New reports suggest that vocationally trained students can be as much as £70,000 better off than their academic peers by the age of 21, facing better pay prospects and lower debts than those who go to university.
Experts at the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) argue that vocational courses can have distinct financial benefits in comparison to degree courses, with vocational students tending to be significantly better off financially.
Debt is a key factor in this, with the AAT estimating that average debts for a university graduate can be as high as £30,000. Conversely, vocational students actually earn while they learn, as well as paying considerably lower tuition fees in general.
Jane Scott Paul, AAT chief executive, said that while £70,000 is "a lot of money to anyone", this is especially the case for those starting out on their career.
She said: "A student's ability to climb the business ladder and earn is largely down to the individual and rising stars will be rising stars whether they go to college or university."
Research from Push in conjunction with Lloyds TSB speculates that average student debt is around the £20,000 mark.