Is it Worthwhile Getting a Degree?

Nowadays, a large percentage of the population will go to university to attain a degree qualification. But is it worthwhile? There are many arguments for and against gaining a degree. Here are some of the main questions to consider when deciding whether to study for a degree:

  • Do you have a particular career in mind? If you do, find out about the best ways to get into it. You should be able to find out plenty of information online. If you’d be better off gaining experience, you might want to look into volunteering or other relevant jobs as stepping stones towards your goal.
  • Do you want to carry on studying? Ultimately, you should only carry on studying if it’s something you enjoy. If you don’t, there are plenty of other options.
  • Are you happy to take on the financial commitment? University can be extremely expensive. You can get a loan to cover your fees and living costs, and repayments are relatively small, but the downside is that you’ll probably be paying it back throughout the majority of your career.
  • Will a degree further your career? Even if you don’t know exactly what it is that you want to do, a degree will most likely come in useful at some point. You gain transferable skills, and it shows that you’re a dedicated, capable of learning to a high level and can work independently.
  • Do I need a degree for most careers? A lot of employers will now require a degree. Even if they don’t, a degree may give you an edge over another candidate. If you don’t have a particular career in mind, which would require specific training or qualifications, a general degree can be beneficial because it will give you lots of different options for your future.

Training on the Job

With the prevalence of internships and apprenticeships, it’s becoming more common than ever to train on the job. They are available across many different job sectors, offering manual hands-on work right through to office roles. You will often be able to gain a qualification for your efforts. It’s a brilliant way to get into an industry.

You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to learn new skills at work, however – a career change can often be based on many of the current skills that you already possess. Many employers value experience, even if it isn’t in the exact same field as you currently work. For example, if you can prove that you have worked with a wide range of people and can handle deadlines and a little bit of pressure, these are real-life skills which employers will recognise. Previous experience in the workplace shows that you’re able to apply yourself to new tasks and learn new skills, so don’t be put off from applying for jobs just because it’s not something you have exact experience of. They’ll often be looking for someone to fit into a pre-existing team, and if you can show that you’re able to do this, they’ll be happy to teach you new skills along the way.

If you’re looking for your first job out of university, college or school, again don’t be put off by your lack of direct experience. Many employers are happy to take on new graduates. Show that you’re enthusiastic and emphasise how well you were able to learn whilst in education, and this will get you a long way.