University – Is it worth it?

I occasionally find myself in discussions about University with friends, family and colleagues about whether or not it is worth going. After talking to a colleague of mine about my article, we actually had a pretty good debate on it one sunny afternoon. Spending ‘all that money’ on ‘a degree that most people won’t even use’ is one of the most common objections that I hear. Funnily enough, this is often said by those who haven’t attended, but it’s great to hear why people are for and against going.

Personally, I fall within that group of students who ‘doesn’t even use’ my degree. I studied for 4 years – a degree, a masters and a year-long internship included in order to pursue my 16-year-old dream of working for a professional sports team. Unlike many others, I was fortunate enough to achieve my dream. I spent three years working professional football, and now I work as a recruiter.

What a waste. 4 years! Numerous late nights (studying of course), £££££’s of debt, just to work in a completely different industry. I couldn’t disagree more.

My University years were not only some of the most enjoyable years of my life, but I also learned far more in these years than I have collectively at any point in my life. It was my first experience living away from home in a completely new environment. This in itself demands you to learn a whole bunch of living skills. Admittedly, 3 years does sound like a long time (16% of an 18-year-olds life, to be precise) but it absolutely flies by. Since the fees increased to £9000 a year, there is a stigma that it’s now become unaffordable. The repayment scheme actually favours the increased fees. Although the total debt is considerably higher, the monthly repayments are significantly smaller.

I personally (strongly) believe that without going to University, I would not be the same person, or be in the same position that I am now. I’ve learned numerous skills that I use day to day. I massively developed my soft skills. Being introduced to a number of people from different backgrounds and nationalities, contributed to me becoming a more open-minded person. I remember having to present in front of three others in my group, which at the time was an extremely daunting experience. In regards to education, although I can’t apply too much from the 3 years of lectures on Anatomy and Physiology that I sat through, I picked up a number of transferable skills, including being able to critically analyse literature, and various other writing and communication skills.

So, that’s my slightly bias view of whether you should go to University or not. I’m all for it, and even if you don’t end up working in the industry you initially set out to pursue, you’ll still pick up a whole range of skills that will make you a more employable individual.

Adam Williams

Technical & Engineering Consultant

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