Do all MC children go to University?

(47 Posts)
MarathonFan Mon 12-May-14 13:08:59

I didn't. Child of teachers, does that make me MC?! Anyway my question isn't really about class, it's about aspirations I suppose.

I grew up "expecting" to have a good job. I joined a large corporate straight from school (much to my parent's disgust) worked hard, got on their management scheme and ended up in a pretty senior professional position. Most of the board and senior managers at that time hadn't been to uni either. They sponsored me to do a degree later but by that time it didn't really have any material effect on my career.

However, the same company and most other like it don't take school leavers today. They take 21-24 yo graduates into the position I started in.

It worries me because DS1 (13yo) is bright enough but not at all academic, also a bit young for his age and I suspect might be a bit late to apply himself, like many of the male professionals I worked with. They spent their 20s messing about and only really got into their careers in their 30s.

What are the options for today's school leavers if they don't go to University? Is DS1 destined to do dead end jobs forever if he doesn't go to Uni (more or less) straight from school?

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 12-May-14 13:29:21

There are more opportunities than there used to be to do degrees later on, by part time or distance learning. Or he could simply go as a mature student later.

MarathonFan Mon 12-May-14 13:35:43

Yes, there are lots of opportunities to do degrees later but are there graduate job opportunities for older graduates? There aren't where I work - they take young graduates, or experienced people from competitors. In my time you could get the experience by going in as a school leaver but that option is no longer there.

singaporeswing Mon 12-May-14 13:42:53

My DBro left school at 18 and worked.

He's just been offered sponsorship in Australia for a sales job. He's 22, set to earn a fortune and living in a new country.

It's possible, yes. I'm living in a country however, where you do need to be a graduate in order to get a visa.

It really depends what he sets his sights on.

TheWordFactory Mon 12-May-14 13:47:03

Lot sof posters will comeon to give you lot of examples of people who have done really rather well without tertiary education.

However, the reality is that the job market has moved to a place where many previously accessible positions now require a degree.

In many ways it's completely silly and unneccessary, but it is what it is.

Fairylea Mon 12-May-14 13:47:07

I'm not at all convinced that having a degree makes much difference nowadays unless it's in something like medicine, law or a subject you can teach in. (I'm putting on my hard hat as we speak).

I think considering graduates are amongst the largest group of the unemployed it shows that employers are often putting experience above degrees. I think there is absolutely every good chance for someone without a degree to be as successful as someone with a degree.

Dh and I are very middle class. We both went to university but left before completing degrees. Dh left because he suffered with a serious illness and I left because my gran developed terminal cancer and I became her full time carer while she died at home with me. I had a successful career in marketing as a senior account manager for many years before deciding I actually hated and chucked it in to become a sahm. Dh works full time in retail management. I doubt having a degree would have made a jot of difference in either of our situations.

My sil has a first class degree in biology from a well respected university and has been unemployed for the last 4 years. Not for want of trying...

Of course this is all just my own experience and others will disagree. But I really think unless someone has a very particular career path in mind like being a surgeon or something like that getting out there and getting experience is just as valid as having a degree now.

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 13:50:30

I think they do All my ds mates bar 2 have and none of them are doing medicine or engineering or anything job worthy! I also think its a waste of time in some cases as the £ is huge and degrees are 2 a penny. I know about 10 graduates and only one in work

MarathonFan Mon 12-May-14 13:51:39

Your career paths sound very similar to mine Fairylea. What worries me for Ds1 though is that those openings aren't there today (or are they?)

Don't most entry level marketing jobs go to graduates these days? Aren't the management schemes offered by the large retailers only open to graduates?

I absolutely agree that a degree is no guarantee of a good job but am starting to worry that there is no chance of a good job for today's young people without one IYSWIM

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 13:53:54

I think either way you have to be very motivated. And pro active.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 12-May-14 14:00:52

It depends how you define a good career really. There are plenty of apprenticeships available to school leavers nowadays (DS1 is 16 & we have spent many hours looking through the website). You only need GCSE's to apply & obviously, an apprenticeship is a good way of getting work experience, learning a trade etc.

Now, whilst these are great for people wanting to learn a trade (DS1 is going to college to do carpentry), whether you could get an apprenticeship as an Office Junior and work your way up to management level I really don't know. I would really hope you still can, but have been out of the office work environment for too many years to know if it is actually happening.

I was a MC child who didn't go to university BTW. My three siblings who did all earn vastly more than me now as a result, but that may be because they studied for professions (one is a Dr for example) rather than just any old degree.

