In fact, some our lecturers and team went to uni and had a great time but we also have people here who didn’t head off to uni. That said, it’s hard to ignore the pro-university bias that is promoted by many schools and colleges. There may be many different ways to get into your chosen career but if you are never told about all the options how can you make an informed decision about your future? With thousands of students going to, and graduating from university each year, in the interest of balance, here are five reasons why you might want to consider NOT choosing to go to Uni!
Plenty of people will tell you that it is a “good idea” to go to university even you don’t yet know what you want to do for a career – I mean what’s the harm in getting a degree right? The idea is that you get a qualification and give yourself three more years to make your mind up. But wait, hang on…let’s think about this. With tuition fees and student loans you are not ‘giving’ yourself more time so much as buying it! Besides, how can you choose a relevant course to study if you have no idea what you are going to do with the qualification when you get it? Instead, it might be worth taking some time to try out some different jobs and get some experience. You might want to consider looking at options for volunteering or doing work experience to get an insight into different job sectors. Or maybe take a shorter and less expensive courses to see how you get on. There is nothing to say you can’t then study later when you have a better idea as to what you want to do…
As we hinted above, the financial implications of going to university are hard to ignore. With maintenance loans and tuition fees to repay graduates are finding themselves with thousands of pounds of debt before they have even applied for their first job and let’s not forget, you DO have to pay it back! Are you willing to give up a percentage of your salary for the next however many years to pay it off? Plus there is no guarantee that you will get a great job when you leave university (despite what you may have been told), you have to decide whether the degree and the university experience is really worth such a large gamble?
You might, just might be one of the very few that relish another three years of lecturer once you finish your A levels but most people have had enough of classrooms, tutors and education in general. You might want a change of scene and to try something different, or maybe start earning some real money for a change? Maybe you’d like to look into courses that have a mix of study and experiential learning that really gets you doing rather than sitting and listening all day. There are plenty of jobs aimed at young people fresh from school or college, or you could opt for a mix of work and training by doing an apprenticeship. Learning in a working environment, while earning a wage, is different from sitting in class, and offers a more ‘hands-on’ experience.
This is a massive point for us here at The Event Academy. Spending three years at university before looking for a career in your chosen field isn’t always necessary these days. Sure, if you want to be a doctor, lawyer or rocket scientist – we’d recommend it. But what would you rather; spend a year learning, getting some work experience and then hitting the ground running or wait three years and then try and break into your chosen industry. You will have a two year head start on your peers and, in event management, it’s much more a combination of getting the right knowledge and connections to open doors rather than a piece of paper.
The really big elephant in the room that NO uni will tell you is that with thousands of graduates leaving university each year, there simply aren’t enough ‘graduate level’ jobs to go around. This means that many of them are forced to take work that they could have walked into with much more direct route – and all without the debts of tuition fees! Even the House of Common’s Education Committee admitted, “The blunt reality is that too many universities are not providing value for money, and that students are not getting good outcomes from the degrees for which so many of them rack up debt.” While there is no guarantee that you will get your dream job when you leave university, our students who do work placements tend to stay in work – often with the employer – once they qualify. Don’t forget your employer has a vested interest in your success. A university, by contrast will care about your grades to make themselves look better, but once you leave you will be going head-to-head with all the other graduates for that top job. So don’t get pulled in with the snobbery that exists saying you “must” go to uni, surely impressing an employer while you are already working for them is a much better direction?