The pros and cons of attending university

Are you stuck in a debate about whether you should go to university or not? You are certainly not alone in this. So many students ask themselves the same question over and over. The first thing I will say though, is that University brings with it a lot of opportunities, such as access to great internship programs. I did many internships when I was at Uni and it led me to where I am today. In fact, I did a 12 month international internship that helped me land a job at a huge tech firm. 

That said, you need to remember that deciding whether to go to university or not needs to have some thought put into it, as it isn’t a small decision. This is a decision that you will need to live with for the rest of your life. 

Below is a list of the pros and cons that may help make your decision a little lighter and less stressful:

The Pros

You have access to more specialist jobs

You don’t always need a degree to get into a job, but it can be like a passport to access more specialist jobs that you wouldn’t be able to get into without a university degree. You cannot become a doctor without the right education (which is a degree in medicine). You can, however, qualify for different jobs in a different way. For example, if you want to become a lawyer you don’t need a degree you can take the Chartered Institute Legal Executive training to gain the same level as a solicitor. Ensure you think about the fact that taking a different route to the career you want might mean you cannot go as far up the leaderboard.

It helps you develop transferable skills

University isn’t just about getting your degree. It is about building skills that will help you through your life, whatever you choose to do. Conducting research, working under pressure, writing essays, meeting deadlines, giving presentations and being able to work within a team. These are skills that will be useful in any type of career.

It makes you more employable

Employers give more importance to experience rather than qualifications these days, but if you are educated to a higher level, it makes you more likely to be employed over candidates that don’t. 

The Cons

The expense

University is very expensive and, while most students take out a loan to pay for their education, that means that when they leave university, they are still paying this huge education bill that will last for years to come. If you don’t get a job straight away or only start out in a low paying job until your dream job pops up, then you may struggle to pay the education fee along with your everyday living expenses.

A degree doesn’t guarantee a job

Having a degree will not secure and lock you down a job in that field guaranteed. It gives you more of a chance, but it doesn’t mean you will easily gain a job in that field, and you will be competing with others who may have a more impressive CV or more experience than you.

Questions to ask yourself

If you are still not sure if you are suited for university, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you need a degree? Don’t waste time and money if you don’t need that higher education to work where you want.
  • Are you following your friends? Sometimes we are influenced by your friends and tend to do what they are doing which isn’t a good reason to waste time or money.
  • Are there other alternative courses that can get you a similar qualification?
  • Can you afford to pay the ongoing payments to university?