With many students beginning their university journey next month, you might be questioning whether higher education is right for you. Sure living on a diet of pizza for three years might sound appealing, but there’s a lot more to it than that and this journey isn’t for everyone.
What’s more, there are other alternatives to university which can also enrich your knowledge and propel your career in exciting directions. So if you’re undecided, read on to find out the top reasons why an alternative to university could benefit you.
1. Save money
According to Which? the average student debt after graduation is over £50,000. This figure is shocking, especially when many career paths don’t require you to have a degree. Instead, you will have the chance to save this money and avoid beginning your working life thousands of pounds in debt.
On top of this, you’ll be earning! So any money you make from work can be saved and put towards your future plans, whether that’s a house deposit, a car or travel.
2. Head start on working life
If you’ve had enough of education, this is your opportunity to get a change of scene. You can begin your career earlier, giving you more time to figure out what you want to do. You will be able to experiment with a range of roles and discover the type of work that you enjoy.
When you figure out what industry you’d like to work in, there will be opportunities to make your way up the ladder from an entry level job. Many recruitment agencies, for example, train up their staff from recruitment trainee consultants to be managers and go onto positions that are more senior.
3. Learn and train at the same time
Learning on the job is an invaluable experience. Apprenticeships should be your go-to if you want the benefits of working towards a qualification, while being able to learn practical skills and earn money.
The structure of these courses can significantly enhance your employability by showing that you understand the demands of a real work environment. In fact, in a survey by CV-Library it was revealed that 81.2% of professionals believe apprentices are key to filling the skills gap. Showing how this style of course is perceived positively.
These courses aren’t restricting either, with opportunities in a range of industries from media and engineering to finance. On top of this, you’ll receive a salary, get holiday pay and study time.
4. Opportunity to take a gap year
There’s lots of misconceptions about gap years, mainly that it’s a 12 month jolly in Thailand. While you can choose to jet off and explore the world, how you spend your year is ultimately up to you.
If you feel that you have a calling to travel or volunteer abroad there are many opportunities available to you. These experiences can be exciting and help you gain life experience, meet new people and learn new skills.
The most important take-away is to make your gap year work for you. After all, travelling isn’t for everyone. So others may choose to spend their gap year doing work experience in their industry of choice, volunteering in the UK or saving up money with a job. All of this can help you decide what career you might enjoy, give you time to prepare for it and boost your career prospects.
There are many alternatives to a degree which could all benefit you. Remember that you don’t need to go to university to land your dream job. Whatever path you decide to take, focus on how it can help you enhance your skills and gain new experiences.