With the increased costs of going to university many students could well be wondering whether it is worth it any more (or was it ever really worth it!). Stories coming from large number of graduates struggling to find employment within their area of expertise and having to settle for less than desirable career path, and with ever more alternative routes being developed, is it still worth getting a degree?
Is it true that there are so many graduates these days that employers are now looking for work experience? What about the additional burden of long term student debts hanging over individuals? Is a degree from a second rate university worth the paper it’s written on? With all these issues being commented on and discussed regularly in the media and around you, you could well be feeling that the payoff of going to university just isn’t worth it any more.
The fact is, there is no right or wrong answer to this question and it largely depends on you and what you are looking for as an individual.
Arguments for going to Uni
There are lots of reasons why it is still worth going to university.
1. Graduates generally do earn more than non graduates, so in the long term, you are statistically more likely to improve your earning prospects by going to university
2. Going to university is not just about the qualification you get at the end of it. The whole experience of going away, becoming independent, meeting people from other parts of the country and making new friends from different walks of life, should not be underestimated and it can be a life changing experience. It could broaden your horizons
3. What about the debt? The way the student loan is structured, the amount you pay back is based on how much you earn. You will never be in a position of paying more than you can afford as repayments stop if you are not earning.
Arguments against going Uni
1. Many people find themselves going along with it because everyone else is but one just understand that University is not for everyone. If you are not academically minded and don’t really have an interest in further study, do not allow yourself to feel that you have to go because everyone else is. There are worthy alternatives such as apprenticeship schemes
2. Not all careers need a degree and some have on the job training pathways. If it is a vocational career you are interested in pursuing then it might be worth looking at all the options. Remember that some of the country’s most successful businessmen such as Richard Branson and Alan Sugar did not go Uni
3. Do not go to university just because of the social life. Getting a degree is hard work and this is often overlooked. You hear people talking about how they’ve only got 6 hours of lectures a week and go out partying every night, but that is because it would make boring conversation to hear someone saying, I wrote a 2,000 word essay and went to bed at 2am. But it has to be done, so don’t kid yourself that getting a degree is easy.
The answer to whether university is worth it is something only you can decide for yourself. Take a long hard look at why you want to go to university and what you hope to get out of it and then you can start to work out whether it will achieve those things for you.
Nazrul Hoque – 01 December 2019