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Does University really benefit you or is it just a con?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi guys,

I don't want this to be an argument please. Going to university cost me over £150,000 and my degree will probably never benefit me. If I had not studied a degree I would now be in a job that pays 21K and have no debts. :banghead:

As someone that knows accountants and electricians that cannot get a job in the UK I find it difficult to believe that university is worth the effort. When at college (2 years prior to recession) everyone kept telling me that I would regret not going to university. I am convinced it was just a ploy just to keep themselves in a job.

Please let me know your experiences x why is there people that are unemployed that graduated from the top universities? Even today employees at colleges are very keen for you to go to university and never tell you that you will find it very difficult to get a job when you leave. There are a few things that are said behind closed doors I think
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Out of interest what was your degree? You talk about about how it has not benefitted you and fixate on all the negatives about university life, but did you actually engage fully with your course and make the most out of opportunities given? University is more than just turning up to lectures. Do the bare minimum and you will get the bare minimum out of it. Same goes for everything in life.

    Maybe a more positive outlook would be a good start in you moving forwards.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How can I be positive ella? I would now own a house outright if I had not gone to university. I made some great friends at university and never missed a lecture. I do have other regrets but that is because 'experts' have never research the regrets that people have with their careers/university. Not staying in halls was one regret I had. My degree was in public service. I know people that have PHDs that work serving coffee at Starbucks. Regardless of whether you study 70 hours a week, getting a first class degree is becoming worthless. It's who you know, not what you know!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The majority of jobs now are asking for an undergraduate degree as the basis of employment. The degree doesn't have to be related to the job, but Alevels are not viewed as being a high enough qualification to be in a full time job, paying enough money to own a house outright.

    It is not up to these "experts" who you keep referring to: you attend university as an adult, therefore you need to take ownership of responsibility and should have done your own research before applying and going.

    I agree that having connections is likely to land you in a better position post-university, but again, that comes down to you, not the university. They do not need to make those connections for you.

    You can't change the fact that you went to university. You can either accept that for you it wasn't the best choice, for whatever reason and be bitter and cynical for the rest of your life, or you can move on and attempt to build a future from here, using university as a learning experience. It's not too late to get career and debt advice but ultimately the decision in how you choose to take life from here is up to you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would love to know what the training of college employees consists of. If I need to do my own research then we should just abolish The National Careers Service completely. I can see that happening after the next election, saving millions of tax payers money. They will not do it before though, it will add too many people to dole queues.

    I'm afraid your wrong Ella, permanent contractual employment is becoming a thing of the past and making it more difficult for people to get mortgages. The only reason I am cynical is because I feel cheated by my university, they just wanted the tuition fees. I want others to know that even if they get a first class degree it will not guarantee them a job earning 20K, especially in America. There are thousands of people in America that have PHDs that are unemployed

    I have learnt so much from speaking to people on youtube and on here than I ever did talking to any career advisor
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Where are you getting this information from?

    I'm 23 years old and have just finished an undergraduate degree, as a mature student. Prior to university, I had a contracted job, but pay was minimal due to the qualifications I did(not) hold. Throughout university I have had permanently contracted jobs, to support myself. Again pay wasn't great due to qualifications and I left on my own accord. Most of my friends are either continuing to further study or have secured a permanent job. So I suspect your quip about contracts relates to your field of work, not everywhere.

    I don't doubt that when the time comes, getting a mortgage will be a challenge, but I have saved to allow for that. Ownership. Responsibility. Adult.

    The university system in America is different to the system in Britain - you cannot compare the two.

    No, of course getting first class honours doesn't automatically mean you will earn 20k+, but you're more likely to earn that compared to someone with minimal qualifications.

    University is not for everyone. I think that is the basic point here. But university doesn't pretend to be for everyone, hence entry criteria. But alternatives are available, which maybe you missed the memo on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My old employers made thousands redundant last year (people on 40 hr contracts), and this year they have recruited people on 8 hr contracts. Do you think they are going to get a mortgage? Everything is just a con these days, which you will discover when you get a mortgage.....so be very careful. When I worked in marketing I discovered why some houses cannot be sold.

    I have various sources including whatuni.com, youtube, old friends and newspapers. You only need to go on youtube to listen to thousands of people that regret going to university, or regret deciding to study what they studied. Subjects like medicine are the only subjects worth studying now. Take teaching, if teachers are so happy going to university to become so highly qualified why do they keep striking?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Firstly - teachers keep striking because the Tory wanker government wants to make huge changes to their pension find which could leave those half way through their career in deep shit come retirement.

