Are people wasting their degree potential?
A university graduate will finish their degree with an average debt of £35,000 - £45,000. This isn’t even including the interest on their student loan when they start to pay it back. The 2015 general election has come and gone and unfortunately for undergraduates they won’t be benefiting from Labours promise to lower university fee’s to £6,000, saving a 3 years course student £9,000. That’s a whole year off the current university fees. Which raised the question on whether the price currently paid is worth the degree.
Does it depend on the student or the degree? To be a doctor it is compulsory to obtain a degree in medicine. So in this case the degree is ultimately necessary, but what about other courses where the emphasis is heavily weighted on work experience and your stand out personality if given the opportunity to have an interview? Are people being deluded into going into University and paying enormous fee’s when they are better off doing an apprenticeship or going straight into their career in any crack they can find?
In reality due to the incredible fierce competition for all jobs, a degree alone will likely not be enough to land the job. It can teach you the skills, and allow the chance to make mistakes without tarnishing your name in the real world. However, without having proof that these skills have been applied in a work environment the employer will not be able to just take their word for it.
It’s crucial for all students to have as much work experience as possible, whilst still being able to maintain the best degree result they can, this way they are then getting the best of both routes. Lucimara Vieira has three employee’s under her wing in her own child-minding business and in an frank interview she said ‘There would be no competition between someone with just an Early year’s degree and someone with actual child care experience, there are some skills you can’t learn through a degree you have to be put into the situation to know what to do’.
Discouraging words, however, universities can be useful at opening doors to work experience, allowing a student to have; experience, book knowledge and expert lecturers guidance. Sam Conely a University of Brighton 2014 graduate highlighted a lesson learnt ‘More and more people are graduating; anything you can arm yourself with in your chosen area of study will be of benefit to you’. After asking 50 students at random 36 said they are aware they aren’t being active enough with their degree.
People need to be aware that university is a huge commitment. They have chosen to apply for an extra three years, as opposed to working. This suggests that they must have seen the degree to be more beneficial in the career area of their choice, and should put all their efforts into their degree as if they were already in competition.