Have you been pulled from your dream University?

As many young people are currently in turmoil over their A-level grade reductions, there will be a vast number of people who were looking to go to University who now may have to wait for clearance or find themselves unable to go at all. This post is aimed at those who were wanting to join a design orientated course and currently facing this uncertainty.

I’m Kyle and I run Breaking Free Design, when I finished college I was told that I either needed to get a job or go to University, with heavy influence on attending University. I was told by my career guidance counsellor that apprenticeships were really only for those leaving high school and for the hands on type. I was the first of my family to have the opportunity to go to University, which made this option feel even more important. As a designer I was led to believe that the only real option was to go to Uni and study design, grades permitting.

So I did…
I got into The University of Leeds, I met some great people, I spent three years learning some aspects of design I’d never come across and theory from a range of different sources. Then I got out into the real world. I learnt that all of my practice meant nothing when compared to someone with real world job experience. I learned I’d never learnt how to make something for a client rather than a tutor, I learnt that the tools I’d used weren’t always the industry standard, I learnt that coming second out of 100 didn’t offer a runner up prize. While I was playing at design, my competitors were out there, working in the real world under design apprenticeships.

It’s more important to be experienced than to have a piece of paper. Work on your craft; if you can’t find paid work then intern for as many hours as you can afford to, but always make sure you gain something for it. If you aren’t being paid with money you need to make sure you’re paid in experience. A good intern program will give you industry insight you would never have learned at University.

If you do decide to go to University, look for a sandwich course that offers one year of job experience or take a year break to work before going back. That experience is invaluable!

Take a look at some of the links below for more information, but get to google and look for apprenticeships in your favourite creative sphere. If like me you are the first of your family to have the opportunity to go to University, make sure it is actually the best option for you and not just the best sounding.











Breaking Free Design

Breaking Free Design are a graphic design, logo design and website development agency operating in Huddersfield. If you need help with your business goals then talk to us today.


  1. Rory on August 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I hear a lot about schools being incentivised to push kids through university, this plus family pressure over a number of years selling the uni dream from a young age, plus not really knowing what career they want can effectively make the decision to go to uni without considering other options and leave them devastated if they don’t get in or go to their choice uni. It’s a lot to deal with in this situation at this pivotal point in their life, unsure of what they want to do and to go against their school and parents and the all too common script of ‘you’ve got to go to Uni to get a good job’. With the extortionate fees universities are charging I’m glad people and employers are starting to destigmatise apprenticeships and internships but there’s still more work to be done

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