Money may not be able to buy you love or happiness but, without it, life can be a struggle. While there is a lot of talk about finding a job you love, ultimately, for most of us, the purpose of going to work is to earn a wage. What exactly you choose to do for a living will depend on what you feel is bearable for the money you earn and with regards to the rest of the role. So, for example, you may hate doing filing, but feel you are able to accept that part of your job since the rest of your working day is fine and you like the people you work with. For some, money is more important so there are those who will chase a high wage whereas others will be more set on what they are doing each day.
Understanding your own motivations can be useful when trying to decide what career path to take – even when you don’t really have much idea what you want to do for a living. Do you want a job that makes a positive difference to people’s lives, do you want to work with your hands, in an office environment, doing something creative, or maybe you are looking to earn what you can as a priority? Weighing up what you like to do against what is available to you with the qualifications you have, and how much you will earn is all part of the decision of applying for work.
That said, qualifications can be important too. You will struggle to get into certain professions without the right qualifications – whether this is gained in Higher Education or with vocational training. But don’t assume that there is only one route to get where you want to go – especially with the increase in the range of apprenticeships that are available.
Money is not just an important consideration for when it comes to choosing your career, but it can also have a real bearing on your training too. Most obviously for many young people, is the need to think about how much university costs. Tuition fees and other costs (such as rent and day-to-day living, buying text books, travel, etc) can soon add up. Of course, you can borrow money for your fees and your living costs, but this will have to be paid back.
Stepping out into the world of work with thousands of pounds’ worth of debt may seem normal these days, but do you know what sort of situation you will be emerging into? Are you guaranteed to land a job that can see you repay that debt quickly (before it impacts other areas of your life like getting a mortgage)?
Sadly, there is no guarantee that a degree will bring you a great career, or even a well-paid first job, with many former students finding that they didn’t need their degrees for their job at all. For many graduates it is clear to see that going to university wasn’t worthwhile financially – although, of course, don’t expect a university to tell you this!
This could be compared to taking an apprenticeship which can offer a much better chance of going straight into work that you are qualified for all without the debt of going to uni. Not only does an apprenticeship make financial sense, but it will offer you skills that employers want alongside experience and a wage. Many employers are seeing the potential and benefit of hiring apprentices, who they can train up as they need to do a real job.
Plus, if you want to get a degree, you can even earn one on an apprenticeship without covering the cost of it yourself – surely that, if nothing else, makes real money sense right now and for the future of your career?