Mounting tuition fees, the belief ‘decreased value' of measures and the growing number of other options have led many to question whether university is still worth it- here's the answer.
Choosing whether or not to go to university is a massive decision, and eventually it could come down to one simple question: is it worth getting a certain degree?
There are plenty of alternatives to university and it's by no means the only route to a successful career, but does that mean that it's not worth going to university anymore? And what about the rest of the student suffer- is that enough to originate uni a profitable speculation of your time and fund?
We questioned both students and grads on Facebook for their contemplates, as well as summarising the main reasons for and against university being worth it, so read on for some help originating up your memory!
What’s in this guide?
Advantages of going to university
These are the reasons why going to university is worth it 😛 TAGEND
Graduates earn more coin
“If you go to university, you'll get a higher-paying job”. It's something we've all heard- very often, in fact, that you may even be wondering if it's an urban myth.
Well, the good news for students, alumnus and those considering uni, is that getting a degree often does lead to a bigger settle cheque.
Studies, including this research by HESA( the Higher Education Statistics Agency) and the University of Warwick, have consistently found that graduates have a higher average salary than those who didn't go to university.
Granted, it's been found that the so-called ‘graduate premium' isn't quite as extreme as it formerly was. But these same studies recognise that there is still a financial benefit to getting a degree, specially if you get a first or a 2:1.
So, for a flavour to seeing how much you could expect to be earning in your first errand, check out our list of grad payments for students of every university subject.
Don't concern if you get less than a 2:1- slew of the top graduate boss accept a 2:2!
University improves your job prospects
The 2008 monetary gate-crash. Brexit. Coronavirus. Students and graduates searching toil in the 21 st Century have hardly been dealt the kindest of sides, and finding a reasonable occupation is arguably harder than ever.
One thing you can do to give yourself a headstart on the challenger is to get a degree. Of route, there are some hassles that utterly require you to have a degree to work in the industry, like becoming a doctor.
But what you may not know is that numerous non-specialist places generally request that you've been to university, more. In job vacancies, slew of fellowships will invite that applicants have a degree-level education- and while it's not impossible to get the job without being a graduate, when you're up against dozens( if not hundreds) of other entrants, it's pretty tough!
And that's before we even get into the small matter of graduate plans– one of the most popular employment roadway for students after university which, as the list shows, are exclusively open to graduates.
Aside from giving you a nice salary and a professional job straight out of uni, postgraduate schemes will often accelerate your vocation development in a way that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. Here's what one graduate had to say regarding whether or not university is worth the money:
Definitely. There's no way I'd be coaching in a software squad now without the start I had in a graduate capacity four years ago.
Opportunity to attain professional joinings
Your university professors won't exactly been wonderful professors( hopefully ). In many cases, they'll likewise must abide refers in their subjects with personal fronts to some of the real movers and shakers in service industries you're aiming for.
As long as you don't do too much to disgruntle your speakers( aiming for a first always helps ), they should be more than happy to give you some occupation the guidelines and even put you in touch with other suffered chiefs who can give you a few pointers.
Just show some fervour and flair for whatever subject it is that you're studying( and some good manners, of course ), and you'll be surprised at just how many beings are willing to help you.
But it's not just your instructors who can give you a leg-up on the career ladder. Departments is often used to run happenings for their students, inviting manufacture experts along to offer information and advice to anyone looking to join the field.
If you're considering a chore that's relevant to your severity, these events can be super useful and are unlikely to be something you could take advantage of if you hadn't attended university. As one postgraduate on Facebook said 😛 TAGEND
The teaching side was a let down for me, but I overcompensated[ for] that by taking advantage of the careers service and going on networking phenomena. It certainly cured me procure my first and current persona after uni.
Even after you've graduated, staying in touch with your trend copulates can prove to be incredibly helpful, too.
If you studied a trend with a clear career path at the end of it, you'll find that hindering contact with your peers is a great way to share tips-off on how to break into the industry. This is especially beneficial if going your first hassle in the field is more a action of who you are familiar with, rather than what you know.
