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graduating university

Is University worth it? The pros and cons explained..

University isn’t for everyone and deciding on whether to attend or not is an important one! It’s essential to consider both the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision and decide what’s best for you.

In this blog, we go over the pros and cons of going to uni. Let’s start with the pros.

Pros of going to university:

You’ll become an ‘expert’ in a subject you love

If there’s a subject you love that you want to dive deeper into and qualify yourself as an expert in, then uni could be for you. Over the 3-4 years of your degree, you’ll become an expert in your chosen subject and get to choose a number of specialist areas to delve into further develop your interests. 

When applying to university it’s really important that you choose a subject that you are genuinely interested in as you will be committing the next 3 years of your life to it!

You’ll gain great ‘life experience’ and grow as a person

University can provide great opportunities for personal growth and development, allowing you to explore your interests and broaden your horizons. From gaining independence through living on your own to making new friends from different backgrounds, widening your range of interests through societies and clubs, opportunities to study and live abroad and learning life skills like budgeting, are all things that will be useful to you after you graduate.

It can improve your job prospects

Attending university provides a variety of opportunities to build key transferable skills crucial for your future career, from attending careers fairs to leading societies, participating in group projects, and gaining part-time work – if you make the proactive effort to do so!

Now that we have covered the pros, let’s look at the cons:

Cons of going to university

It’s expensive and you’ll leave with a lot of debt

According to UnBiased, the average cost of university tuition, excluding accommodation for a standard three-year course in the UK is a whopping £27,750. For most, this is unaffordable without taking out a government loan to cover tuition and living costs. Which like all loans, has to be paid back… with the added interest, of course. 

Although students aren’t required to start paying the debt back until they’re earning at least £27,295 a year, the debt with accruing interest is still significant.

It involves lots of studying and independent work and can be time-consuming

If you’re somebody that doesn’t enjoy studying and independent work, then chances are university is not for you. Although some courses are more ‘hands-on’ than others, most courses will involve long reading lists and lots of deadlines all around the same sort of time for different modules, which can get a little stressful sometimes.

University can also be time-consuming and challenging when balancing assignments, exams, friends, a part-time job and other commitments whilst studying. 

You aren’t guaranteed a job and your lifetime earnings aren’t necessarily higher

Although degrees can be great and equip you with a variety of skills, the one thing they don’t equip you with is a guaranteed job at the end.  According to StandOut CV, there are over 96,000 unemployed graduates each academic year equating to an annual unemployment rate of 12%. 

There is also little recent evidence since the increased popularity of alternative post-education options like apprenticeships that a degree necessarily increases your lifetime earning potential.

Ultimately, by weighing the pros and cons of attending university you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for YOU and your future goals. When making a decision, keep in mind your own personal circumstances and priorities, as what works for your friends or your family may not work for you.

Check out the Talk Twenties Podcast for more advice on becoming more confident in your twenties!