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Is University for me?
Is University For Me?6th August 2010, 14:26
That is the question, and is probably the most important decision you're faced with as you finish your GCSE's, A-Levels, BTECs or whatever it is you're doing at the mo.
First, to put you in the context of the article, a few years back the Government came up with an initiative to send 50% of all young people to university by 2010. Since then there have been complaints from all angles about the pressure to go to uni, how a degree is potentially being devalued and that having targets aren't the way forward.
Almost 1 in 4 drop-out of university. A huge number. notgoingtouni.co.uk has put together a little list of good & bad reasons to go and not to go to uni. We're not here to tell you what to do but we hope we can help you in your school leaver choices.
Why do people go to university?
To 'use' your degree.
Other than government initiatives there are a whole load of reasons why people go to study at university. The first and most important reason is that certain careers require an honours degree as part of the route to becoming a professional in that chosen field. A typical example would be becoming a doctor or dentist.
Many students believe that holding a university degree makes them more employable and earn more money. This is reflected in many employers targeting their recruitment to the graduate market.
The student lifestyle
Students are stereotyped as being all-drinking, all-partying, never going to lectures and staying in to watch Deal or No Deal. Whilst this is all good and well, many people go to uni just for the lifestyle and no intention of working. However, a lot of students who fall under this category end up dropping out or find it difficult getting a job at the end of it. Everything in moderation...
Societies and clubs
Whether you're a budding chess player or a master debater, universities generally have a variety of clubs and societies to get your teeth into.
Even if someone is unable to be self reliable at first, character building is something they can potentially develop during their stay at university . Going to university presents an opportunity to have a more diverse life experience given the worldwide audience that university attracts.Â Meeting new people from a vast range of cultures and sharing in their own experiences is normally great towards personal development.
To move out
However, not all situations are favourable as to why people choose to go to university. Moving out and away from home can be one of them. The situation at home may not be amazing, perhaps to the extent which someone feels they need to leave home, going to uni being the quick and easy solution to escape.
Because 'everyone' else is going
It may seem that 'everyone' is going to uni and by going you won't feel left out, but in reality you'll probably find people do a whole range of different things. Uni can be the easy route in some respects and many chose to follow the crowd, and no-one's blaming them; it takes a great amount of confidence to do something different, yet can be even more rewarding. notgoingtouni.co.uk is here to say you don't have to go to uni to be a success and there are great alternatives, whether they're debt-free degrees, A-Level trainee schemes or apprenticeships.
Lately there has been an increased amount of students who decide to go to university because they do not know what to study, without any focus, and just don't feel ready to work. This is also something that notgoingtouni.co.uk was created for in the first place. To engage you in thinking seriously about your futures to help you make a better informed decision.
Why do people not go to uni?
They are many reasons why people decide to not go to university. Quite simply, some people choose to go into work straight away, earn money on a full/part-time basis and build their career and work history from the moment they finish their GCSEs, A-Levels, BTECs, NVQs or whatever it is they did previously. Of course not everyone takes to education and some choose to get out at the first opportunity.
As of late a very topical reason as to why students and parents in particular are not keen on university is the on-going economic crisis where we see unemployment rising on a daily basis. Logically many must be thinking; can I get the job I have been studying for? The graduate market was already an oversaturated one to begin with even before the economic meltdown had begun. With the two in the mix, job prospects are becoming realistically harder in many sectors of employment.
Interestingly as reported above, there are many who decide to go to university because they do not know what they want to do, but on the other hand, the obvious selection that not going to university is advisable where one does not know what to do is held by many as well. This is a perfect opportunity for young people to reflect on their future whether it be through a gap year or by obtaining some work experience to help the decision process.
One of the most significant reasons why people choose to not go to university is because they are already aware of the alternatives to university which are available to them. Normally these perfectly valid alternatives to university are just unknown to many to are deciding to go, or have already gone to university. Usually, these valid alternatives to university prove to be more cost effective in following the desired route to becoming a professional in a chosen sector.
These alternatives normally consist of NVQ incorporated apprenticeships which allow candidates to learn through study and practice of the chosen profession, which in some instances can prove to be a benefit over 3-5 years of undergraduate study, because many undergraduates have a change of heart after the first or second year of study realising that they should have studied something else or drop out of university altogether. In addition to apprenticeships, there are specially designed subject specific courses which will lead you towards studying for professional exams and therefore bypassing university.
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