Is A Degree Right For You?

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Covering the main factors that should be a part of your decision-making process, with regards to whether acquiring a degree and spending 3+ years at university is the right choice for you.

Do You Enjoy Your Subject?

[h6_focus_heading]Can you see yourself invested/immersed in that given subject for the rest of your working life?[/h6_focus_heading]

This isn’t to say that you should only choose a subject you have a current passion towards, as you can always change your career plans well after leaving university. However, it does help having a passion for it, as that attribute will help you overcome many barriers and obstacles that enter your field of vision.

What are the job prospects of the particular degree you’re interested in studying?

One of the main reasons people attend university is to boost their employment prospects. According to the BBC – “74% of those with degrees are in graduate jobs, compared to 69% in 2006.”

In other words, today is a better time than ever to study for a degree, as you have a higher chance of netting yourself a relatively well-paid job afterwards.

However you can put a positive spin on anything, this study doesn’t account for what jobs the remaining 26% have (if any), nor does it tell us the subjects the students studied – and we all know that not all college degrees are created equally.

I’m certain that if employers offered a 3-year teaching scheme which taught you everything you needed to know in an industry/company that YOU actually want to work for, paying you an ‘learning-wage’ for working first-hand on their business, many current university students wouldn’t go. I certainly wouldn’t.


Are you entering a rewarding career?

[h6_focus_heading]You need to eat don’t you?[/h6_focus_heading]

I’m not insinuating that only the highly-paid professions are worth studying for at degree-level. However, with the rise of tuition fees (in the UK at least), and increases in house prices, if you hopefully intend to buy your own, then studying something which has the potential of generating a good source of income would be advantageous.

Then again, it depends on what you define as ‘rewarding’. Sometimes the money isn’t what attracts people towards a particular field or subject of study. Just creating a service of value with the knowledge and experience you’ve obtained is an equally gratifying experience if not more so than being paid for doing it.

Is A Degree Required

[h6_focus_heading]For what you intend to do?[/h6_focus_heading]

If you’re not sure what you want to do career-wise, you might be better off entering the world of work initially until you have clarity on your goals and desires.

However sometimes doing a degree may be beneficial to someone who only has a vague idea about what they want to do. Some degrees such as Psychology and Business equip you with many transferable skills that are sought after in most businesses.

If you purely want to study a subject in-depth because you love it – do you really need a degree? Or does the aspect of living away from home for the first time, coupled with university life play a bigger part in your reason for wanting to go?


Do you have the interpersonal skills and attributes required

[h6_focus_heading]for independent study and University life?[/h6_focus_heading]

Many people think that academics can’t become great entrepreneurs, but this is a fallacy because many of the skills required for doing well at University level are also required in Business, such as consistency, delayed-gratification and the ability to organise and prioritise a large work-load.

Are You Physically and Mentally Healthy?

[h6_focus_heading]You probably think I’m crazy[/h6_focus_heading]

What I mean is, can your body and mind withstand the social pressures and dangers you’ll encounter in your time at university?

I’d focus on liming the effects some factors could have on my success of completing a university degree, rather than attending university and having to deal with both. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Drugs, drink and smoke addictions.
  • Being at an unhealthy weight
  • Having extremely low self-esteem

I personally wouldn’t allow my children to attend university unless they had dealt with the issues that are of most concern to them – the support I found at some universities are not as strong as I thought they would be.

Overall, I’d say that a degree is right for you if you’re not doing it simply to extend the time you’ll have before entering ‘the real world’ of work – I’m beginning to loathe the aforementioned phrase >.>


Summary

I couldn’t come up anything rivalling this, so I thought I may as well post this summary written by a member of The Student Room – Eloquai.

A degree is what you make it – if you want to learn a new subject, an old subject, get a career in a certain sector or spend your hours reading the theories of ‘dead white guys’ (not sure why you’re treating those three attributes as negatives), then there’s nothing wrong with following your passion and gaining a degree as a part of that. I do an Arts degree which involves a huge amount of essay writing and academic research, and I absolutely love it because I’m passionate about my subject and I want to essentially ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’.

Most people are well aware of what their degree courses will entail – whilst you might find the act of essay writing monotonous and somewhat pointless, that doesn’t mean that others will share the same experience undertaking the same course. I guess the moral of the story is that when you commit to a three(+) year programme, you have to be absolutely sure that it’s for you.


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