    Secondly - I regretted the subject and university I chose (and tried to change) but not doing my degree. I didn't make any lasting friends and I didn't make many connections and no I'm not in a high flying job right now but that's because I fell ill straight after leaving uni. Most of my classmates are now earning a fair wage or are doing a job that may not pay well but they love doing it.

    Getting on well in life is all about attitude - if you have a entitled view to life and think you "should" have a well paying job and everything to go with it you will get very little back. I "shouldn't" have fallen unwell and ended up in a wheelchair but I have and I'm making the very best I can out of life.

    Life is not all about money - you could have a £35k a year job, a house and no partner and no friends and no time to meet either outside of work. Or you could find a passion, make it your vocation, spend time working but also playing and make the most out of life. Money only rules your life if you let it.
  • Cat88Cat88 Moderator Posts: 377 Boards Initiate
    Hi theonethatgotaway - I'm really sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience with you university qualification. I agree, of course £150k is a huge amount; obviously I don't know the circumstance of why yours is so high, but don't forget that for the student loan element anyway you won't pay it off unless you earn a certain amount and it isn't taken into account for mortgages, credit etc. (info here)

    What posters have said above is true though, there are also a lot of good stories. I myself graduated from a good university and have a job I'm really happy with, as do many of my friends, but don't get me wrong I had a lot of rejection along the way and had to start looking at the beginning of third year if not before. And I also have lots of friends who didn't go to Uni and are also doing very well.

    In some cases, and many employers say this outright now, it can also be the "extra bits" to your degree that sell you - volunteering, work experience, hobbies and so on. Perhaps if you are unhappy in your job you could look at finding some other things to do in addition which might help you get a job you'd be happier in? There are loads of resources on this site which could help guide you. It's also not necessarily too late to get real careers advice; in many cases university careers services may also support alumni, but if that isn't suitable you could try the National Careers Service or Prospects.

    As for whether university is worth it in general, that really is down to the individual. For some professions you genuinely do just need that extra level of qualification, e.g. lawyer, doctor, teacher and so on, but for others it may not always be the right route, and for anyone else reading this thread you could explore many options and getting support from people both at home and in your school/college to help you make the right choice for you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't where all your friends are guys. I have spoken to endless people on yahoo that wish they had never gone to university. Don't talk to me about The National Careers Service. I am doing everything I can to get them shut down. As Ella says I'm expected to do my own research so they are not needed anymore.

    If I had not been so naïve and trusted people I would have taken part in occupation questionnaires and be in a job I love now. No-one I know will ever be using the careers service, I will teach them how to research it themselves.

    Miss riot - there are numerous reasons why teachers are striking. Lack of promotion, working 60+ hours, pension scheme, abolishing the school holidays and others no doubt. I'm sure they don't tell students at colleges why they are always striking though.

    Guys - of course there are things that tutors, careers advisors and universities will never tell you! They want to keep their jobs, and they want the tuition fees. Go on youtube, videos that have been uploaded by my university never have any negative comments! Videos that have been uploaded by previous students have endless negative comments. Why do you think that is?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You spent £150,000 at university? Really? Are you quite sure about that?

    The only way to spend that much money at University is to go and do a PhD. And if you got all the way to the end of a PhD before realising you didn't want to do University then, really, that's your fault and nobody else's.

    Of course a promotional video for the University is going to be full of shiny happy young people being shiny, happy and young. What do you expect? The university to run a PR video saying "don't come here, the lecturers are all cunts"?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Guys, it does not need much thinking to work out why it costs that much! If you go to university you will get a debt of 4-8k (maybe more in London or aborad) per year (plus any money borrowed from parents etc). You will also not be earning the 20k per year that you would if you were in employment. Lets take off deductions etc...it has cost you 60K providing you get a job that pays 20K straight from 3rd year at university. It should be the careers service or your college that should be explaining these things...NOT ME!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It should be the careers service or your college that should be explaining these things...NOT ME!!

    Christ, university costs money these days? You have to pay tuition fees? I just wish I had the ability to know that for myself.

    No but seriously, the university makes tuition fees/accommodation fees for uni maintained housing publicly available. The use of a calculator and simple maths skills means you can total up the three years very easily. No one is under the illusion that going to uni is free or cheap.

