Why you don’t need a degree to be successful in the construction industry

Jack Cook explains how, when he left school, he was sure that going to university wasn’t the choice for him. An apprenticeship in the construction industry has led to a career that he is super proud of – and he’s here to show how this could be the perfect choice for others, too. 

At Go Construct we help to champion the diverse industry of construction, and showcase how much of a rewarding career you could have. Here is just one of many stories of those working in the industry.

Jack Cook, an apprentice

Obviously, degree level qualifications play a big part in training some very important roles in our industry, such as architects and civil engineers. But when I left school, I was very sure that completing A-levels and attending university full time wasn’t the route for me. I feel I can highlight through my career path that you don’t necessarily need a degree to be very successful in the construction industry.  

When I left school just under 9 years ago, I joined the construction industry through the apprenticeship route, undertaking a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship with F. Parkinson Ltd. After completing this apprenticeship, I was employed by my still current employer as a full-time joiner. Whilst working as a joiner on site, I was afforded the opportunity from my employer at to also undertake an HNC level qualification, which would then help me to progress in the future to a professional role working in the office. 

After working for a short time in the office, my company offered me a role as a trainee estimator, where I was put on a training plan to hopefully progress into the role of an estimator. After completing this training plan back in 2019, I have since been working as an estimator for F. Parkinson; the same company where my journey started as an apprentice back when I was 16 years old.

Even though I completed a higher-level qualification following on from my apprenticeship, to this day I still haven’t and probably never will complete a full-time degree at university. Even though I don’t have a full degree to my name, I have formed a great career from being an apprentice joiner when I left school, all the way to now being a construction estimator where I price million pounds worth of work every year. 

Furthermore, if you speak to or look into many professional leaders within our industry, there will be many who have never completed a degree but are still filling some of the most important roles within the construction industry. I take great pride in knowing that the managing director of my company F. Parkinson came through the apprentice background himself, and that fills me with great confidence that if I keep working hard, that one day I may be able to take up a similar role.

I hope this highlights that you can be successful in the construction industry without always needing a degree. All you need is to do the simple things in the first instance; turning up on time, listening, and working hard every day. Do this, and I can guarantee you won’t go far wrong in creating a wonderful career for yourself in the construction industry. 

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I am always happy to try and help inspire next generation through my role as an estimator and a G4C member.

Many thanks for reading, 

Jack Cook

Twitter – @jcook95 

LinkedIn – Jack Cook