to go. College and hands on experience. Invaluable.”

Celebrating A Level results day at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.

Moira Haig-Samater commented: “Both are an absolute necessity. Most graduates experience difficulties getting jobs because they have no experience and vice versa.

“My advice is to get as much work experience whilst doing your degree. Even if it's not what you want to do you will gain valuable transferable skills.”

Holly Rose James added: “Both. A degree opens more doors, but likewise most places will still expect you to have hands on work experience as well. Both are important.”

Simon Wareham said: “Both and more. Practical experience is equally as important as academic qualifications.”

Tony Isles: “Forty years ago university education got you on a path to greater job prospects and higher wages.

“Hands on just meant you could change your job easily for a few extra quid more, I guess it's very different today.”

Kev Allan said: “A bricklayer or plumber would get more out of hands on experience while doctors and lawyers need years of specialised further education.”

Sandra Harrison added: “If you want to be a doctor, the first one. If you want to work in a skilled trade the second.”