Apart from the average £9000 of debt, what is a degree actually worth to the individual who has it? Many people put so much work into getting one it’s worth considering whether they are actually working for us.
I have been looking for work recently, and I mean work other than the retail job I am lucky enough to have to be able to pay the rent. I am looking for a job that may pay more, and where I can put the skills I have to good use – skills I gained for the most part as a result of working on my degree. I have a First Class degree and I am yet to be offered an interview. I know this is the case for many people, and I started wondering where I to be considering University now would I actually think it was worth it?
If I’m honest, at the moment the answer might veer towards no – although I say that with regret and an amount of sadness. I don’t regret going to University at all, because it’s worth so much more than just the classification. University teaches you so much and helps you to grow as a person, there is nowhere else – really – we can easily access the skills gained from learning to write an academic essay, or argue your point in a seminar room. Having the opportunity to express yourself in a variety of ways, to explore your identity and to try out what you want to do in life are all invaluable things University can offer. Does a degree help you get a job? Not so much.
Experience helps you get a job and I, apparently have none. Although, actually I do have lots of experience working for myself running the company I probably wouldn’t have set up had I not been to University…and so we go round in circles. Plus, of course, there’s the fact I am talking about experience with an arts degree that people are constantly mocking as a pointless degree. It’s a shame they seem to be being proved right.
As I have circuitously established, arts degrees have their worth but unfortunately they may not be pulling their weight. Might it be better if courses were shorter? More skills based? More vocational? If sessions focusing on employable skills and finding employment were introduced?
I don’t know, and my head is spinning in circles trying to dissect the matter. The thing is you go to University to study something, you don’t go to hike up your employability level necessarily but the expectation is that it will. University has for so long been the main route into a career that we’ve forgotten another way in might exist, and on that note is it even true that another way in does exist? Because, whilst it’s difficult to get a job with a degree it is often even harder without one. It’s such an ingrained thing in our society and yet it isn’t necessarily living up to expectations. Trouble is not many 17-18 year olds will take the time to consider just how beneficial University will be in the long term, I know I certainly didn’t at that age.
At extortionately high cost, however, something has to change about the way University is working for us. Do we need to change our expectations, our education system or the whole way in which our company functions? Probably the latter.