You'll develop transferrable knowledge
Professional ties are all well and good if you know what job you want to do after university, but what if you're still unsure? Well, don't panic- even though they are you graduate and still don't have a clue what you want to do with your life, you'll have picked up a whole loading of precious transferrable skills while at uni.
While a degree is undoubtedly an affecting addition to your CV, don't forget that supervisors also want you to have other talents like responsibility, organisation and motivation.
These are all transferrable knowledge that are useful no matter what career you end up engaging, and given the focus on independent ascertain at university, you'll almost certainly develop them during your time as a student.
You'll stimulate new friends at university
University isn't all about the job prospects– it's too an opportunity to meet new people.
Now, for some of you, the relevant recommendations of having to make friends at uni will fill you with frightful, and we altogether get that. But trust us when we say that it's absolutely nowhere near as bad as you're imagining, and after a week or two you'll be wondering why you were ever restless in the first place.
You may find it helps to bear in mind that pretty much everybody else is just as nervous about fit new people as you are, and that they'll almost certainly be grateful if you stir the effort to break the ice.
And remember that your university will be home to thousands, if not tens of thousands, of students. Statistically, what is required is people there who you'll get along with! Here's how one reader explained why they recollect university is worth it 😛 TAGEND
Not just for education but[ for] the best three years of your life and[ you'll] obligate lifelong friends.
You'll become independent and ordeal a brand-new municipality
For many of you, starting university will too be the first time you're living away from home. Like making friends, this can seem daunting- but once again, the reality is usually far less daunting than the worst-case scenario you may be imagining.
You might once have all the skills you need to be independent, but don't worry if you don't- we have advice on essential cooking sciences, how to keep to a budget, paying statements, dealing with homesickness and so much more!
And once you have your newfound independence, you'll never want to go back. You can cook what the hell are you crave, when you are ready to. You can invest your money how you want to( within reason, plainly ). Never again will you fall victim to the age-old comeback, “when you're under my roof, you be complied with my rules”.
Here's what one graduate told us about how the living standards abilities alone were almost enough to construct uni worth noting 😛 TAGEND
I feel like uni also schooled me life skills and easy me in to living away from home and gave me openings I wouldn’t have been able to get if I stayed living at home and went straight-shooting into work!
What's more, you'll get to do all of this in a city or town that could be brand new to you. We have navigates on some the UK's biggest student metropolitans, but nothing quite joins up to exploring the surroundings yourself.
Whether it's the taverns, music venues, natural landscape or any of the other activities to do in the local area, you're bound to have a great time discovering what your new home has to offer- and you can do it all on your own watch.
You get to study a topic you're passionate about
We could hardly miss this one out, could we? More so than at any other stage in your education, university presents you the chance to only study what you're interested in.
Granted, there's no guarantee that you'll like every module of your position- but profoundly you'll still like the subject as a whole. So, unlike at school, you shouldn't end up stuck in a chide, digested out of your mind wondering why the hell you're listening to someone talk about something you utterly could not care less about.
On the contrary- for the first time ever( probably ), you can look forward to the majority of your lecturings and even pick the modules you're interested in the most.
And, as one graduate interpreted when we asked if university is worth the money, being around similarly heartfelt both students and academics can really push you to take your interest to the next position 😛 TAGEND
I studied instance and graphic scheme, and although you can argue you can practice art on your own I don't imagine I ought to have been propagandized myself just as much on my own. I'm grateful I had the opportunity and drive from university.
Disadvantages of going to university
While there are a huge number of reasons why going to university is a good thing, there are some statements against it, too.
Here are some reasons why becoming a student may be a bad decision 😛 TAGEND
University can be expensive
Possibly the biggest argument against going to university is the apparent cost of studying. Accounting for both tuition fees and your Maintenance Loan, many students will graduate with debts of more than PS5 0,000- a huge figure , no matter which practice you look at it.
