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Thinking university not worth it?

(95 Posts)
Meekonsandwich Fri 31-Mar-17 21:42:25

AIBU to think going to university might not be worth it?

Okay, so I've always wanted to go to university. Because I was the first person to get a levels in my family, first woman to drive and I'd be the first person to go to uni too.

I applied when I was in college and got rejected from 5 universities all over the country.
I left it a few years and worked and applied again this year. Getting my place at a local university (yay!) For a completely different subject but something I'm passionate about.
At first I was thrilled. It's what I've always wanted.
But now I'm having doubts.
1. It's over £40,000. I know you don't have to pay It back If you don't earn enough but Jesus.
2. the course I applied to I can only find one career path for and that would be a teacher. Maybe possibly a social worker but I defo wouldn't want to do that.
3. I watched my friend graduate from her useless degree and now shes a waitress.
4. Everybody these days has a degree.
5. I could continue in retail and work my way up.

But. Will I always be stuck in rubbishly paid retail jobs if I don't get a degree? There's a wholemarket of jobs out there who want graduates of ANY subject.

If teaching sucks (just like any job does after a while) at least I'll be on more than minimum wage and I'll be making a difference? And have a career and not just a job?
Is uni really a life changing thing that broadens your horizons or is it a waste of money?

Ahh!! I'm stuck! And I need to apply for finance so I need to get a wiggle on. I've emailed the uni to see if there's any career path I haven't thought of.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Lingotria Fri 31-Mar-17 21:47:49

Before I tell you my story and possibly sway you, what is the degree in?

honeyroar Fri 31-Mar-17 22:06:24

I wouldn't go to uni nowadays unless you've got a pretty straightforward route from graduating to a well paid career. We had a Saturday job girl who was all set up for going to uni when she got offered an apprenticeship with a water company. She took it and earned £12k a year for three years while being trained and lived at home. While her friends have just graduated with loads of debt she has a good job, bought a car and saved almost enough for a flat deposit. I know who's shoes I'd choose to be in..x

SmilingButClueless Fri 31-Mar-17 22:07:28

You might be surprised what career paths are open to you. A lot of graduate jobs just require a certain degree classification, not a specific subject.

Teabagtits Fri 31-Mar-17 22:10:12

I'm old fashioned but uni should be about more than getting a job. It's about learning something you love and experiencing life. None of my jobs have been related to my degrees but having a degree certainly helped me get the job. I studied a worse than useless but highly academic degree at first and I loved every minute of it but it was never going to help pay the mortgage. Don't underestimate what a degree can do for you - it's how you choose to use it at the end that counts not necessarily what it is in.

user1489179512 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:11:04

Do it. You won't regret a thing.

Haffdonga Fri 31-Mar-17 22:11:29

can you tell us the subject? Makes quite a difference to how 'worth it' a degree is.

But I still think any degree is worth it for the life experience. The 3 years I spent doing a degree (that I don't use in my job) have had a far bigger effect on my life than any other 3 years I've lived.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Fri 31-Mar-17 22:13:48

The Government is moving away from a degree as mandatory; the emphasis is now on useful vocational qualifications. Hence the introduction and active marketing of proper apprenticeships.

I'm curious what your chosen course is.

foxyloxy78 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:14:22

A degree broadens your horizons and your mind. It expands your thinking, challenges you. I certainly don't regret my two degrees and have formed a good career since.

notgivingin789 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:19:14

I don't know OP. The degree I graduated in, you didn't need a degree to get into the job. Now you do, I was very surprised.

It seems like a lot of jobs are asking for degrees now, not because they think that potential applicant with the degree would be better (well some may think that..depending on the job) but it's to cut down the amount of applicants applying for that one job. e.g 2,000 people have applied to this one job-- they all have amazing skills but they need to cut it down, so they cut down the people who don't have degrees, they cut down the people who have a degree but haven't ended up with an upper second class degree, then they cut down the people who do have a degree and an upper second class but don't have the relevant experience or not much and vice versa.

I would get the degree while you can, degree courses are becoming incredibly expensive as the years go by and it would come to a point that only the mega mega rich will obtain a degree.

That's my theory anyway.

MortalEnemy Fri 31-Mar-17 22:25:03

I'm a bit concerned about your post. I'm also the first member of my family to finish school, and go to university, but I don't think that's a good enough reason in itself. Also, did you have poor advice that you were rejected from five universities when you first replied -- or was it just that you didn't get the grades predicted? But you didn't try clearing? And a few years on you've applied for a completely different course locally? Is it a well-regarded course? You just don't sound either particularly sure, or particularly committed, and that's not a good mindset to start a degree in.

What would you like your life to be like?

Obsidian77 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:32:13

As a slightly older student who knows what it's like to work full time and who has made a careful and conscious decision to study a specific course at a specific uni I think you would be at a real advantage over other students. You'd have a lot more maturity and life experience and would probably get a lot more out of the course.
Also, if you do go and it's really not for you, you have something to return to if you don't continue your studies, in which case you wouldn't accumulate the 40k of debt.

SparkleSunshine201 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:32:49

Do it, as pp said, a degree opens up so many doors for you. Many employers don't view a degree in a specific subject as mandatory, a degree in any subject shows determination, commitment, and the ability to see a project through to the end. All attributes that speak favourably about your character.

I don't mean to be rude, but you must be living in a bubble if you think "everyone" has a degree now. That is simply not the case. Being able to have going to uni as an option is a very privileged position to be in, and not something everyone has access to.

