If you were 18 again would you be going to uni?
Do you not also think you would have grown up if you had entered the working world as well?
As many have already pointed out, and I agree, when graduates enter the workplace they fall some way behind those who have worked those years in maturity, and actually still have a lot of growing up to do in order to catch up.Posted 4 years agotpbikerMember
Having been in the recruitment game for a fair time, and currently working for a big multinational organisation in their resourcing team, I can honestly say that unless you’re doing a vocational degree, or get on one of the better grad schemes then it doesn’t really give you an advantage over the course of your career.
Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed my time at uni, so would defo go back, but not because of the educational aspect.Posted 4 years agojoemarshallMember
Even if you’re taking a purely financial / economic approach*, it is very hard to second guess what is and isn’t a good idea. Who would have guessed in 1950 that being a pure mathematician or a logical philosopher would be potentially extremely lucrative 10 years later.
Also, I don’t know what people mean by ‘a vocational degree’, but if you look at degrees and what people end up doing, it is hard to see the point in doing something with a ‘career’ attached – only something like 25% of law students become lawyers, many engineers don’t become engineers, probably the majority of traditional science graduates (physics, biology, chemistry etc.) from good universities don’t end up in science related jobs, teaching, some teaching jobs are massively hard to get (I understand primary is a nightmare) and then even once people are qualified a massive drop-out rate into other careers, and I’m sure the same is true of most courses. People just don’t follow that perfect well defined career path all the time. I don’t know the figures for medicine, but I know they limit numbers quite strongly, so I suspect if you complete the course you are very likely to stay in medicine, maybe that is the odd one out.
I would worry more about taking a too vocational course, that it might limit you, in that you don’t learn much about general stuff, so if you can’t get the exact job, you’re screwed. I’ve certainly heard that said about ‘computer games development’ degrees, both people in industry and people teaching the courses have said to me that kids would be better off doing a computer science degree if they want to develop games.
Oh, and I would do it again, but then I have a job which I really couldn’t do without a degree or two.
* Which you obviously shouldn’t, you should think, what am I interested in, and study something you’re interested in, and aim to do well at it. No point having a useless 3rd in something sensible when you would be excited by Medieval French enough to get a 1st in it.Posted 4 years agoflanagajMember
Damn right. Where else could you get a pint for 90p!
Oh, I forgot that was in 1995
On a serious note I would as there is no way I would be earning the money I am now if I had not, but on the other side of the coin I have become a wage slave.
I think there needs to be as great deal more emphasis on apprenticeships as going to uni does not work for everyone, and it is a real shame when you hear of people saddling up with loads of debt to do a degree in photography only to graduate and end up working for minimum wage in a retail outlet.
I have always said that the Government in this country is short sighted. If they knew where they wanted to take the country then they could subsidise the degrees that will train the future generations for the jobs that will be required.Posted 4 years ago13thfloormonkMember
They’re not ‘enforcing a contract’ as much as pointing out that penalty clauses have apparently always existed, and that I’d be getting hit with fines and high interest rates if I defaulted when I could legitimately be paying back. This wouldn’t be such a problem if I never intended to return to the UK of course…
Wether or not they could prove what I was earning over in Canada was another question, although there was veiled references to a ‘treaty’ between the respective revenue services which made me suspect that Canada could tattle on me to the UK.
Hot_Fiat, they just tell you your monthly amount and set up a direct debit.Posted 4 years agojust5minutesSubscriber
Binners wrote above about the german model of apprenticeships and investing in R&D but that’s actually what’s already happening in the UK. There’s also the rather unpleasant truth that much of the german success over the last 3 years is owed to devlauation by the Euro, making german products cheap, and the millions of german workers who earn less than the minimum wage…. and the fact that over the last 10 years wages in the UK rose by 45% compared to 28% in germany.
As for the wider point, the government introduced additional tax breaks for UK based R&D a few years ago including “patent box” which was fully implemented this April and goes one step on from R&D and effectively means companies pay less corporation tax on profits derived from products researched and then made here.
There is also a massive amount of work going on to extend the UK supply chain (companies, workforce etc) around the industries we’re good at – aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals.
All of these things could and should have happened a long time ago but they are now being done and do seem to be working if recent export and apprenticeships are anything to go by – some companies are apparently considering moving production back onshore to pick up the patent box credit – this is concentrated in economic areas where the return of manufacture work will significantly contribute to the balance of trade and company profits / tax for the UK.
People describe “Osborne and Dave” as idiots but even a cursory review shows that a lot of long term well thought out economic development plans have been put in place and run counter to the “nation of degree qualified hairdressers” strategy of the last government.Posted 4 years agoRichPennyMember
People describe “Osborne and Dave” as idiots but even a cursory review shows that a lot of long term well thought out economic development plans have been put in place and run counter to the “nation of degree qualified hairdressers” strategy of the last government.
