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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?

noddyholder Mon 12-May-14 15:50:35

My sister is an accountant no degree hugely successful.

I think we're in a time of transition. In the 80s a degree was still a bit special in its own right and my profession was largely non-graduate. Then there was a brief time when the "top" 40% were going to university either free or with very manageable loans (in retrospect). At that point, there was a transition for traditional non-graduate office employers. They suddenly found that the calibre of post-A level interviewees had plummeted, because most of the teens with really strong literacy and numeracy were going off to university. In order to recruit those students you had to look at graduates - there were still a few academically solid teens left in the post A level pool, but not a large enough share for it to be worth the effort of looking.

When fees went up, employers were still stuck in their new recruitment paradigm. While jobs were scarce, teens were stuck in an awful Red Queen's Race where you have to have a degree not because it's useful but to compete against everyone else who has a degree. But as the cost-benefit equation for student changes, and when (if ever) the jobs market recovers, then I think the market for bright, literate, numerate 18 year olds who don't fancy university (at the current price anyway) will recover. The accountancy firms have started the move, and I know at least one MC 19 year old chap who walked away from a firm university offer at the last minute to start a solid office-based career.

I think your 13 year old's age is in his favour - his generation should be OK again with any luck.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 12-May-14 17:41:03

Quite a few of my A'level year left to go to Gradute Training schemes with Banks and retailers vs University. That was 25 years ago. As Aintnobody says above - I think those times will return. The cost of HE no longer equates to the value you can get from it unless you are doing specific, sought after degrees.

grovel Mon 12-May-14 18:19:19

I agree, Portofino.

I also think that employers are beginning to recognise that paying "graduate salaries" for (sometimes) little added value is a mistake.

BackforGood Mon 12-May-14 18:34:31

I agree with TheWordFactory on P1.
My ds sounds like yours - only he's doing his A-levels now.
If you don't want to do a practical apprenticeship (or, I believe there are some accountancy ones - but again, that's not for him) then most jobs that we could have got after O-levels, or certainly A-levels, now ask for a degree sad
So, although people will know the odd one who has done well without, then mostly I think you do need a degree to apply for so many jobs now which really don't need degree level study.

mummytime Mon 12-May-14 18:43:13

There are quite a few Advanced Apprenticeships around, maybe he should look for one of those. Admittedly they often involve studying for a degree part time whilst doing the job, but they do pay and there is real world experience.

BackforGood Mon 12-May-14 18:49:22

Can you point me in the direction of those mummytime - all we've found are accountancy ones.

lavenderhoney Mon 12-May-14 18:58:05

Interesting to hear views.

My cousin at 30 is a manager of a bank and she didn't go to college or Uni, and did v badly at school, got into the wrong crowd, married the local loser. Divorced at 19, dead end jobs. By 25 she was scorching through levels at the bank, did accountancy exams in her spare time, and showing an acumen, financial wizardry, and approach to the corporate world and leadership - she is amazing with staff and so grounded for a second i thought she had been possessed! She is also married again ( how did she find the time?!) to a wonderful man.

I didn't go either to college or Uni, and everytime I was promoted my job was advertised as graduate only. Whereas before anyone ( ie me) could apply. Seems very unfair to me, even now.

My uncle was a scoundrel and sent to SA to get him away at 24 yrs. He bought a disused mine from someone in lieu of his wages ( when I say mine I mean a crappy hole that hadn't been developed) and discovered precious stones. He is now very rich.

Late developers, in our family. I have loads of family stories like this.

senua Mon 12-May-14 20:21:35

BackforGood: have you seen the NotGoingtoUni website?

hidingmystatus Mon 12-May-14 20:46:10

The big accountancy firms are now taking a number of 18 year olds. Look into it.

MarianForrester Mon 12-May-14 20:50:06

DSS didn't go to uni and is very happily working in a bank.

I really think the main thing is that they do something and enjoy it, be it education or a job.

