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to wonder fis we should encourage people to do their degrees later in life?

(47 Posts)
NordicPrincess Tue 30-Nov-10 13:30:25

I have always found a bit silly to expect children of 18 to choose to a degree at such a young age. People change so much between 18-25, it can be expensive and difficult to retrain especiallly when you have got a loan for your first degree.

what do you think?

scurryfunge Tue 30-Nov-10 13:35:40

I agree. I am encouraging my DS to find work and some experience first in the hope that he can finance some of his degree if he chooses to do one in later life.

He is 16 now and I am hoping in 10 years or so, he'll have some savings, we will be mortgage free and there will be no more mickey mouse degrees in "pass the parcel" or "creative scrap booking".

thefurryone Tue 30-Nov-10 13:44:55

I don't think we should encourage all people to do their degrees later in life but I do think teenagers should be aware that university isn't a now or never choice that they need to make when they are 18.

Some are clearly ready for it then and make very sensible choices, and even if they do decide to change direction later in life that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have done their degree when they did. But others may get much more benefit by waiting until they have a better idea of what they want to do.

Bonsoir Tue 30-Nov-10 13:46:58

Gosh no, I think we should be getting our DCs through their education faster so that they can start earning earlier.

Ormirian Tue 30-Nov-10 13:48:38

Agree with you nordic. Crazy that kids are being expected to decide what they want to do with their lives at such a young age when all they really want to do is get drunk, get laid and find out about the world.

I did my degree at the normal age. Messed about, got a 2:2 and never used it again. Fast forward 23 years and I'd love to go to university and study for a new career. I'd be so much better at it now!

KnowNothing Tue 30-Nov-10 13:52:30

You're right. I didn't go to university as I was bored with education after 14 years of it. I knew I wasn't motivated and would have ended up with debt and nothing to show for it.

It would have been great to be able to go a few years later though, or actually even now at a ripe old 30-something age, I would LOVE to study again. But I have a mortgage, 2 DCs, a husband, yada yada yada, so not possible.

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Nov-10 13:55:00

I certainly think we should encourage them to think about what they want, and whether they know what they want, and then make a decision to go now or leave it a while. But 18yo are not exactly children, and may do know what they want. Also, a degree course is not "training" for a specific job, so they don't need to "retrain" if they don't use their degree subject - frankly they all need to be trained for a real job after they graduate anyway! University isn't job training, it should be about transferable skills, which they can then use in many different jobs.

LeQueen Tue 30-Nov-10 13:58:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 13:58:33

I did not go to uni. I am now 46 and have a BSc hons. Two post grad diplomas. Two masters and am finishing PhD. I have three sons and a husband. Go for it. You can do it. I have no regrets about leaving it this late. Just trying to work out what to do next!

PrematureEjoculation Tue 30-Nov-10 13:59:27

thing is, carving out three years of your life to devote to study when you are older is much more difficult - once you have kids to support and you need to either be looking after them or earning money to support them.
all credit to those Mners that do a degree and manage to do both though - it doesn't sound easy.

so nice in theory, but none too workable.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Tue 30-Nov-10 13:59:55

I agree - I was lucky that I took a gap year in between school and University (had my place waiting for me). As in that short period in the "real world" (ok 5000 miles away from the UK - but still living and working in the real world) I realised that my degree wasn't something that I had any real interest in.

Don't forget that they're most aren't 18 when they apply for University, some of them will barely be 17.

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Tue 30-Nov-10 14:29:32

I agree, too, even though I didn't want to go into the working world without that preparation.

I couldn't get a job in my field because I didn't have experience...

I would like to see some kind of experience scheme in the field that the degree will be in, so that the students get a chance to earn some money on the job (sort of like an apprenticeship) and then maybe some sponsorship from their employers to get the degree?

Flisspaps Tue 30-Nov-10 14:30:56

Open University. Recommend it to all.

FindingMyMojo Tue 30-Nov-10 14:33:25

I did my degree aged 30 - LLB. It was great to have to opportunity & it served me well, however I'm pretty sure I would have done better career wise if I'd done it younger - didn't have the opportunity or the head for it when I was 18 though. It's good to have options.

ragged Tue 30-Nov-10 14:37:23

I always wonder how respected OU degrees are. How do they compare?

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Tue 30-Nov-10 14:43:27

oooo ragged now you've asked the question that will ignite the thread grin wink

I think the actual "degree" is not as respected as much as a bricks and mortar degree. However, I have also heard it that said that because of the time and commitment it often takes (fitting around children, employment etc) to get an OU degree employers often view them in a good light because of that - as in "this is someone who will knuckle down and get on with the work we want them to do"

(if that makes any sense?)

thefurryone Tue 30-Nov-10 14:46:13

OU degrees are very respected, particularly as they tend to be studied by people who have a lot more going on in their lives than just studying so they can demonstrate a high degree of dedication to learning.

They do tend to send you a lot of course materials that give you everything you need to know for the course to compensate for not having access to a library, but it is harder to get higher marks, i.e. 85% for a first whereas you would generally only need 70% in a brick uni, and of course there are no lectures and not everyone can get to tutorials so overall I think it does balance out.

Overall having done both I would say that OU isn't easier or harder than brick uni just different.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Tue 30-Nov-10 14:51:50

by the way - by comments above about the OU are based on the general comments I have seen on MN about it at times.

2rebecca Tue 30-Nov-10 15:04:30

I agree for some teenagers. If you know what you want to do at 17/18 then there is no reason not to get on with it and faffing around with gap years seems pointless. You can do much year with a year off once you have some sort of qualification.
If on the other hand you aren't sure then spending a year or 2 doing some sort of job (if you can get one) whilst you decide seems much more sensible than half heartedly doing a degree.
You may decide you want to do something like joinery or plastering that needs an apprenticeship anyway.

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:24:59

As for it being hard when working and caring for children; you can take your time and sometimes studying alone is a real luxury in a busy full of noise life grin

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Tue 30-Nov-10 15:26:28

I thought I WAS sure what I wanted to do. I was really excited about it - until I started my gap year and I had other thoughts.

And I wasn't "faffing around" hmm

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Tue 30-Nov-10 15:28:05

dont - you can't take that much time with an OU degree - TMA's still need submitting on time, and you can't change the date of your final exam because it's too inconvinient.

Yes you can drop out for a year between courses (as I've done this year) and pick it up again later. But while you're actually studying you still have deadlines to meet

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 30-Nov-10 15:29:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:48:21

Baroqin (love the name!). Yes of course you are right about the deadlines and as an AL I would argue that they are an essential part of holding a degree On the other hand, I have some people who have really helped by providing flexibility when needed. The TMA deadlines are known at the start of the course on the whole so a bit of forward planning and moving things around (I did not always do the Units in the right order for example as when short of time I worked towards assessment rather than for learning as such) helped a lot.

Sorry I am a bit of an OU bore! And, to whoever asked about the value of the degree there are two answers. Named degrees are very well thought of on the whole as the OU materials and assessment are recognized as being excellent. The Open Degrees less so although in my experience prospective employers have greatly valued the commitment involved in studying alone.

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Tue 30-Nov-10 15:51:03

I still want to do what my degree subject was, but real life and reality has prevented me (and the fact i only got a 3rd...)

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