I only googled the patent box, but it seems that this initiative was started by the previous government. Perhaps it was only intended for advances in perm techniques? No need for petty political squabbles on this interesting thread…Posted 4 years agoPeaslakeDaveMember
I haven’t read many of the posts in this thread but I’m still at uni (on the old fee system) and I have just got a paid industrial placement related to my engineering course and everything is great. I can’t imagine what I would have done without the option of university and life is looking very promising now. Can’t wait to start in September. After the placement, I will do my third year and then masters. Enjoyed every minute of uni (nearly)Posted 4 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Really, no Engineer in my workplace, or even my industry, has less than a Batchelors degree in Science or Engineering, with Hons. Most have Masters or Phds. You want to do this kind of work, you must have at least a technical Batchelors degree or your CV goes in straight in the bin.Posted 4 years agoTom_W1987Member
I went to a university just into the top 25 percent in the rankings, to study a hard science….. having had a ridiculously shit secondary school level education…..by shit I mean I had moved around lots of primary schools and the heavily underfunded badly behaved secondary school I went to subsequently banged me in with all the morons in the lower sets. This gave me a perchance for laziness, a disregard for authority and arrogance as I passed everything easily but was never allowed up to the higher sets (I maxed out all my Maths papers but never got higher than a B). I scraped my way through my A-Levels with a degree of misanthropy and smart alec remarks that I’m surprised I wasn’t expelled.
University on the other hand then challenged me for once in my life and brought me into contact with people I respected.
Let’s say I’m now gainfully employed and a few nights ago I was drinking with mates in London which involved being driven around in cars with diplomatic plates.
All in all….university was well worth it… it developed my ability to think critically, my self esteem, how to write an essay, tempered my irreverence for everything and everyone… I met lecturers who “got me” and who I could share ideas with and I met lots of girls with massive tits. I can’t say the same for my secondary education.
Then again, I was always the dreamer type so university was always going to be my natural home.Posted 4 years agozokesMember
kimbers – Member
to get into the field Im in (cancer research) yes theres no choice
but the pay is no where near good enough to deal with that kind of loan
so bit of a tough one really
Similar for me. I work in environmental research and needed a PhD to be interviewed. Having now moved to oz and having won a quick promotion I’m now lucky to be earning at a level that would see me pay off a loan from the new system reasonably quickly. But… There’s been a lot if luck and fortunate timing that’s helped me get to where I am today, and I very much doubt I’d have fancied gambling with 40k of debt on the very slim chance that I ‘made it’ in academia (or consulting, which was another route post PhD that I nearly pursued). So, with hindsight, perhaps I would, but probably not, looking at the average wage of early-middle career workers in the environmental sector.Posted 4 years agogeologistMember
3 years of shagging, drinking, and riding my bike most days, mmmm let me think about it ! I wish I could do it again tomorrow 🙂
Because im a natural genius, I didnt have to work that hard for my degree either 😉 Turns out though that my degree in Engineering Geology has not helped my career in naval communications systems at all. Oh well, it was a means to an end, to enable me to gain a commission in the forces
Ultimately it was the most enjoyable 3 years of my life.Posted 4 years agomessiahMember
Yes – I would do it all again.
At the time I saw going to Uni to study engineering as something I was destined to do. It just made sense as I enjoyed it and was good at it despite being a lazy fecker who just wanted to ski and ride bikes. It was my safety net in case the skiing and biking didn’t work out, and as such I worked for a pass rather than a distinction which did annoy my tutors who knew I could do better.
I took a year out to work and go to evening classes before I started uni as I failed one of the subjects I needed, and another year out in the middle when I failed one subject, bonus was my summer job was too fantastic an experience to have left anyway… and when I did leave it was to sail halfway round the world in a tall ship.
After leaving uni I ski’d and biked for a few years living hand-to-mouth and travelling before getting tired of the hobby/job thing. Thanks to my safety net engineering degree and experiences travelling I walked into a fantastic opportunity in the oil and gas industry and have been using my uni studies on an almost daily basis since then.
Started paying back the student loan after a couple of years working when my salary was high enough.
There is almost no way I would be where I am now without my degree; so I am very thankful that I did it. I enjoy my life even if its not quite worked out how I had planned it.Posted 4 years agob rMember
It’s a different world now, so hard to say.
I left school at 16, did 2 years at college and then got a Trainee IT job. Not having a degree hasn’t particularly held me back, but if I’d had one there would have been more opportunity with companies who ‘demand’ a degree – then again for many years I earnt in excess of £100k pa so maybe not having one has been beneficial.
I’ve 3 kids; 19, 18 and 15. The eldest is not sure whether to go to Uni this year (he has places, and lost a year due to an accident), the middle one is in his 2nd year on an electrical apprenticeship and the youngest is more handy than academic, so may go the same way.