In special, if you're unsure about what you want to study, the financial side of things is definitely worth consideration. As one person told us on Facebook 😛 TAGEND
A lot of people go without being certain of what they want to study and it can be a very expensive mistake.
However, it's important to make a distinction between how much university costs and what you actually pay.
Tuition rewards, despite the sizable price tag and constant inquiry from the media, are arguably the least of your concerns. The majority of students attending university for the first time can get a Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of tuition in full( and Student Finance in Scotland virtually cleans this for most students anyway ).
Admittedly, depending on where you study, this could amount to almost PS30, 000( or more for longer tracks ). But, as we clarify in more detail in our guide to Student Loan refunds, you borrow this fund on some pretty generous terms- so magnanimous, in fact, that most students will never refund it all before the debt is cancelled after 30 or so years.
Of course, it's not just the money for tuition that you'll need to borrow. The Maintenance Loan is designed to cover your living expenses as a student, and the average amount acquired is around PS6, 859 a year( although this figure will vary substantially depending on a few factors ).
Although this sounds like a lot of coin( and, to be fair, it is ), our research has found that it still descends short of the average cost of living for students.
There's frequently a shortfall between the size of the Maintenance Loan and the amount of money you need to get by, and that's when you need to turn to alternative funding procedures like parental contributions( which the government actually expects you to do anyway ), part-time tasks and bursaries, scholarships and awards.
THIS is when university will cost you money, and THIS is the financial aspect you'll need to consider.
Is it worth going to university during coronavirus?
When universities were forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic, teaches moved online. While this was clearly the best option in some far-from-ideal situations, many students understandably questioned whether or not they were still getting value for money for their tuition fees.
The government has confirmed that, online lecturings or otherwise, tuition fees will remain the same in 2020/21, and that there will be no universal refunds for students whose studies were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Given that your tuition fees are paid for you upfront and you're unlikely to pay it all back, we'd encourage you not to get too caught up with this way of thinking when it comes to coronavirus( although, for what it's worth, we'd very there were no fees at all ).
Instead, we'd urge you to consider how much you quality having a ‘traditional' freshers' week, a ‘traditional' halls ordeal and these levels of in-person teaches and summits as in other years.
We're keeping our guide to what uni will be like in 2020/21 up to date, and when deciding whether it's worth running this year, we reckon it's much more productive to consider these factors instead of the obvious ‘cost'.
Having a degree doesn't guarantee you a errand
As immense as it is that university is becoming more and more accessible, the one downside( if you are eligible to even call it that) is that more parties now have stages. And if more beings have stages, simply having one no longer becomes you stand out from the event quite as much as it formerly did.
So, with close to 50% of young person now going to university, it's fair to say that getting a degree isn't in itself a guarantee of going a job.
That's not to say that a degree has no worth at all- as we justified earlier, even chore adverts that aren't for postgraduate programmes will often ask that you have been to university. And it's also hard to deny that getting a first in whatever topic you study will affect employers.
Really what we're saying is: you shouldn't go to university and is believed that time get a degree will be enough to complete an shocking CV.
University could hinder your busines progression
While getting a degree could certainly accelerate your career advancement( as the quote earlier witness ), in some manufactures it is able to slow you down.
If going to university isn't considered important in a established professing, probabilities are there will be people who left school at 18 and vanished straight into the field. And, with a three-year headstart, these same people will probably be three years ahead of you on the career ladder.
Now, ultimately this doesn't have to matter if you don't want it to. If you know the career you've got your eyes on doesn't require a degree, but you still want to go to university anyway, that's up to you!
But if you're keen to get driving ASAP and don't want to fall behind your peers, maybe it's best that you don't go to university after all. One commenter on Facebook parted this up perfectly, saying 😛 TAGEND
So countless parties would be better off running straight-shooting into work or[ the] apprentice roadway because what they actually need, and what supervisors require, is experience.
