I have touched on this subject previously but as costs of universities rise it’s worth a revisit. Coming up to September many last minute decisions to go or not will be made. University should never be looked at entirely as a means to employment. That is a very narrow view of something which is potentially so much wider and so much more beneficial than just getting a job.
Certain professions require a university education such as Doctor, Lawyer, Vet, etc. But there are so many more diverse subjects that can be studied. The backbone of universities is research and factually they contribute a huge amount to human endeavour and betterment.
A degree is an indication not just of advanced learning but of advanced thinking and learning to think for oneself. It is a mind broadening experience where a student gets to meet people from many countries and walks of life on equal terms. It is the first step for many on living away from home, standing on their own two feet and starting to make their way in the world. The experience of all these things should not be underrated. One can tell at graduation time from any university what a sense of achievement students feel on completing their degree.
For some a Bachelor’s degree can lead to a Masters and beyond to a PhD and a career in research or academia. For others the degree whilst it may not lead directly to a job will still put the person on an equal or higher footing in this competitive work a day world.
The price of a degree these days is high, but again I would counsel that this is not a reason not to take it on. Often an in depth study in a particular subject may lead to ideas of directions for the future which were never even thought of before taking the course. A student should do something that they really want to do at University and if they don’t know then they should do something that interests them. From this may develop a lifelong passion, friendships and many more unseen benefits. It is particularly true that when you are young there is plenty of time to change and so it’s probably the best time to go to university, although mature students also do just as well.
Wise consideration should be given to which Universities and courses to apply for and accounting for many other factors such as reputation, distance, cost of living and so on. But don’t let any of these be a barrier to actually making the decision to go. In the end if you could consider that life is a journey then think of that journey as just as important as the destination and final goal. Not availing oneself of the opportunity may be something to regret in later life. For parents encourage your children to go, and for partner and friends to do likewise, it may be the best decision they ever make.
Do you have any questions about education? Perhaps you want to know what AS and A-levels entail or the cost of going to university. If so, you’ll find the answers in EQ’s Knowledge Bank. We also have an abundance of advice which parents may find useful. It’s a valuable tool in any parent’s arsenal!
Guest Blog by David Evans Bailey
David Evans Bailey has an MA in Digital Media Art. He taught ICT and Photography at Secondary School level for several years as well as being involved in many theatrical and other endeavours. His background is an IT professional.