I am in charge of my future

Anonymous - Posted: 8th of August 2010

Alternatives to uni

So you are thinking about not going to uni. Congratulations! You have just proved that you can think differently. Contrary to what the masses may say, university really is not the only path to success. From apprenticeships to debt-free learning, there are literally thousands of other opportunities out there. The notgoingtouni team are here to help you find the ones that work for you.

Notgoingtouni is about giving you the advice, inspiration and tools to make an informed decision and start building your future.

The myths
Before making any decision, you need the facts (not the myths):

You need a degree to get a good career.
This is simply not true. There are of course a number of careers like medicine that do require a degree. However you can become a solicitor through the ILEX scheme or an accountant through the AAT both routes can be quicker and cheaper than university!

A degree makes you more employable.
Most employers are looking for the same thing some relevant experience and a good attitude. Relevant work experience is the biggest challenge graduates face when hunting for their first job. While they have spent the last three years in a classroom, vocational students have been working in industry, gaining valuable experience and proving themselves to prospective employers. Who would you rather hire?

Graduates earn higher salaries.
There is a general perception that graduates always earn higher salaries. Again this not true. A couple of recent surveys have shown that both apprentices and graduates are likely to earn approx £100k more across their lifetime than those who have not chosen either of these routes.

Everyone goes to uni.
It may feel like everyone is going off to uni, but there are plenty who choose the alternative routes. The truth is the majority of students DO NOT go to uni. Everyone has different goals and personal situations (otherwise the world would be a boring place) and what works for one may not work for another. Be very sure it is what YOU want and being pressured into it could prove costly!

Vocational learning is for people who do badly at school.
A vocational education is about learning on the job, rather than in the classroom, and in many cases it is the preferred way of getting into a career. Vocational learning is for anyone who wants to start their career and earn while they learn; and that covers all sorts of people, not just the ones who were keen to get out of school. In 2010 approx 280,000 students started an apprenticeship scheme 45,000 more than the previous year......

Now, the facts
Some more things for you to consider:

Almost 1 in 4 people drop out of university
Sometimes people go to uni because they feel it is expected of them. That is one reason why people drop out of uni; others are losing interest in the subject, lacking focus, missing friends and family, underestimating the study involved, or not being able to afford it.

On average, students are now graduating with a debt of £25k
In addition to rising tuition fees, students have to pay for accommodation, living expenses, books, transportation and more. The whole package can get expensive, quick. Do you really want to start your working life £25k in debt.

Not going to uni now does not mean you cant study later
Uni may not be an option now, but that could change in the future. Maybe you need a year a two to save money or figure out exactly what subject you want to study. Entering uni with focus and determination can be a good move.

Want a Degree but not uni
Look at distance learning it is flexible, cheaper, you live where you want, study when you want, etc

If you are not going to uni now what?
Take the next step by browsing through the site to see apprenticeship vacancies, A-level training schemes, courses and other opportunities. We have over 200 case study videos! see what careers take your fancy.

This is the first few steps on your journey so take your time, make an informed, decision do your research, and whatever you choose be positive and enjoy the experience.....

If you have specific questions, get in touch with our advisor.

notgoingtouni Hall of Fame

Loads of people find success without going to uni, this lot have done quite well...
* Jamie Oliver
* Simon Cowell
* Bill Gates
* Steven Spielberg
* Sir Richard Branson
* Coco Chanel
* Tom Hanks
* Steve Jobs
* Ralph Lauren
* Quentin Tarantino

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