It is no secret that a degree isn’t an absolute necessity in the 21st century. We all know people who have had successful careers and lives despite not attending or completing university. People with goals that don’t include a degree are often plagued by one question: Is university worth it?
By this point in your life, you’ve probably completed- or nearly completed- secondary school. This is a huge accomplishment, and you’re ready to get out there into the adult world. The natural next step that everyone is expecting you to take is university.
Pressure from family and friends isn’t a good reason to attend university, and committing to a university degree when you don’t really want to is a recipe for disaster. But, even if a degree is not part of your life plan, university can offer a world of other opportunities.
Doing your research and making an informed decision is the only way to make this massive decision that will impact the trajectory of your life. Whether or not you decide that university is the right fit for you, it’s important to feel confident in your decision. Let’s explore some ways in which university may enrich your life- other than earning a degree.
It May Give You a Leg-up in the Business World
Many people dream of starting their own business, and it is possible to do so without attending business school. But what if attending university could boost your chances of having a successful business?
Attending university with like-minded individuals gives your career more of a boost than you may think, no matter what your career path is. They say that it’s all about who you know. In addition to having people to bounce ideas off of, the networking opportunities are priceless. Your peers and professors may become your future investors or business partners. A simple conversation could turn into the job of your dreams
A World of Resources Is at Your Fingertips
University isn’t just about lectures and essays. Universities provide a number of resources to help their students succeed. You may have access to libraries, labs, field professionals, work experience, fairs and expos, student discounts, cheap accommodation, industry knowledge, travel opportunities and so many other resources that aren’t available to non-students.
You’ll Be Able to Earn More Money
It’s true- when you have a degree, you’re more likely to land a secure job with benefits. Even if your degree isn’t something you think you’ll use much, it will look good on your resume and increase your salary.
A formal qualification isn’t always needed, but it is undeniable that a large number of jobs listed on job advertisement sites require or prefer a degree. These are often the higher-paying and more secure jobs, and having a degree may make your resume stand out to potential employers, even if it isn’t totally necessary for the position. It may be the thing that sets you apart from competitors and gets you the job over the many other applicants.
University Gives You Room to Explore Your Options
Chances are that university is your first taste of adult life. Hello, freedom! Leaving your childhood behind and entering adulthood can be scary. Heading off to university instead of jumping headfirst into independence can ease this transition.
University has some of the structure and safety you had in secondary school with the freedom and autonomy you’ve probably been craving. Furthermore, most of your peers are in the same boat as you- fresh adults learning to adult for the first time. Together you can take your first steps into adulthood.
University is the perfect place to explore your options. You can try things and it’s not a big deal if you change your mind. Take classes for fun, try out different jobs, join one of the many social clubs available, and get that weird haircut your friends warned you against. It doesn’t matter! Everyone is finding themselves.
On the contrary, jumping into full independence can be overwhelming. For one thing, there’s less wiggle room when it comes to trying out that weird haircut or changing your career path every few weeks- your boss will be far less understanding than your professors. For another, working to support yourself independently is far more gruelling than working while living in subsidised university accommodation and utilising student discounts. Working full-time or working hard to start your own business leaves little time to party or join a Quidditch team.
You’ll Gain Experiences That Will Shape the Rest of Your Life
University doesn’t just teach you skills that are relevant to your degree. The skills you learn on campus can work in a number of areas of your life.
You will blossom in many ways during your university years. During your childhood, your days were generally structured for you. In university, you need to develop self-discipline. This is an excellent skill to have as an adult.
In many ways, university is a long-term project. It requires determination, commitment, and excellent time management skills. Your future employers know this, and seeing your university experience on your resume will let them know that you are capable of hard work, self-discipline and problem-solving.
University will boost your social skills, self-confidence, self-presentation, leadership skills, and give you a sense of achievement and identity. These will serve you well both in the workplace and in your personal life.
Your Personal Growth
University is a time of learning, both in the classroom and out of it. Every day you will be exposed to things that will teach you valuable lessons, expand your worldview and maybe even make you question the beliefs you were raised on. University promotes critical thinking, self-exploration and open-mindedness.
Unlike secondary school, where many of the students probably had similar lives and backgrounds to you, you’ll meet people from all walks of life. Your peers and professors will come from all over the globe and each will have a unique story. You’ll gain perspective, learn to think outside the box, and become a more accepting person. Leaving secondary school means leaving behind the confines and constructs that may have restricted you before.
Your confidence will grow as you are pushed outside your comfort zone. By the time you graduate, you will be an evolved version of the person you were when you first applied for university.