Combining work and study can be a daunting thought as there is sometimes a preconception that balancing these two things can be a struggle. In fact, it can benefit you and create an understanding of how to approach working life, whilst still gaining qualifications that will stay with you forever.


This is a word that may frighten or excite any young person. Going into the working world from school or college can be tough and it takes time to understand what you want to be doing as well as who you work best with. It is common that young people don’t know what they want to do for a career… this is totally normal. If this applies to you, it’s fine. A lot of people get to their late twenties and are still unsure if what they are doing is what they really want to be doing. However, the experience they’ve gained over that period of time is invaluable and a lot of transferrable skills will be vital in any job you do.

Understanding a working environment can also take a bit of time. Without trying to sound patronising, it is completely different from the social construct of school or college. Getting to know the dynamics of the workplace can be tough and requires time to adjust. The working world is a whole new concept and you shouldn’t be putting pressure on yourself to be fully understanding straight away.


Now, you may have a better insight to what studying can involve. If you have just left school or college, you may think, well why would I want to keep studying? If you like studying, there’s one reason. If you didn’t like studying in school, that’s good. Combining work and study is a completely different kettle of fish!

An apprenticeship, for example, allows you to work pretty much full-time as well as a day/couple days a week where you will study. However, this studying isn’t sitting in a classroom in silence writing down what’s on the board. This will be active learning that can be applied almost instantaneously. Being able to test the theories you have been taught in a working environment can help you understand why and how things work, as well as allowing you to use your own initiative.

The studying part must not be overlooked. It is crucial for your future and to help you advance through the ranks in any job. Qualifications show that you are both willing and able, which any employer in the world will want to see. Even when you are in a job, let’s say 20 years down the line, you can always learn more and gain a new qualification to open new doors.

Studying whilst working can be tricky and requires dedication, as well as the the ability to organise and prioritise. The benefits are hugely rewarding if you get this right. Gaining qualifications that can be used throughout your life, learning transferrable skills, understanding a working environment and a point that mustn’t be overlooked: networking. Getting to know people and making friends is invaluable. Socially, it is extremely healthy to like who you work with and also from a future perspective, they may be able to help you out one day and vice versa.

How Can You Apply Working & Studying?

You have several options that all contain both the working aspect and studying:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Degree Apprenticeships
  • University Degree
  • Work Experience
  • Internships

All of these options have their own benefits and depending on who you are, more attractive than others. Some people may prefer getting paid, working and studying, in which case the apprenticeship route would be best. Some may prefer the university lifestyle and full-time educational dynamic, so a traditional degree route could be more desirable. Work experience and internships may be for people who are looking to build a repertoire of experience in multiple roles to see which they prefer. No matter what route you take, be under no illusions that combining both work and study is easy… however, it is incredibly beneficial for you short & long term.

If you are interested in any routes that combine work & study, check out what opportunities Pearson College London have.

Also, visit the Not Going To Uni website for information, advice and opportunities.