Is university worth it?
Because every day you hear stories of billionaire drop-outs, student loan nightmares and boot camps teaching practical skills in 3 months.
So this is the new national question: is university good or bad?
If you look deeper and search for a target audience to address the problem, you will reach the same two target groups that I’ve discovered: entrepreneurs and the 9-5 community. There is a big push to abandon university within the entrepreneurial community, as there is a big push for college within the other community.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg are few of the most famous names mentioned. But some differentiators need to be mentioned: the former two dropped out of Harvard, not the local college. Steve Jobs gave up because of the financial burden, but still found it valuable.
A balance is needed between these two communities. Entrepreneurs might need it more than they think, while 9-5ers need it less. So going to university is not only just about knowledge anymore. It is a place to mature yourself and build a network of people.
Arguably, you can build it without going into university. Want to be in business? Message 500 CEOs and work for free for a year. If you are going into tech, you may need a series of internships and a coding boot camp. Go to events and meet the industry leaders. Hands-on work will bring you a more engaged network.
You can read biographies of great masters and see the process of figuring out when they were 10 or 20 years old. “There are answers worth billions of dollars in 30$ history book” as Charles T. Munger (Warren Buffett’s partner) would say. But a lot of people don’t have that clarity. So if you need to go to university and test more directions, go.
Mentors speak about getting in touch with what makes you different, what makes you tick and these traits will help you go even deeper when it comes to your career. The greatest minds haven’t been excited about money (Steve Jobs was unconcerned about money, but was obsessed with design). It’s learning about what they want to conquer.
So don’t take a well-paid position in a corporation right after graduating. Instead, take a hands-on role in a small company which will give you learning opportunities and responsibilities. Develop your skills in-depth and learn new skills. That will make you unique and different. The money will come.
With our brothers across the pond, the question translates in to: “is the university debt worth it?” Even though we pay less in fees than they do, the average student still never pay back in full. Going to something that you love it’s not a privilege that everybody has. It’s a personal decision if you are taking this debt and something each person has to evaluate.
Sure, there are careers when a degree and specialisation is needed. Nor I, nor anyone else will let you perform a surgery without a degree, extensive studies and lots of practice (but not on myself!). Similar, if you want to become an engineer, you need to master your knowledge or your bridge won’t stand.
University provides the playground for self-discovery. It’s up to you to develop yourself, as the framework of a particular degree program is limiting. But university provides the playground for self-discovery.
In the UK, all degrees are equal (financially speaking) and academics are fighting to keep it this way. As all disciplines are seen as being important, this could motivate individuals to pursue their dream career at a higher rate. Often compared with battles from the West (with imaginary guns and cowboys played by the government) they are pushed for quality graduates.
So the short answer to the question "is a university degree worth it?" will be: it’s different for everyone. It’s worth it if you make it worth it, like everything else in life.
Along the same lines, you can also read 5 Things Your Recruiter Wished You Knew, to understand the recruitment world a bit better. Don’t be shy to chat with us on Facebook or Twitter – we post news daily and want to talk with you!More blog posts
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