Is Going To University The Be-All & End-All?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

I often get asked: “Is going to university worth it?” and usually, the answer to that is not always a straight-forward yes or no.

Going to university and graduating is a major milestone in your educational journey; but your career afterwards may take some time to get going. There are great benefits of going to university – you gain a degree, whilst gaining some independence and picking up skills. However, one of the long-term disadvantages are the fees you have to pay (and never end up paying it all).

Many people feel that by going to university and gaining a degree, that it’s the main path to see success in your career; and many people would still argue that.

When I was applying for university in 2011/2012, university was seen as the ONLY path to success. Of course, with that, comes the pressure of having to go and complete a course. There were other options at the time such as apprenticeships or just finding a job and getting lucky. However, if you wanted to find a great job, university was the path for you. This also depended on the sector you wanted to end up in. I was an IT student at the time.

Sometimes there is a pressure; whether it be from family or seeing other people get to university and achieving. You feel like you have to match them. I wouldn’t recommend that, as everyone’s path is different – but try telling my 18-year-old self that ten years ago.

I’ve seen people go to university and quit in the middle of it. That is completely fair. If something isn't working, make a change to get better or change it completely.One piece of advice I always give to people is, if you’re going to get a degree, remain committed to it. If not, you must have a back up plan. Anything you choose to follow, remain committed to it.

University builds you as an independent person, personally and academically. You’re no longer chased by teachers asking for your assignments, and you learn how to use resources to teach yourself – something you’ll do a lot when you begin your working life.

One thing I thought university would guarantee would be work after your degree. That’s not always the case; I waited just over a year before taking on my first internship. Some students will definitely find opportunities early on because of the sector they’ll be working on. Some people feel that if you’re going to pay excessive fees for a course, you should at least be guaranteed with a job afterwards. You then face the option of going for a masters degree. More money.

I also felt that universities would prepare you for life after graduating; you often leave with a sense of feeling lost on what the next steps are.

Speaking for myself, skill-wise, you learn a few modules that are fundamental to your degree and pick up the necessary skills, however, there are also some modules you pick up and skills you learn that you’ll never actually use. Sometimes you look back and think: “what did we actually learn during that time?” Me and my mates usually ask that question. Again, this is solely my point of view.

Most of the skills I’ve picked up have been on the job in my career to date.

There are advantages of your degree. You now have a qualification which you have capped off your educational journey with and you deserve it. Education is a long and challenging battle, so it is important you reward yourself for your efforts. You also join a pool of other candidates who have gained degrees, and you can build connections.

There are specialist agencies available that help place new graduates into graduate schemes and jobs once they graduate. I was fortunate enough to be in touch with agencies that were very helpful. With the right attitude and skill-set, your degree will only boost your chances of landing a new job.

The debate about whether university is beneficial or not, will go on, and every person that has a degree will give you a different answer. Of course, times have changed too.

There are many ways to see success in this day and age. If you feel a degree is beneficial to the goals you’re trying to achieve, then go for it. Whilst you’re at university, build connections and utilise resources. If you don’t think university is the path, don’t panic. There are many, many options available to you now. There are opportunities to get into work, whether that be apprenticeships or internships. There are online courses available now you can get a qualification for.

Many people are also taking the entrepreneurial route and starting their own business. Learn some skills on the side, and build your portfolio. Don’t feel under pressure to make any rash decisions. Take time out to think what is best for you. Your decisions in your career are yours, and yours alone.

University is a great option, but it doesn’t answer all the questions.


Submitted: January 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RichAfrifa. All rights reserved.

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