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How many years is it going to take before 18 year olds realise that going to Uni is only worth it for about 20% of people

(157 Posts)
Hammy02 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:18:38

I went to an old poly and wish I hadn't as it didn't make much difference to my career prospects. DP went to a 'proper' Uni and earns about 60K so it was worth it for him. All I did was waste my time. Many students will now be racking up such huge debts that it will hugely impact their future. AIBU?

gorionine Fri 19-Aug-11 10:21:45

I think you are wrong. You think you wasted your time, fair enough but it is not a good enough reason to put people off (even more than fees already are) what if their prospects are better than yours wre did you find that 20% from (genuine question as I never asked myself how many was uni worth going to for).

fluffles Fri 19-Aug-11 10:22:11

i think it depends if there's another option - where i work all the admin assistants have degrees... i can't see anybody getting in except as a cleaner or perhaps security guard without a degree... not that the degree is necessary but if most candidates have one then they're going to win over somebody straight out of school as at least it's some evidence of being able to self-organise and meet deadlines.

gorionine Fri 19-Aug-11 10:23:01

should bwe a ? between you ande where(wre somehowblush)

scurryfunge Fri 19-Aug-11 10:23:48

My DS wants to go to work after A levels and save up for fees in the future if he still wants to go to Uni later in life.
I don't want him wasting the early years of his life that will not make him more employable. (DH and I are both 1980s graduates and I never thought I would be saying this).

sniffy Fri 19-Aug-11 10:23:52

No you're not. The whole Uni thing is deeply depressing. Young people scrabbling round for places on useless courses. I include myself in this . ) formerly young)

Meanwhile I can't get a bulider to do a small repair to my broken patio.

I'm off to read the daily mail

janelikesjam Fri 19-Aug-11 10:24:05

I think its a waste of time pretty much now that everyone goes it doesn't even mean you're bright! Also, higher education has become very safe as well as expensive. Unless we are rich or my son is very academic or highly motivated I will advise him to do Open University while deciding/working towards something he really wants to do.

2shoes Fri 19-Aug-11 10:25:09

for lots it will just be a 3 year skive and no job at the end of it,

janelikesjam Fri 19-Aug-11 10:25:17

sniffy, funny. hope your patio gets fixed.

catgirl1976 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:27:32

YABU - It's a great experience. I don't think it greatly improves your career prospects unless you do something vocational (law, medicine, engineering) but it is still great fun and a great life experience. Just because you feel you wasted your time isn't a reason for others not to go.

2shoes Fri 19-Aug-11 10:29:11

oh I thought it was supposed to be about hard wok, so now I know it is just fun, makes me understand why the government have upped the fee's

cazzybabs Fri 19-Aug-11 10:31:56

It depends upon what your view of uni is for? People might not get a well paid job at the end of it and will end up in debt... but (a) they will increase their independence (b)learn new skills (c)meet a wider range of people then they otherwise might and (d) have some fun

It is not like there is massives of jobs out there anyway .. may as well keep them out of trouble

catgirl1976 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:33:32

Realistically a degree does not improve your career prospects unless you have a specific career in mind which requires a degree like medicine etc.

So yes - I think it is more about the wider life experience and not the career tbh. It was for me. My degree has no bearing on the career I have now - I would have this career and this salary with or without a degree. But I got a lot more out of going to uni in terms of life experience and will encourage my DCs to go regardless of fees.

Fluter Fri 19-Aug-11 10:34:49

No, there are too many people going to Uni. And I say that as a former A-level tutor who was told to push them all into applying whether they liked it or not and someone married to a Uni lecturer.

Can I find a decent joiner? Can I hell.....

Both of us (and we have 4 degrees and 2 professional qualifications between us) would discourage our children from going to Uni unless it was to study something sensible with a career in mind, rather than because everyone is going.

