Cadetship vs Apprenticeship vs Internship: Understanding the Differences

Published 15/02/2024


When starting a career, it’s usual to have a range of choices each providing a different set of experiences and outcomes. Here we look at some of the main differences between cadetships, apprenticeship, and internships.

What is a Cadetship?

A cadetship is a type of structured training programme used mostly in the maritime and aviation industries to prepare people for particular responsibilities within a trade. Cadetships, in contrast to apprenticeships and internships, frequently include an extensive formal schooling component.

Cadetships are common in fields where theoretical understanding and practical practice go hand in hand. For example, maritime cadets receive intense training that combines classroom instruction with real-world exposure to ship operations, both on land and at sea. This special combination gives cadets a comprehensive skill set that is necessary for success in their chosen field.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a full-time job with practical and theoretical training. Typically, an apprentice will split their time 80/20 between work and study. The principal objective is to cultivate a proficient labour force by furnishing individuals with practical experience under the tutelage of accomplished experts.

Apprenticeships serve a broad spectrum of businesses, encompassing both classic crafts in plumbing and carpentry as well as more contemporary fields like IT and healthcare. Apprenticeships are flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of educational backgrounds.


What is an Internship?

In contrast, internships are usually shorter-term and are designed to give students or recent graduates practical experience in a particular field. Interns work in an organisation to obtain real-world experience in the field of their choice. The focus is on using academic knowledge in practical situations, which helps interns advance their careers.

A wide range of fields, including business, technology, the arts, and sciences, frequently use internships. In contrast to cadetships and apprenticeships, internships are typically unpaid or provide stipends; the main perk is the invaluable experience obtained via the placement.

Cadetship Differences

Cadetship vs Apprenticeship

For anyone thinking about a career in fields that provide both options, knowing the difference between cadetships and apprenticeships is essential. Both require a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on training, but the main distinction is in the educational aspect. Cadetships provide a more structured approach to skill development by combining practical experience with a rigorous academic programme.

In the marine sector, for instance, cadets may take courses on navigation, safety procedures, and maritime legislation in addition to spending time aboard ships to obtain hands-on training. On the other hand, an apprentice in the same field can prioritise on-the-job training instead of the formal academic component, learning skills through direct supervision.

Cadetship vs Internship

Although cadetships and internships both introduce people to real-world job settings, the main distinction is in how long and in-depth the experience is. Cadetships are usually longer and more extensive, lasting many years and including both practical and intellectual components.

Internships, on the other hand, are more condensed and mainly intended to give a glimpse into the working world. Interns may be exposed to a particular function or industry for a few weeks or months, enabling them to determine whether it fits with their career objectives. Conversely, cadetships provide a longer and more comprehensive experience that equips participants for long-term success in their chosen fields.

Cadetship vs University

How do cadetships compare to a typical university education? The balance between theoretical knowledge and actual abilities is what makes a difference. Cadetships bridge the gap between theory and practical application by offering a more hands-on approach, while university education offers a strong intellectual foundation.

For example, in a university context, a student pursuing a degree in marine engineering may learn extensive information about ship systems. On the other hand, a cadet in the same profession would learn about these technologies in an academic setting and also obtain hands-on experience using them on real ships. Cadetships are a special kind of skill development because of the way that academic knowledge and practical experience work together.


Start Your Cadetship or Apprenticeship with UKSA

If you’re interested in pursuing a cadetship or an apprenticeship, you should look at the opportunities offered by UKSA. The UK Sailing Academy is well known for its marine cadetship and apprenticeship programmes, which combine practical training with top-notch academics.

Cadets also have the opportunity to undertake a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science during phase 1 and 3 of the Superyacht Cadetship, awarded by Plymouth University. This option provides additional career and training pathways into different sectors in the maritime industry.

Whilst the average debt for a University student in the UK can amount to £35,000 to £40,000, at UKSA students can earn while they learn. This ensures they are able to pay off course fees while actively working and training within the industry.

Aspiring marine professionals can start a path that lays the groundwork for a fulfilling career in the maritime industry by combining classroom instruction with real-world sea experience. Contact us for more information.