One thing to note though, apprenticeships are very, very lowly paid – my son earns less than I did, 30 years later!
Yes, all employed apprentices will get a wage. The current ‘apprentice National Minimum Wage’ is currently £2.65 per hour*.Posted 4 years agorandomjeremyMember
Yes absolutely I would. Apart from the new people and all the sex, I also obtained a degree, which got me my first job with $megacorp on their graduate scheme. I travelled the world during my 20s and got paid for it.
Now I’m an old git the degree is more of a tickbox on the CV. I don’t think any potential recruiter has asked about it for 12 years. It just means I never have to explain why I don’t have a degree.Posted 4 years agobencooperMember
I would – went to Uni when I was 16, with little idea what I wanted to do with my life, so picked Astronomy because I liked sci-fi.
I don’t like the attitude that university has to be vocational – the idea that it’s a transaction, you pay money, get a degree, that leads to a better-paid job – I strongly dislike that. Learning should be for the sake of learning, to widen your mind and learn to think.Posted 4 years agoMSPSubscriber
I agree learning shouldn’t just be vocational, there are a wide range of subjects that are of benefit to society and the individual that don’t fall into the narrow confines of the current aggressive capitalism mainstream.
However it should be a genuine learning experience, not just a path to a certificate and a way of fudging youth unemployment figures.Posted 4 years agovalleymanMember
no, i hated it and only stuck it out for my parents.. i got a desmond but looking back the i guess it did toughen me up as i was away from home.
then again it was circumstance, got in via clearing, all the halls were full ended up in a house with 3rd years.
(not bitter honest!)Posted 4 years agoTom_W1987Member
Similar for me. I work in environmental research and needed a PhD to be interviewed. Having now moved to oz and having won a quick promotion I’m now lucky to be earning at a level that would see me pay off a loan from the new system reasonably quickly. But… There’s been a lot if luck and fortunate timing that’s helped me get to where I am today, and I very much doubt I’d have fancied gambling with 40k of debt on the very slim chance that I ‘made it’ in academia (or consulting, which was another route post PhD that I nearly pursued). So, with hindsight, perhaps I would, but probably not, looking at the average wage of early-middle career workers in the environmental sector.
What would have you done otherwise though? Granted Environmental Science is a difficult one to get into, for example lets say you had gone down the Geology route instead you can have earned a semi-decent wage on the rigs with just an undergraduate degree.
I know loads of people in my age range who didn’t go to university who are working for next to minimum wage and certainly not earning more than 15k a year. They are working as chefs, brickies, receptionists, teaching assistants etc.
Then there are my friends again the same age as me who went to university… they include teachers, lawyers, journalists, engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, political advisers….all of whom are earning well in excess of 20k and will be earning pay rises much quicker than their peers. Yes I know a few idiots that chose to study things like Creative Writing but aside from a few that have studied those kinds of course at say…DMU…. even they have found that they’ve been able to get half decent jobs by highlighting their transferable skills.
Without a decent degree Zokes, someone like yourself would be stuck in a mind numbingly boring job that pays about 15k a year (unless you are one of the IT oddities) or you’d be in the military/police or fire service.Posted 4 years agowillardMember
Now? Yes, but I would not be doing the same course. As tempting as Applied Biochemistry was to me back then, I would choose something more computer-centric to spend my time on.
Then? Yes, although I would not have done the same course. As tempting as Applied Biochemistry was to me back then, I would make myself choose something more computer-centric to spend my time on.
Basically, not biochemistry.
The “fun” part of uni life I could probably do without. I’d actually want to concentrate on things this time around.Posted 4 years agoJunkyardMember
Learning should be for the sake of learning, to widen your mind and learn to think.
I agree re education but that is no longer an option and it is an expensive way to learn you dont want to be in shit loads of debt ages 21 and you will end up with a job not related to your degree and not paying you shitloads eitherPosted 4 years agofootflapsSubscriber
Personally I didn’t rate University that much, it was just necessary to get a degree to pursue my chosen career. There was nothing very new there eg drink, drugs, opposite sex etc were all available prior to going (and after). I’d been working part time since 15, so was used to drinking my own money and budgeting so I could afford to drink every night etc.
We also spent a lot of time doing Laplace transforms, not that I can remember anything about them other that a 2nd order feedback loop has the form 1/(s^2 + 2jw + w^2), where j is the damping factor and w the resonant frequency in radians/second.Posted 4 years agoFrankensteinMember
No, I would start my own business.
Bank manager didn’t agree with my idea.
Mate carried on with my idea and is now a millionaire with a Ferrari.
Me – degree, skint and a Mundano.
Maybe I would have studied medicine or worked my way up in retail lol or even a plumber.Posted 4 years ago
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