Q: Degree or no degree? This is the question

I remember being destined to go to university almost the moment I started formal education. The basis on which my parents chose my primary school was to push me to grammar school. Then sixth form and onto uni. I was taught that life after uni was a utopic bliss with more jobs and opportunities than I could count. Then the 2008 market crash happened and the prospects after university didn’t look as promising for many people. Following this was the (unlucky) class of 2012, the first university cohort to pay £9000 a year. Which begs the question — does university continue to offer a benefit to the individual in today’s society? We put this question to The Community.

“ You can specialise by getting a degree. The former supports the latter.”

“I would say specialising is more important as you don’t necessarily need a degree to be a specialist in a certain field.”

“Depends what career you are working towards. Medical, Law etc require a degree. Business degrees however are of little use in the real world.”

“Experience, specialisation + taking initiative in your learning and development can almost definitely take you further in today’s society…”

“Depends on your field of specialisation, some roles and positions require specific certifications, while others prioritise pure experience”

“specialising in a skill is very important because going to university does not guarantee you a job after. BUT having a degree..’increases in earning power’ unless you are entrepreneur of course :)”

“Yes, jobs such as construction and industrial are more reliant on hands-on experience but I feel the future of some qualifications…such as marketing for example.. some people are naturally good at selling products and services but never went to university. then you have those with the degrees but they are unable to demonstrate what they have learnt to make it into a skill.. its a hard one yes indeed, history degree holders will have to stick to lecturing/teaching or working in museums etc”

“When a course like mine is heavily experience based, specialising in skill is much better. Your skill set is valued more than your degree..”

“Yes, Uni adds to some skills but so does internships/apprenticeships.. that would be more beneficial you hit two birds with one stone.”

“In my case that is. And I have a degree and I’m now starting from the bottom again, Very, It got to point in uni where I came up with this theory. We go to Uni to gain knowledge & not succeed. Competition is a huge thing”

“I went to Uni thinking I have my foot in the door but someone same age with more experience would get more attention without a degree”

“Companies now like Google do not require a degree. Experience is far more vital in this economy. Uni for most is a great place to network. Unfortunately it’s a false narrative that has been passed down that uni = success especially in African households.”

“It depends upon your goals and your timeframe.”

“I know several people who have gotten technical skills and then gotten good jobs. Often they have a clear career path. Many make more money than many university graduates. Add tuition savings and less study time. For example, tow truck operators often live in better houses than the college graduates they serve.”

“University degrees, however, also have their pluses. The biggest is flexibility. If your technical skills are out of date, you can be in trouble. For example, mainframe programming is not a growth area. Also, some blue collar jobs vanish. Blacksmiths for example do not have many job openings. If you get a degree backed by general education, you are likely to be able to train for a new job much more easily.”

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