    You are not listening when I say earning 20k plus with no degree or further training isn't likely. A quick google: working on a fresh foods counter in a shop, for 30 hours a week, 48 weeks a year will earn you £9604.80. Hardly the 20k dream salary for doing sweet nothing you're lusting over.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You will also not be earning the 20k per year that you would if you were in employment.

    It should be the careers service or your college that should be explaining these things...NOT ME!!

    Oh dear. The "cost" of going to University is the tuition fee loan and the living costs loan.

    Given that the National Minimum Wage is £5.03 an hour, and the apprentice minimum wage is £2.68 per hour, £20k a year as an 18-year-old with no qualifications is, er, optimistic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You are not listening when I say earning 20k plus with no degree or further training isn't likely. A quick google: working on a fresh foods counter in a shop, for 30 hours a week, 48 weeks a year will earn you £9604.80. Hardly the 20k dream salary for doing sweet nothing you're lusting over.[/QUOTE]

    Did you read my comments ella? The job that I was doing when I was 19 pays around 21K today. If you are prepared to do the overtime you can easily earn over 30K. That is the life I would have now had I not studied a degree. University never benefits people as much as they think
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    University may have not benefitted you as much as you thought it was.

    That's very different to university never benefits anyone as much as they think. A lot of it may come down to how much thinking actually takes place as part of the decision making rather than blindly following the crowd.

    For a school leaver to be employed in a job that pays over £20,000 as soon as they leave school is a relatively uncommon scenario. It also comes down to more than the total income you get. I chose to do 2 more years at university than a standard Batchelors course would have taken. Had I done my degree in the minimum time then I would have started earning from a full time job two years earlier. Recoupling that 'lost' income (as you would describe it) will take a long time, and arguably may never happen. However, it allowed me to study something that I found fascinating, and do a job that I enjoy doing.

    There's more to worth than pounds in the bank.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The job that I was doing when I was 19 pays around 21K today. If you are prepared to do the overtime you can easily earn over 30K. That is the life I would have now had I not studied a degree. University never benefits people as much as they think

    Blaming everyone else for your own decisions? The true hallmark of a successful person :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are a few lecturers on here I think. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country that believe that university is a waste of time. Capitalism has taken over and thus salaries/wages are no different to what they are without a degree in most occupations, even if you have a first class degree. One of my old employers wanted me to suggest ideas that could save them millions and in return they wanted to give me £100, is that the 'extra bits' you mean? 'Real career advice', it took 6 years from whatuni being launched to careers advisors finding out about it.....with youtube, whatuni, cappex, newspapers and dozens of other websites who needs careers advisors....

    I doubt I will ever pay my student loan off....and just by speaking to the student loans company it became obvious (from their point of view) why there is so much student loan debt. I thought student loans were taken into account for mortgage applications....will look into that.

    The cost of university is any money that would be in your pocket had you not studied a degree. 80% of degrees are a waste of time...which is partly the reason why the intake of students at most universities has halved. Consequently, it is becoming easier to get into the top universities..........MONEY TALKS. All universities care about is the tuition fees...which is why many universities WILL NOT LET YOU TALK TO THE THRID YEAR STUDENTS
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are you suggesting that posters on here are university lecturers? Bearing in mind that this is a youth and young adult site? And even if they were, would it make their opinion invalid?

    Can you provide a reference for your statement that university intakes have halved? Most of what I've seen has been suggesting that still rising. Again, any reference for universities not letting you talk to third year students? My experience has been that there are usually a mix of current students at open days available to talk to potential applicants.

    Do you have a vested interest in whatuni? You appear to place a lot of emphasis on it, whereas again, it's just one tool in the decision making process.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I went to a university open day last week, at least half the students I spoke to were 3rd/4th years.
  • Cat88Cat88 Moderator Posts: 377 Boards Initiate
    I was also a tour guide/advisor for prospective students in both my second and third years.

    theonethatgotaway - I have absolutely no doubt that you feel university was the wrong choice for you and I totally understand that, it sounds like you did possibly go to somewhere which didn't give you what you needed. However, it is simply not the case for a lot of people.

