- Education

Is There an Option Other than University?

Often, a university degree is seen as the only way to obtain a high-quality job that pays well. However, as more than half of young people currently move on to attend a higher education program; graduates perhaps forced to compete in an ever more crowded job market. In fact, in one recent survey, one in ten potential employers said that a college degree was “pointless.” More than 40% stated that they valued on the job training and specific relevant experiences over a higher education degree.

As tuition fees rise, this begs the question – “Is it still worth attending a university?” Many beliefs regarding degrees have changed dramatically over the past several decades, with many people seeing a college degree as a luxury, not a necessity. However, if the cost of degrees increases again, this could change.

College-aged individuals may begin to explore other avenues, like distance learning at The School of Natural Health Sciences, the study that is paid for by their employer, or part-time schooling.

Student Debt Rising

Some students are able to work through schools like Open University, combining work and part-time school and eschewing full-time university attendance. They find that in some cases, avoiding the traditional university path helps them to have an edge over their peers. While their friends may still be struggling up the career ladder, these individuals may find that they are able to start out with a good salary while they attend school.

This may mean taking a job for a lower pay rate to start with and allowing their employer to help them as they attend school. This type of financial help can allow them to study for a degree without accruing a large amount of debt. For many students, this alone is a huge factor as they make their decision.

Vocational learning has seen a dramatic amount of growth in the last several years, as many students work to complete vocational programs. These may focus on skills they specifically need for work, but can also be advanced with more study.

How do potential employers view young people if they have vocational qualifications, but not a higher education degree? Some employers may not be on board, but many are happy to work with the idea. Traditional universities have been seen as the best option for many years. This can mean that in some cases, not having a degree still carries some stigma with it. However, this is changing as employers catch on, and more young people are seeing the option to not attend school for a degree immediately.

Many employers are beginning to catch on, with some launching their own entry-level training schemes and even full-on apprenticeships. Global giant IBM, for example, has launched their apprenticeship program. This allows them to reach out to young people that otherwise not noticed by the company.

Add Valuable Job Experience

In the modern economy, where the competition for graduate-level jobs is already tight, it’s as important to have experience as it is to have advanced qualifications. The idea of a gap year may completely disappear in time, in fact. More and more young people are using this year instead to build work experience or work on an internship so that they have additional skills to offer an employer after graduation.

As trends change, we may find that university is less essential to obtaining a job. Modern employers are beginning to trend towards work experience, on the job education, and even apprenticeships for potential hires, making these types of training more valuable in some cases than a university degree.

Students who want to get ahead in the job market may be pleased to note that a university degree is no longer the only way to do so and that they have numerous options available to them that simply weren’t there before. This can make job-hunting an interesting proposition for all involved.