Although we are called ‘Not Going to Uni’ we are not anti-university, as some may imagine. Instead we are all about promoting the variety of post-school choices that are available – including apprenticeships, gap years, and jobs for school-leavers. Universities spend a lot of money promoting themselves and, when coupled with the idea that uni is the route to a great career (not always true!), poor careers advice, and teachers and parents often pushing pupils towards university, and it is clear why so many young people turn to UCAS without considering the full range of options.
However, with the rise in tuition fees back in 2012, more people are reconsidering whether university is worth the financial cost. This is especially true in England where many students are running up debts of £9,000 per year without a guarantee that they will get a decent career for their investment.
So, under what circumstances should you look to go to university? We can think of three that really stand out – career, lifestyle, and love of learning.
This is all about wanting to get into a specific career that requires you to have a degree to enter. If you find that your chosen career requires you to have a university degree, then there is no way around it – you simply have to go to uni. However, don’t jump to any conclusions, with many more industries and careers being opened up to apprenticeships, you may find that there is an alternative route into your dream job. Cutting out the need to pay fees while getting straight into your chosen career will not just save you money but also time, plus there are degree apprenticeships where you will end up with a similar qualification anyway! It’s always worth checking out your options – including checking whether your career is open to apprenticeships. Plus, there is no guarantee that you will get the job you want even if you graduate from university!
Much is made of the ‘university lifestyle,’ and for many their time at university brings many memorable moments. There is the fact that you may be moving away from home for the first time, getting some newfound independence, and meeting new people. This is all great if that is what you are looking for, but there are also the downsides to think on – such as not having a lot of money! There is also the fact that you will be going straight from college to a similarly academic environment. For some, this is too much and they decide they would rather go into work or alternative training. It all depends what you are after, but there are pros and cons to the ‘university lifestyle.’ Besides, you have to keep the cost in mind – not just of tuition – but also how you can afford to live without earning a wage!
- Love Of Learning
The last reason we can see for going to university is for the love of learning itself. It’s true that you may be able to learn from great tutors and have access to information, and resources that you would otherwise not get to enjoy. So, for example, if you love history, a degree will offer you the chance to explore this passion further, as if learning was your full-time job. Again, you must accept that you will pay for the privilege, and you might also wonder whether this couldn’t be explored cheaper in your own time, but certainly university can be a great environment for academic study if that’s what you are after.
Ultimately the question of whether to go to university comes down to factors such as what you want from the experience and whether you feel it is worth the cost. It is always worth exploring other options so that you can make an informed decision. Hopefully by checking out the blogs and maybe even seeking some advice from our dedicated careers advice centre you can make sure you make the right choice for you and your future.