Everyone who watches The Apprentice knows the capricious whims of the bosses.
One minute Lord Sugar is commending someone on the British version, next he’s firing them. Donald Trump, Apprentice executive producer and boss of the original US version (now US president, of course), could turn on a dime from yelling at someone to congratulating them.
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The Apprentice candidates are really put through the ringer.
The Apprentice has had no less than 28 different versions shown right across the world. The longest running versions are the UK and US. However, there are versions of the show currently ongoing in the UK, Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
But what does the average Apprentice winner look like? We’re looking at the general profiles of each of the winners to see if we can find any common ground between them all.
We’re going to focus on English-language versions of the show, since we’re an English-language site and, in general, there is a reasonably similar culture across these versions.
The versions we’re focusing on are UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
So far there have been 42 winners of the show, including celebrity and junior editions. In terms of the gender breakdown of winners, it’s pretty split down the middle. 19 of the winners (44 percent) around the world have been female and 23 have been male.
Clearly, for The Apprentice, at least, business women are smashing through that glass ceiling.
If you discount the spin-off versions, things look slightly less rosy for women. There have been 22 English-language versions of the main series. Only nine of those series have been won by women.
Still, at around 41 percent, it’s not too bad for equality. Still, as ever, men are just slightly more likely to win than women on The Apprentice. It is reality TV after all.
Surprisingly or perhaps unsurprisingly, given his track record with women, Trump’s US version of The Apprentice had the most female winners out of any of the worldwide versions with 57 percent.
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The UK’s Lord Sugar had 42 percent female winners.
Terry Serepisos in New Zealand picked zero female winners (but then again, he only had one series before being cancelled.) 50 percent of winners on The Apprentice Ireland picked by Bill Cullen were women. And finally, the Australian version with Mark Bouris picked zero female winners (but again, only had one zero before transitioning to The Celebrity Apprentice.)
Speaking of The Celebrity Apprentice and the rest of the spin-off versions, if you include those, the Irish version has produced the highest percentage of female winners at 60 percent.
However, despite all this, overall you’re more likely to win The Apprentice as a man.
There is no upper age-limit on candidates, but every viewer can clearly see that The Apprentice favours younger contestants.
Maybe that’s because they have more potential, or maybe they’ve just not had their energy crushed out of them yet. But what is the optimal age to be an Apprentice winner?
Well, the average age for a winner across various editions of The Apprentice around the world is 29. The youngest ever winner was 23-year-old Andrew Morello on The Apprentice Australia. The oldest ever winner was 37-year-old Kelly Perdew on The Apprentice US.
However, while 29 is the average age of winning worldwide, different regional versions of the show have different average ages. Notably, American winners are a lot older than their global counterparts:
Australia The Apprentice average winner age: 23
UK The Apprentice average winner age: 27
Ireland The Apprentice average winner age: 30
US The Apprentice average winner age: 33
New Zealand The Apprentice average winner age: 34
Again, the New Zealand and Australian versions only had one series, so that skews things a little.
Plenty of UK fans of The Apprentice will tell you that Lord Sugar seems dismissive towards university educated candidates.
Whether you went to Oxford or not is of no interest to Sugar, he only cares about business.
But how much does pre-Apprentice work experience or education determine the candidates chances?
Like gender, this one is split right down the middle. Of the 25 global Apprentice winners, 13 went to university and 12 did not.
Again, the US was an outlier here. Every single winner on the US version went to university. On every other version aside from the UK one, none of the winners went to university.
The UK version was the only one with a mixed bag, 50 percent went to university, 50 percent did not.
Overall, the number of seasons of the US version swings it slightly. Overall, as a global contestant, 52 percent went to university.
In conclusion, ideal The Apprentice candidates are…
Well, lo and behold, as it turns out The Apprentice is actually a pretty fair show.
The average winner’s age is pretty much the same as the average contestant age. The average there’s no decisive average background. Even gender, which shows the most variation, isn’t massively skewed towards men.
We did this research to work out who was statistically most likely to win on the upcoming series of The Apprentice UK, but unfortunately, we can’t say.
In fact, if these results show anything, it’s that The Apprentice is actually a valid reality TV show. It really is about the contestants who prove themselves, not a specific profile.