Momonga Mon 12-May-14 20:57:57

I went to college (studied art, my parents wanted something wordy, I think!) but dropped out when I was offered the job I'm currently in. Many of our interns currently here have either not completed college or haven't gone at all, however, and many workers/ex interns didn't go to college therefore.

BackforGood Mon 12-May-14 21:59:13

Thanks Senua - we did look at it when he was going through a spell of not wanting to go to University, but I've not been on it for a while as he's decided he does want to go and have been working through all that entails. However, come results day, I wouldn't be surprised if we might have to reappraise, so will bookmark it. thanks.

BigBirdFlies Mon 12-May-14 22:20:51

Dniece (early 20's) dropped out of uni and has a good job in the west end. Not sure exactly what she's doing, but money is reasonable and she's doing as well as her sister who graduated with a first from a Russell Gp uni. She was never really into academia but is bright and motivated by money.

However, it is harder for young people now to not go to uni. The richest person I know didn't go to uni, but he's ancient early 40's so my age.

kinsorange Mon 12-May-14 22:42:37

One thing that has not been discussed much on here, is working for yourself. Or entrepreneurship.

It did used to irritate me greatly with the Richard Branson/Alan Sugar types, saying you dont have to be good at school. Look what I have done. Or others always quoting them.

Not many imo will end up being RB or AS. That is not to say that it isnt an option for some, but not that many.

blueshoes Mon 12-May-14 23:31:57

If you are a non-graduate working your way up an office ladder, would you not get annoyed if graduates with no experience get taken on above you?

lavenderhoney Tue 13-May-14 01:03:55

People are expected to have a degree now. I have sat in interviews where the just out of Uni interviewer looked down her nose at me and enquired why I hasn't gone. As though I'd been in prison or something.

It depends what field you are interested in and what options Uni will give you realistically at the end.

I worked for one company who had a graduates only hiring policy worldwide. I slipped under the netsmile it was hell though, lots of 22 yr olds going on and on about Uni / big trip backpacking and completely unable to have any practical input to anything ( talk good theory though) as they really had no real life business experience. Or interaction with people who were older, or you know, hasn't been to Uni...

TheWordFactory Tue 13-May-14 09:37:07

I think also that there has been a cohort of students who really ought not to have attended university at all.

They achieved their school qualifications through a mish mash of modules and resits, the end results not really a reflection of their ability.

Universities were then forced to respond, to some extent, to those students...

We have, as a country, dug ourselves into a bit of a mire!

Perhaps the return of linear GCSEs, might help?

tiggytape Tue 13-May-14 13:24:56

The expectation now is to have a degree.

Those in their 30's and above who has made it without a degree may have found this a perfectly good or even preferable route to take in their career but things have changed massively since then.

Jobs that barely required A Levels 15 years ago now require degrees. Not because the jobs themselves are of particular graduate level but simply because half of all young people get degrees therefore this has become the minimum looked for. Where being a graduate was once a mark of someone who may be fast tracked, it is now seen as proof of being vaguely competent.

I don't think the changes or shift in expectation are good for anyone really.

noddyholder Tue 13-May-14 13:26:55

My dp is handed at least 5 CVs per week from graduates mainly for a job he is doing with a handful of O levels! According to him they are no more likely to employ someone with a degree than without

kinsorange Tue 13-May-14 15:13:08

What sort of job though?
A creative/arts one?

sharingeverythingtwice Tue 13-May-14 15:20:25

I'm 36 and doing a degree for the first time, as when I wanted to return to work after being a SAHM for a number of years, even the types of job I started out doing at 18 such as basic admin etc. had a requirement for more qualifications than I had. What's depressing is the degree is not going to get me any further up the ladder it just makes me able to compete at the bottom. Whereas years ago having a degree would have given you a jump up the ladder. I hope to goodness that I actually do get a job at the end of it all or I will be upset.

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