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Is it really worth going to Uni?

by David Stitt

For most people leaving school after the sixth form with A levels or IB finished, the expectation is still that they will go to university.

In the “good old days” of free tuition and a plentiful job market for graduates, heading off to uni was definitely the smart thing to do, but does it still make so much sense?

If you are preparing for a career as a doctor, lawyer, engineer or another profession that requires a degree, then obviously you must go to uni to achieve this.

But what about the majority of you who don’t have a clear career path? Is it really worth the estimated £56,000 average debt (estimated on graduation in 2015) that it will take to get your three year degree?

When you graduate in 2015, is it likely that the economy will be boosted sufficiently to provide you with a choice of job opportunities…? I don’t think so.

Far more likely is that the economy will be much the same, or worse, than it is today…most of the “experts” are saying we are in for another 5 – 10 years of doom and gloom.

So if you don’t really know what sort of job you want in three years, and you don’t fancy a £56,000 debt, you would be better off trying to get a job now, as a school leaver. Sure, you will have to accept a low entrance wage, maybe even a 3 – 6 month unpaid internship, but you will be building experience and a credible CV, and you will begin to find out what it is that you want to do, simply by realising what it is you maybe don’t like doing!

“Hold on, hold on”, I hear you saying…”what about the fact that I have been studying in one form or other for almost 15 years now without a proper break. If I am not going to uni I need a holiday!”

Quite right! You could tell the bank of Mum and Dad that you’ve got a great deal for the bank. Instead of applying for a huge loan to help keep you fed, watered and accommodated for the next 3 years, how about a short term “loan” (read gift), so that you can have a well deserved break and go off travelling for 3 months. Upon your return, you will apply for jobs!

Or, better yet… ask the Bank of Mum and Dad for a short term loan to help you get started in Australia on a CV boosting trip that will see you working and travelling around OZ, paying your way by working as you go! Now that’s a plan. When you get back to the UK, employers will look kindly upon the fact that you have developed yourself by working abroad.

And, in three years when the students graduate, broke and worn down by study (!) you will be living the working life, with experience, a steady salary and you will be ahead of the game.

Now that sounds like a plan to me…

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