At a time of year when many are about to finally depart school either for a 47 year stint in the workplace or a few years at university followed by a slightly shorter stretch in the workplace. To many people university will be the normal progression from school, it might seem that its the only option, while for others choosing to go to university which mean going against the grain. However, how many people before choosing to go start a course logically weigh up whether university is really the leg-up in life its made out to be.
The conundrum for most will emerge in the finances involved in studying and subsequently when you leave to join the workforce. Well, the nightmare which faces students is debt and on average British students leave with 20,000 of it. 20,000 is a large amount of money, it could be a deposit on a house, so is really university really worth it.
Imagine the path of university was not chosen, you could immediately wide away all this debt. Instead, one could start work, even if it was not in such a well paid position. In the 3, possibly 4, even 5 (if a gap year is included), its not unimaginable that 75,000 could be earnt, granted that not all of it will be saved. Not only this, within the time students will be watching Countdown it will be possible that you will have already climbed a few rung on the employment ladder and gained valuable skills that are not taught in a classroom. Will you have reached the same level as a graduate? That really depends on your abilities and your employer's to recognize them.
Then consider that instead of working you could be living the life of a student. You might graduate with debt but you would hope that you will qualify for jobs which only stay available for graduates. During your 41 years before you retire your increased salary would payoff your debt and then you will be laughing with your greater salary. However, its not quite that simple, top jobs for graduates are not that easy to come by and many employers complain that while applicants can write wonderful essays they lack in the skills that others may have. Also if your not at a top tier university some employers may be less forthcoming and if you do not obtain a 2.1 or higher employers will be less favourable towards you.
Another strong plus in the favour of studying is the experience. Living away from home, time and money management are all useful things to learn and university is a good stepping stone to becoming self-sufficient. There is also the enjoyment of university that many people seems to boast of compared to what could be a struggle entering the workforce.
So when it comes down to it is university worth it. The easy answer is that for some university will be well suited but others it would not be advised. Deeper explanation might suggest that those going to course that will not appeal to employers and at less favourable institutions might question the validity of enrolling. On the other hand those really top candidates who will excel at university might sickeningly excel at work. In fact, that person would probably succeed in any situation and essentially this just illustrates that university is just a path one which has a value like every other path however it is not to be underestimated.