Set aside everything you think you know about apprenticeships. Often considered in the context of high-skilled trade careers, such as plumbing, construction, welding, and mechanics, apprenticeships abound in a much broader swath of fields. Today’s apprenticeships are offered in industries ranging from information technology, financial services, and consumer banking to healthcare, insurance, and higher education.
Apprenticeships empower you to reach your full potential and guide you toward a successful career path, all while paying a fair market wage. They jumpstart your career through critical on-the-job training. Additionally, in economically challenging times, apprenticeships offer stable employment and the strong likelihood of a full-time job after completion.
Instead of waiting years to begin their career journey, most apprentices are fast-tracked and starting a full-time job within about six months.
What is an apprenticeship and who is it for?
Simply put, an apprenticeship is an accelerated career path connecting you with today’s most in-demand jobs. It’s a paid job in which you gain industry-driven, in-demand skills and experience through on-the-job learning. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are currently 600,000 active apprentices and 27,000 registered apprenticeship programs across the country.
Seeking onramps to in-demand careers, apprentices are paid to gain the skills and experience needed for entry-level jobs in technology, business, software development, and financial services. For some, an apprenticeship is an alternative to a four-year degree. For others, it’s the starting point for their post-high school education.
Apprenticeships are designed to fast-track motivated, hard-working individuals into permanent roles within America’s largest companies, such as Accenture, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Microsoft, and Wayfair. Ninety-two percent of apprentices retain employment after completion of the program.
Structure and expectations
Think of an apprenticeship as a full-time job where your core responsibility is to learn everything you can about your chosen career for a set period of time. It’s hands-on experience with a paycheck.
YUPRO Placement apprenticeships, for example, are 26 weeks long and apprentices work approximately 37 hours a week earning a market wage during the entire program. YUPRO Placement also offers benefits, including health insurance, professional mentors and social care resources, and provides apprentices with opportunities for online learning that results in industry-recognized certifications.
As with any job, you’re expected to show up on time, complete the work you’re assigned, seek feedback, and commit to the full apprenticeship journey. The pot of gold in the end is a job where the average starting salary is approximately $50,000.
What should you look for in an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship prepares you for a real job in the real world, but a great apprenticeship takes it a step further. Look for a program that provides strong support, mentorship, and career coaching throughout your program. Your experience should be one of acceptance, encouragement, and patience, not judgment, detachment, or apathy.
Of course, life doesn’t stop just because you are an apprentice. Family responsibilities, illnesses, transportation issues, and other personal struggles can impact your availability and mental wellness. Look for an apprenticeship that offers flexibility and access to resources in times of need. A strong partner will show compassion and help you work through difficult times.
Seek to understand a program’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). You’ll want to understand the composition of their board and senior leadership ranks, as well as their plans for increasing DEI at those levels. Additionally, ask how they support DEI at the mid and entry levels. For example, do they offer mentorship programs? What about career coaching and social care resources? Do they pay fair market wages and offer health and wellness benefits?
Finally, inquire about the apprenticeship program completion rates and full-time job placement rates upon program completion. You want to know the likelihood of a real job with career progression at the end of the program.
At YUPRO, 90% of apprentices complete the program and land a full-time job!
What is the value of an apprenticeship?
Skilled workers are desperately needed in the workforce—right now! But those without four-year degrees are often overlooked and face barriers to employment. An apprenticeship can break down barriers and send your resume to the top of the pile.
An apprenticeship will help overcome gaps in employment, position you for the next step in your career, and recession-proof your resume. Wage-based apprenticeships also provide you with financial security while you learn. At YUPRO, apprenticeships earn an average of $20 per hour while gaining legitimate work experience with an organization that values diversity and welcomes different perspectives.
Start forging your career path
Your skills, your life experience, and your unique perspectives matter. You deserve success, growth, financial stability, and a career you’re passionate about. An apprenticeship can be a stepping stone to that and more.
An apprenticeship could be the life-changing, career-building opportunity you’ve been searching for. Start your career journey today!