Things I Wish I’d Known: Having a University Degree Isn’t Everything

Back in 2004/05, we were encouraged to go to university and get our degrees. “It’s the only way to get a decent job” they said.

Skip forward to 2018 and was it worth it? Probably not.

Yes, I’m a good speller. Yes, I know how to access a journal article should I need one. Yes, I’m still friends with the people I met at uni. Yes, I got to experience life in Scotland and that is now where I’m based.

And don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and would be exceptionally sad if they weren’t in my life. I love Scotland equally as much and it is where my heart belongs.

But did it get me that ‘decent’ job I was promised. It did not. Realistically, I’m probably on at least £10,000 less than I would have guessed I would have been on all those years ago. I’ve lost the passion for the career I chose (which also has really nothing to do with my degree). I can’t afford to buy a house because between renting and saving, there isn’t enough money to go around.

It also means that I’m nearly 31, typing this in my bedroom at my parents house because the only job I can get is based in Leicestershire. So my husband is in Scotland socialising with my friends and I’m alone typing this article.

I’m considerably in more debt as the Bachelors degree became worthless and to make myself noticeable to employers I ended up doing two further Masters.

Now schools and colleges have no idea about how politics and financial economies will pan out. Afterall, not everyone used to have a degree. It was for the privileged few. However in 2018 it appears you’re in the minority if you don’t have a degree.

I resent the situation I’m in whole heartedly. But instead of wallowing in self pity (and trust me, there’s been plenty of wallowing), it’s time to be proactive.

The plan? Self employment. Do I need a degree? No. Is my degree relevant? We’ll see where this blog goes…

But my advice would be… If you are at school and are being “strongly encouraged” to go to university, think long and hard about whether you will genuinely benefit from going. If you want to do something more vocational, do it. It’s your life and careers aren’t what they were even a decade ago. It’s anyone’s game these days.

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