I used to advise students that if they didn't know what they wanted to study, to forget it, get a job and go later on in life when they do know, rather than apply for "Combined Studies (in nothing specific or useful)"

Ephiny Fri 19-Aug-11 10:35:44

I don't think getting a well-paid job is the only good reason for doing a degree. Some people do one when they retire, after all, so there must be other motivations! Some, like me, give up a well-paid job to go back to university smile

I do agree people should think carefully about whether it's the right choice for them though, and examine why they want to go. Especially now with fees being so high. It's silly to go just because your parents expect if or because it's just 'what people do' or because you can't think of anything else to do.

Mandy2003 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:37:38

I agree with janelikesjam. I am pretty sure that my DS's research, concentration and literacy skills are at the same level as many 18 year olds' and he's 12.

But when he's going into the jobs market at 16 I hope he gets the chance to prove that he's at the same level as the graduates by doing some form of aptitude test. I hope employers start going down that route rather than only letting people through their doors that have degrees.

catgirl1976 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:39:20

We don't rate graduates over those with work experience at my company mandy. In fact - we won't touch recent graduates with a barge pole. We like them to have some "real world" knocked into them for a couple of years before we take them on, so your son would be fine with us.

cricketballs Fri 19-Aug-11 10:40:59

whilst I agree to a point that as so many people attend uni now it has devalued a degree; it is also about the experience. I am going to encourage my ds to go (if he wants to) and not to worry about the cost etc as he has the rest of his life to get a job!

reallytired Fri 19-Aug-11 10:44:09

I find it depressing when employers ask for a specific degree. It makes changing careers virtually impossible. It also makes life hard when you get made redunant in your thirties. The increase in tutition fees makes it impossible to retrain.

I had a good job before my son was born in a subject relevent to my degree. I am now unemployed and my degrees are useless.

nocake Fri 19-Aug-11 10:44:19

Unfortunately the previous government decided that as many people as possible should go to uni and get a degree because..... well, actually I don't know why. It's a stupid idea.

Not everyone needs a degree. For most people having a degree is pointless and does nothing to enhance their career prospects. In fact three years out of the job market can reduce their lifetime earning potential. I have always worked alongside, and doing the same job as, people without a degree. They've got their via a different route but they are earning the same as me.

Of course the traditional accademic subjects don't suit a lot of people now going to univiersities so instead they offer degree courses in vocational subjects, which really shouldn't be degrees. A qualification in stage management is an excellent thing to have if you want to work in that area but it shouldn't be a three year degree course that results in you starting work £20k in debt.

If fewer people went to university, and everyone else got vocational qualifications relevant to the work they want to do, then funding would go further and students wouldn't have to pay.

Hammy02 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:44:46

Unfortunately, as so many students are getting 'A' grades, it is very difficult to see which students are exceptional. The same applies to the students themselves-not their fault though. I did my A-Levels 20 years ago and went to one of the best schools in my city and only 2 students got all A grades. They were exceptionally bright and both went to an Oxbridge college. Shame this distinction is all but gone.

Fennel Fri 19-Aug-11 10:45:47

I agree that many students seem to be rather uninspired and for them I'd say it isn't worth going. If you aren't interested, don't waste everyone's time. I do think that being interested and wanting to study a subject in depth for 3 years is a good enough reason to go to university even if you are never a penny richer for doing so (there speaks a philosophy graduate grin).

I loved my time at university, degree and phd, DP also loved his 6 years of full time study. And for that I will encourage my children to go if they have the urge, whether or not they are naturally brilliant or just so-so at their chosen subjects. and whether or not it makes financial sense, or makes them more employable.

Expansion of the mind, widening of the horizons, it's worth every penny to me.

GeraldineAubergine Fri 19-Aug-11 10:46:04

My parents wanted me to go to uni after a levels. Instead I dropped out of sixth form got a job and moved to London. I went to uni at 22 to study nursing as it was what I really wanted to do. I just didnt have a clue at 18 so it would definitely have been a waste on me.

Ifancyashandy Fri 19-Aug-11 10:47:07

I think it's sad that we've lost the 'education for educations sake' ethos. A degree doesn't have to lead to a specific career / income bracket - expanding your brain and knowledge can be the required end.

usualsuspect Fri 19-Aug-11 10:48:59

I think until employers and some parents take vocational qualifications seriously and stop thinking they are second best there will always be too many people applying for university

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