Fairylea Mon 12-May-14 14:00:58

I understand what you're saying... but I think it's more of a grass roots operation in most retail companies now. Dh has worked in 3 major retailers and all of them promote from within very often from people who have started as Saturday staff as teenagers, then increased their hours to full time and then applied for management roles from there. Lots of retailers do have graduate schemes but there tends to be a lot of snobbery in that lots of the management actually prefer people who have come through the ranks as they know the roles inside out.

My ex also worked in retail management and started as a Saturday lad in sun care basically promoting sun cream and within 2 years he had become team manager for 17 staff. He is now an area manager. (He was a complete twat though hence the ex).

Dh is in his third management role but initially he just started somewhere 26 hours a week as a shop assistant because he was out of uni having left and needed some money and it had to be part time at that stage because of his health. Gradually he built up experience and went for manager roles.

Myself... Well I went down the office route. So I was receptionist, then they discovered I was pretty good at taglines and leaflets so they made me marketing Co ordinator. Then I applied for marketing roles elsewhere. Then I got bored and launched my own copy writing business. Bit of a disaster as I had no motivation on my own so I went to a marketing recruitment agency and did freelance work for a bit to build portfolio and then I eventually landed senior marketing manager role. Took me a while maybe (this was when I was 29).

I do think there are opportunities there to move into graduate type roles.. maybe it's just a case of building relative experience and developing contacts and references.

If he's not academic, then maybe a more vocational college course would suit him better. Or an apprenticeship. I don't think a degree is the only way to get on these days, but I think you're right that there are fewer opportunities if you leave school with just GCSEs, or even A levels. Some people do well for themselves from that, but they do need to be motivated, hardworking, really go for opportunities, and 'sell' themselves to their employer / potential employer.

And these days, with a higher proportion of people going to university, employers are likely to ask for all of that plus a degree, just because they can.

TheWordFactory Mon 12-May-14 14:40:24

noddyholder makes a very good point.

Having a deree is most certaily not enough in a lot of cases to accss decent employment.

And certain degrees are frankly access to nowt much at all and simply a way for the universities to put bums on seats.

That said, the job market for young people has shrunk dramatically, and those without an appropriate degree and the requisite motivation are floundering.

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 14:40:26

One of ds best mates has rapidly risen the ladder in M and S with no degree. They are all rather jealous of him I think! When they are home he is at all the parties etc so not really missing out as there is always one of them home and is the only one with money/car etc.

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 14:41:57

I think university nw is just the next step after school Children are still very dependent on parents etc and very much part of family life when back from what I see. It is not like when I went years ago when it was more like leaving home

Lilaclily Mon 12-May-14 14:51:16

Problem with apprenticeships is that 200 people apply for each one so very competitive where I live
& on £90 a week the teenager can't afford to move out
Or save to move out
Full time hours on £90 isn't a lot

MollyBdenum Mon 12-May-14 14:58:32

Non academic middle class children tend do non academic naice jobs with lots of cultural/social capital. They open cafes, or vintage shops, or become artisan cheesemakers or snowboarding instructors or yoga teachers or import interesting things from exotic countries or work with horses or gardens or flowers or work their up from a non graduate position in a friends business.

MarathonFan Mon 12-May-14 15:02:16

Oh dear Molly, he's doomed. We're not that MC!

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 15:03:44

Thats not middle class thats gentry

MollyBdenum Mon 12-May-14 15:18:16

No, it's, middle class, too. I'm from a middle middle background and non graduates I grew up with work in similar jobs to those. Also delivering the post which is less glamorous.

Non academic middle class teenagers generally have parents who are willing to fund training or a business worth a similar amount to the costs of university and a network of people who will support them in their ambition.

Leeds2 Mon 12-May-14 15:23:40

I think I have read that the big accountancy firms (in London, possibly other major cities) have recently started taking on 18 year olds, post A Level, to train as chartered accountants. Would take them longer to qualify than someone with a degree, and would require the academics at A Level, but would be an opportunity for a good job without a degree.

turkeyboots Mon 12-May-14 15:31:29

My Dad now only hires MBA grads for what was a graduate entry position 10 years ago and school leaver position 20 years ago. Expansion of higher education has just upped the ante.

kinsorange Mon 12-May-14 15:44:05

I agree with Molly. They have money to back them up, so can start businesses. If they dont work, they start a different one. They may work something out by the third.

And yes, to the working in a friend's or friend of the family's business. And all the other things that she mentioned.
Because they are a lot freer, money wise, they can bum work around for a while until they find their feet. Hopefully.

kinsorange Mon 12-May-14 15:44:50

I dont think that accountancy firms have even required degrees. They are one of the few professions that dont.

kinsorange Mon 12-May-14 15:45:02

ever not even.

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