NEWS FLASH: You don’t HAVE to go to university. Don’t get me wrong, I did attend university and the experience it gave me was incredible but getting a degree is not essential.
Fair enough, if you want to be a Doctor or a lawyer or an accountant, yes, you do need a degree. You need that piece of paper to say that you have the knowledge, you’ve done the training and you’re able to do this job. However, these are specialist jobs and not all jobs require specialist training.
Today it seems like the whole world and their other half are attending university. It’s unusual to some people that when you come of age to move away from home and continue your education, some people choose not to.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Neither of my parents went to university when they turned 18, and there was never any pressure for them to attend. My dad did eventually get a degree as a mature student but that was after three children and a successful career without the need of an undergraduate education.
As millennials, a lot of our parents didn’t attend university and that is deemed as complete normal. For us however, getting a degree is seen as a natural step in life.
This seems to lay within the change of the education system over time. The school days of our parents are nothing like the ones we had. There is now a lot more pressure within school to do well and achieve something wonderful in your life. But we don’t need this pressure to achieve something wonderful.
The careers advisor at my school started giving us university talks at the age of 14. She stressed the importance of furthering our education and picking the right course and the right university.
This completely stressed me out and no word of a lie, I spent every day in the careers office flicking through prospectuses trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to go… and that was three years before I even had to consider applying!
When it did come to the application, pretty much everyone in my year filled out a UCAS form and the one’s who didn’t were judged. But why should you be? Everyone is different and university is not for everyone. Only you know what is right for you, no one else is entitled to an opinion.
I thought university was my only option and so, I took it. Looking back with older and wiser eyes, it wasn’t my only option and I could easily be in the same position I’m in now without my degree.
I studied performing arts and since completing my course four years ago, I haven’t used my degree once. My first job out of education was in an opticians. Of course, I was at the bottom of the ladder and for obvious reasons, couldn’t jump straight into testing eyes but I quickly developed in the company.
The job required a lot of knowledge, all of which, you learn on the job. I progressed within the company to a contact lens supervisor and before I quit, I was taking a course within work to further my job role. I had a stable job which paid my bills with cash to spare, I was able to further my career and had development options all of which had absolutely nothing to do with the education I spent roughly £10,000 on.
My current job now as a travel representative also has nothing to do with my degree, I could easily be here without it. My partner for example did not go to university, in fact, he got kicked out of college and yet we have exactly the same job now.
Whilst my job isn’t the most successful career in all the land, I earn a decent wage, have an incredible lifestyle and have fantastic options for career development. Up to now, I am quite happy within my current role but with the opportunities the company gives you, I could easily be a team manager by now. It has also opened up doors for me in other areas of the industry and you know what? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH MY UNIVERSITY EDUCATION!
At the end of the day, you can only decide what is right for you. If you want to go to university for that experience, do it, you’ll have an amazing time. If the career you want needs a degree, fair enough.
But if university just doesn’t sit right with you, that’s fine too. If you’re unsure, don’t do it. If you change your mind at a later date, you can still go, there is no time limit on starting university.
There are a lot of careers in the world though that simply just rely on talent, experience and hard work without the need of a degree saying you have a high level of education.
Some of the most successful people in the world dropped out of school and built their empire so don’t feel like your decision to not attend university will mean you can’t have a successful career.
You will find something perfect for you, with or without that piece of paper.