Mentoring vs Tutoring: Which Is the Best for You?

When it comes to deciding if you need mentoring or tutoring, read this article to see which would work best for you.

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Confused about the difference between mentoring and tutoring? You're not alone. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are in fact two very different things. This is a problem many students are facing, particularly up-and-coming graduates. When it comes to finding which one is right for you, many factors need to be considered before making your decision.

That’s why throughout this article, we will be discussing the benefits of mentoring and tutoring, the key differences between the two and when you need a mentor vs when you need a tutor.

Benefits of Mentoring

Mentoring can be defined as when an individual (the mentor) shares their knowledge, skills, and wisdom with another individual (the mentee), to help them progress and develop both personally and professionally. When it comes to mentoring, there are many types, but today we will be sharing the benefits of traditional one-to-one mentoring. The benefits include:

• Mentors offer advice - Having a mentor means that the mentee can gain advice. Having someone to talk to, offer advice and feedback is a crucial part of decision-making, mentors have been there and have the t-shirt so know exactly what advice to share with their mentees to ensure they thrive and reach their goals.

• Skill development - Mentors are a great way to upskill. Mentors can help their mentees enhance any skills they already obtain or work alongside them to help them develop new skills to meet their goals.

• Greater professional development - Mentors know the steps their mentees need to take, to get where they want to be. Working with the mentor allows the mentee to gain insider advice on how they can reach their goal and help minimise any challenges they may come across.

• Improved networking opportunities - Mentors are typically individuals who have been in their industry for a long time and have built up a large list of networking connections throughout their career. Mentors can help mentees gain new connections by introducing them to their network, which can improve the mentee's chance of gaining new opportunities.

• More motivation - Mentors often make their mentees feel motivated and inspired to accomplish their goals. Having someone to encourage them and provide them with the right support is highly motivational.

Benefits of Tutoring

Tutoring is one of the oldest methods of teaching for academic purposes. Tutoring can be defined as additional academic support and assistance, to help an individual learn specific skills or lessons. Tutoring typically occurs in one-to-one meetings, depending on the needs of the student. Tutors can help with a variety of things such as improving within an area of academic study and learning new skill sets. When it comes to tutoring, many benefits need to be discussed for you to decide if tutoring is the right thing for you. Some benefits of tutoring include:

• One-to-one learning - Tutoring means that each student gets individual attention, thus allowing tutors to easily understand their learning style and adapt their teaching methods to each student.

• Improves attitude towards learning - Having a tutor makes learning more fun, it encourages students to participate in learning, removing any feelings of stress and frustration.

• It increases academic performance - Tutoring helps students prepare for tests, exams and academic assignments. Whilst tutors typically work with their students to focus on specific problems and challenges, academic performance will be improved with the help of a tutor.

• Self-confidence is improved - Through tutoring, students see an increase in self-confidence. This is due to tutors helping their students and providing them with the skills and resources they need to excel academically.

• Encourages self-directed learning - Tutoring encourages the student to take initiative when it comes to their academic work, also learning how they learn best and what methods are best suited to their needs.

Tutoring vs Mentoring

Mentoring and tutoring are two terms that are thought to be similar, but there is a difference between the two. Mentoring is all about forming a trusting relationship, whereas tutoring is more focused on the subject matter.

A mentor is someone who typically provides feedback, advice, and guidance to their mentee, in comparison to a tutor who is there to provide academic assistance with a specific subject matter.

When it comes to mentoring and tutoring, there are some similarities and differences that we will be discussing throughout this article.

• Tutors and mentors both aim to boost the confidence and well-being of the individual.
• Both can be done visually or face-to-face.
• There are different forms of mentoring and tutoring, which means the individual can choose what method works best for them.
• They both offer support and guidance.
• Mentors and tutors want to see the individual they are paired with thrive.
• Both have expertise in a specific subject.

• Tutoring is more academic-focused, whilst mentoring offers a more varied range of support.
• Tutoring is traditionally more informal compared to mentoring.
• Mentoring is longer-term, due to the relationship aspect of mentoring being an important factor in the process.
• Tutoring sessions are typically more structured, in regard to timescale and processes.

When You Need a Mentor vs a Tutor

Now you know the differences between mentoring and tutoring, let’s talk about when you need a mentor vs when you need a tutor. Mentoring is differentiated from tutoring due to being more relationship-focused, compared to being a service. If you’re not sure whether you require a mentor or tutor, keep reading to find out.

When You Need a Mentor
• Mentoring is a great choice if you are looking to develop professionally.
• It is perfect for helping you achieve personal and professional goals.
• If you are looking to gain advice from someone within the same industry as you.
• If you want to be more motivated and inspired.
• Mentoring is great if you want to change career paths or are wondering how to get started after graduation.
• If feedback is important to you from a professional, then mentoring is a great way to receive it.
• For recent graduates looking to gain deeper insight into the professional world.

When You Need a Tutor
• A tutor is an excellent choice if you need help academically.
• If you want to develop your learning technique If you struggle with concentration when it comes to academic studies, a tutor is perfect for you.
• A tutor is good if you want to learn about a specific subject they specialise in, for example Maths.
• If you're falling behind on academic work, a tutor can help relieve the stress.


There are many reasons why you may seek a mentor or tutor, but the final choice is down to you. Either way, a mentor, or tutor is interested in helping you develop and thrive, whatever the subject matter. Mentoring and tutoring are both great ways to help students succeed and are both incredibly beneficial for the participant.

If you’ve read this article and decided mentoring is the right choice for you, then make sure to check out PushFar, the world’s leading mentoring and career progression platform. With over 80,000 individuals looking to mentor, or be mentored for free, you’ll be able to find a professional to help you get started within your career or advise you on meeting your personal goals.

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