Apprenticeships and wreak aren't your only other options- check out the full list of alternatives to university.
You may be modified your knowledge and want to drop out
Just as your answer to ‘what do you are interested in when you growing quite? ‘ may change year to time, there's no guarantee that you won't abruptly lose interest in your opt topic while at university.
You may get a few months, or even a couple of years, into your trend and decide it's not for you- be that because it was mis-sold to you as having a stronger focus on something else, because you want to pursue a different occupation, or because you simply aren't interested anymore.
Or, you may struggle to settle in your brand-new encloses. Homesickness at university is a very real issue, and while season and stepping out of your ease zone can be the remedies for some, for others the issues are too big to overcome.
In these cases, your best option may be to drop out of uni– but there are some cords affixed. For starters, you'll need to immediately repay any Maintenance Loan you received that sheathes the remainder of the expression( note that this is separate to the rest of your Student Loan symmetry, which is repaid usually ).
Secondly, if in the future you decide you want to go back to uni, you may find you're entitled to less fund than you were the first time around. Student Loans are mostly intended for first-time students, and you can speak more about this here.
Nonetheless, stopping out of university isn't the end of the world. As one user on Facebook showed, if you don't feel it's a good fit, leaving uni early could be the best decision 😛 TAGEND
I started a statute grade at uni but had a very difficult time and left. I felt completely lost after leaving, law was the only profession I required and I thoughts I’d blown it. A few years and a lot of blood, sweat and rends later I am now a qualified solicitor. Uni is not for everyone and that’s okay!
University can be a traumatic know
The stereotypical university know is one of drinking, partying and lie-ins. And yes, you'll no doubt get your fill of all of these while you're a student- but it's not all fun and games.
As the aged saying get , nothing worth doing is ever easy- and the same is true of going a degree. The form of ascertain required at university is far more independent than at school, and to complete your studies you'll need to work hard( peculiarly if you're aiming for a first ).
You may exclusively have as few as eight hours of lectures a few weeks, but most tracks will recommend that you top that up to 40 hours with duties and independent study. This is all in your free time, so you'll need to be able to motivate yourself to work productively.
Beyond the hard work, it's also worth being aware of the mental health problems that students across the UK experience.
Reports therefore seems that as numerous as one in four students event mental health issues while at university, with many telling us that a significant factor is the stress of having to make ends meet. For many others, being deprived of their normal support system of family and friends originates the swap a real struggle.
The quality of mental health support services motleys drastically from uni to uni, and the process of swapping GP and get a recommendation for a trend of rehabilitation can be an added stressor during an previously difficult time( although registering with the doctor as soon as you get to uni offers an opportunity to ).
It's important to emphasise that it's by no means a guarantee( or even close to it) that going to uni will have a negative effect on your mental health issues, or that the support services will be anything other than excellent, but it's certainly something to be wary of.
A combination of factors including financial difficulties, academic distress and lives with potentially tricky housemates can take their toll, and while there's a lot of support out there( including our guide and Disabled Students' Allowance for those with longer-term conditions ), it's best to bear this all in mind when choosing a university.
Is it worth going to university?
In our opinion, yes- it is worth going to university, but only if you think it's the title decision for you.
There are definitely some strong assertions both for and against university being value the money, and ultimately the judgment will differ from person to person.
If your dream position doesn't require a degree and you're confident you can make it without going to uni, then perhaps it isn't the itinerary for you. It's also worth considering further education or vocational directions, which are just a couple of the alternatives to university.
Similarly, if you think you might struggle to shape the leap to independent living and learning, going to university may not be the right road( at least not right now- remember that you can always go to university in a couple of years !). And recollect, there's no need to make up your memory straight away – you have been able even take a gap year and use the time to assess your options.
However, bearing in mind the personal, professional and academic opportunities it can give you, even in the modern period, we really believe that university is worth it!
Still haven't chosen a uni? Check out the roll of the top 10 universities in the UK – your dream end could be in there.
Read more: savethestudent.org