In the modern world, a lot of young people are conditioned to believe they should follow a specific life path. After making your way through the various school systems, you leave that level of education at the ripe old age of 18. From here, society dictates that you should go to university and get a degree. Indeed, doing something different is almost frowned upon – particularly by parents. This is ironic, considering most parents didn’t go to university themselves, but that’s beside the point!
The point is that everyone believes they need to go down this route after leaving school. Traditionally, getting a degree was seen as the only way for people to get good jobs. This is probably why parents encourage their kids to do it; they think it is the only way for their child to find a job that pays well and sets them up for life.
However, there’s a debate as to whether this traditional approach and concept is still worth believing or following. Are university degrees needed to get a well-paid job? The answer is not as simple as you’d hope, but we can explore the possibilities for you…
Look at the job requirements
Before you decide if you should go to university or not, take a look at the requirements for jobs that you’re interested in. Do they all state that a degree is essential? If they don’t, you may wonder why you should fork out all the money to go to university, when your career path doesn’t technically require a degree.
In situations like this, you’re better off focusing on obtaining all of the essential requirements that the job demands. For instance, this could mean getting a certain level of work experience. Here, opting for apprenticeships can be a smarter life decision than getting a degree. In terms of how to avoid student debt, this is a smart move, but you also gain qualifications and work experience that are just as valuable as a degree – if not more so.
Similarly, many jobs may present you with degree requirements, but also have an equivalent qualification that they’d accept. Again, in this scenario, it could be more cost-effective to get the equivalent qualification instead of going to university.
Consider the costs and inconvenience of a degree
Following on from the previous points, it’s worth looking at the costs and inconvenience of getting a university degree. You’ll be tens of thousands of dollars in debt unless you get a scholarship or somehow manage to fund your degree by yourself. Furthermore, you have to dedicate three years of your life to this degree at least. In some cases, it might be four or five years before you graduate.
If you don’t get a degree, you are free to use your time as you please. This can mean you build up three or four years’ worth of work experience in an industry, starting at the bottom and growing into your role. You could be at a company where, in five years’ time, you’re more equipped to be promoted to a bigger role that you wouldn’t have achieved if you went to university and got a degree.
The point is that it can sometimes be better to focus on getting yourself on the career ladder rather than spending many years trying to get a degree that might not land you in the same place.
Some careers need degrees
Having said all of this, some careers are impossible to get into without a degree. Every career in the medical field will require years of training and a degree. Many other healthcare careers are similar, so it depends on the job you’re looking to get. In these instances, you often get a degree and find work straight away. So, there are exceptions to the rule that dictates you require a degree to get a job.
In conclusion, you don’t technically need a university degree to get a well-paid job. A lot of people end up in student debt but don’t get a great job after university. It all boils down to the degree you’re looking to get. Make sure that it will be worthwhile as it can help you get a job that you wouldn’t be able to get without a degree. Or, consider degrees that open you up for many different roles and jobs. For example, marketing degrees can be useful at helping you find all sorts of different career options in this field. Also, degrees that make you take a year out from your studies to spend time working in your industry are beneficial as you get the work experience.