I don't use my specific degree in the job I have now, however having my degree gives me so much confidence. It's a great boost to your self esteem to reflect that you were able to see the course through to the end, work hard and complete it. No one can take that away from you.

HeddaGarbled Fri 31-Mar-17 22:35:07

I too was the first person in my family to go to university. For me, it was the best thing I ever did. I met people I would never otherwise have met, was exposed to ideas and ways of thinking and living I would never have known about. It opened up opportunities to career paths that I would not otherwise have had and, to this day, opens doors that without the degree would not open as easily.

But you do need to do your research. Your friend working as a waitress is not the only person who has invested in a degree and found it didn't lead to a career. Research the university and the degree and the percentage of those graduates who are in degree level employment. This data is published.

user1484750550 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:36:09

Don't go.

Your heart's not in it.
You don't sound interested.
You seem to have talked yourself out of it before you started.
You got rejected from 5 unis. (My niece got accepted by all 5 of hers, and so did quite a few of her friends. All of her friends got accepted by at least 3, so getting rejected by all 5 does not bode well.)

My niece finished her degree 3 years ago, and is working for a television station now on £40K, and living in a flat in London, and has travelled to a dozen different countries with her work... Going to uni was the best decision of her life. Another girl who got the same degree is working in Costa and still living with her parents.

So how well you do, depends on the luck of the draw, combined with good contacts, combined with ambition, and hard work.

Sorry OP, you do NOT sound committed. Don't bother.

Crumbs1 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:36:27

Good research to,show graduates earn more than non graduates but money really isn't the whole picture. You are more likely to be doing an interesting job, to,have better career prospects and to broaden your outlook on life. Grab the opportunity!

Lingotria Fri 31-Mar-17 22:40:24

@user My brother got rejected for 5 unis only got 1 offer. He had 5 A stars at AS Level. Got a 1st Class Hons in his degree. And is now the youngest boardmember at a pharmaceutical company and is also doing cutting edge research. More than 1 acceptance via UCAS doesn't mean shit.

user1484750550 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:47:45

@user My brother got rejected for 5 unis only got 1 offer. He had 5 A stars at AS Level. Got a 1st Class Hons in his degree. And is now the youngest board member at a pharmaceutical company and is also doing cutting edge research. More than 1 acceptance via UCAS doesn't mean shit.

@lingo

Stop being so pedantic.

So being accepted by only one uni - or none - is better than being accepted by all 5 you apply for?

Don't talk such nonsense. Of course it isn't.

So your brother did well (supposedly) after being turned down loads of times by various unis, but that doesn't mean it's better to be turned down by all 5 you apply for than it is to be accepted by them all. What a daft thing to say.

user1484750550 Fri 31-Mar-17 22:50:34

What's more, the OP is clearly not interested in going, and has already talked herself out of it. Probably why she was turned down by all 5 unis she applied for. Her lack of interest probably showed in her applications. PLUS it's not just your grades they look for. There's much more to it than that!

Lingotria Fri 31-Mar-17 22:51:04

Ok will tell you my story. Got 10 A-A stars at GCSE. Didn't do A Levels to care for siblings and get a job. Worked in warehouses, retail, anything really. Then I got a job in customer service at a bank, worked the job for years, then exploited an internal opportunity in financial analysis in my early thirties. Within 5 years I was earning double that of graduate friends and colleagues who were my age (these were people with top red brick uni degrees - Oxford, Cambridge, LSE etc). Within 7 I was earning more than my peers. I am now studying my MBA.

But if I could have cut down the time it took for me to get here I would. Retail can be soul-destroying if you don't enjoy it. And I know for a fact that someone with ANY degree can go into financial analysis they just need to be interested in the topic and have a way with data visualisation.

Lingotria Fri 31-Mar-17 22:53:16

@user Most students who apply for medical school are lucky to get 1 offer let alone more. Really depends on the ambitions of the applier. Anyone can get 5 offers if they apply to shit unis or micky mouse courses

ExplodedCloud Fri 31-Mar-17 22:59:09

There was a thing about degree equivalent apprenticeships on The Bottom Line on Radio 4 some months ago. I listened to it and came away thinking it sounded like a really good option.

cuckooplusone Fri 31-Mar-17 23:02:55

A lot of graduate jobs don't need a specific degree, it justs demonstrates a level of intellect etc. For example, I studied history, thinking at the time that I would go on to study law afterwards. I actually got a graduate trainee job as an accountant and did a further 3 years of exams to qualify. The average salary of a newly qualified accountant now is about £42k.

I think that if you really want to get the degree then go for it and see where it takes you, it's definitely worth it. If you don't want to do it, then that's OK too. But make the decision for the right reasons.

user1484750550 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:03:02

@lingo

I 100% disagree with you. And you are actually coming across as very rude now. You and the people you know have obviously had different experiences to me and my family and friends.

EG my niece had 5 offers from 5 universities that are all in the top 20 in the country. Sorry if that doesn't fit in with your theories and assumptions!

Just because your brother and other people you know got rejected quite often, don't assume that someone who got 5 offers got them from shit universities or for 'mickeymouse courses.'

You sound quite bitter and spiteful, especially with the demeaning of certain degrees. I know someone who finished a so-called mickeymouse degree 5 years ago, and is now working for a massive international company on £50K, at the age of 26.

user1484750550 Fri 31-Mar-17 23:04:24

I was simply giving my opinions to the OP, and the nasty and rude comments about certain degrees are totally out of order...and very rude.

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