    My point is - there are so many different cases. I do agree with you that young people should look at all options and decide what is right for them, rather than defaulting to any one option (which i believe some people have done with uni), and that's exactly what a place like this is for, to help give advice and support. But I'm conscious of all the different users of this site and i really don't want this thread to scare of a lot of users for whom uni would be the right opportunity so please try to consider that.
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    Did you read my comments ella? The job that I was doing when I was 19 pays around 21K today. If you are prepared to do the overtime you can easily earn over 30K. That is the life I would have now had I not studied a degree. University never benefits people as much as they think
    Meanwhile, some of us are happily getting along in the jobs that they could only have got by going to uni, loving their jobs and their subject...
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    I don't where all your friends are guys. I have spoken to endless people on yahoo that wish they had never gone to university. Don't talk to me about The National Careers Service. I am doing everything I can to get them shut down. As Ella says I'm expected to do my own research so they are not needed anymore.

    If you look for one opinion, you will always find it. People are more likely to moan about when things have gone wrong, rather than express when it went right.

    I'm really sorry this has gone wrong for you, but we all have to take responsibility for it. I know people who have gone to university and had great success, but equally others who have graduated and struggled to get jobs. They are not bitter though - they have learnt more skills that will help them in day to day life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Clearly some of you don't believe.

    Scary.. When tuition fees nearly trebled like they did do you think that would encourage or entice people to study a degree!

    Yes nina, some universities only have a drop out rate of 10-20% but others think they are doing well if 60% drop out by the end of the second year....and people never usually question that. The students union are meant to there to represent the students but at some universities they are in the pocket of management, so it's pointless in having them really. To listen to people that regret going to university or what they studied watch these videos (don't let the student loans videos scare you, just thought I would make you aware)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV_Wqcdt1YM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqE8VvR9_RM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiDTQxe4_oY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUEUgXGh9jM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJwTkALDKpY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0xGSXhb8Bk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--ZOhbX0A-g
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esovcVmZitc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvQR93C6n2E
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24vp7WUjhzk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTMcIddDmC8 (lovely woman!)
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    So, in between the American videos, the ones against one single uni, the one where she says her opinion but isn't trying to influence anyone, there's the one video who emphasis that you have to do what you love or it won't work and gives generally sound advice, you've managed to pick out a fairly rum selection of videos. The UK situation is completely different to the American one. You cannot compare. Anyone coming to this site for advice, will see this and may blankly assume the situation is the same - it isn't.

    You are completely missing the point here. There are people like you who have a bad experience. There are others who have a good experience. But it is your responsibility only. The mature decision is to say okay - I'm not enjoying this - But I can do something about it. Not to spend the rest of your life blaming others.

    Uni is right for some people. It isn't right for others. But please, stop with all of this. It's blatant scaremongering and completely pointless. There is only one person who can decide whether they go to uni or not - the individual. So stop saying the careers advisors made you do it. You took their advice, it didn't work out, move on. Use some of the skills you learnt at uni. The soft skills.

    The government put the fees up because they decided to take the funding away as part of the cuts. Therefore there was a gap. The cost of educating one person is the same - just who pays for it directly has changed. Indirectly, the money still goes to the government. They thought it'd stop people but it hasn't - why? Because all of these young people feel that their future will be positively affected by studying. There are equally lots of other young people who have decided not to go to uni, too. So it's not like all the 18 year olds are being mass horded into uni.

    The best advice you can give on your crusade is to let people know that there are both positives and negatives. Because everyone has their own situation and it might be right for some, others it might not. But please, please, please stop saying going to uni can only end badly. Use all this energy to help others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tuition fees going up should have made people think harder about whether or not they would get value out of the degree they were considering.

    That's not actually answering the question though, of whether student numbers have actually fallen - or whether that's a 'fact' you made up to support your cause.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can understand you justifying it Cat but I have spoken to so many people that feel that university is pointless. Unless you study a degree like medicine it is a waste of time. Even if you do study a degree like accountancy or law you would need to get a first because there are hundreds of people applying for the same job that have second class degrees. A friend of mine is a fully qualified accountant and he works for amazon as a warehouse operative. He did unpaid work experience on the promise that he would get a long term job - never did. I'm not saying don't consider university, just be very cautious that all some universities want is the tuition fees. There are thousands of unhappy students out there, some different stories:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuuYAOsUds
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiOfviCCL3k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he51eQBYrNM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUwLPqWCda4&list=FLJ11ggBWFCFD8eLz2TfKa9Q&index=2

    I think the fact that this thread has become one of the most viewed just shows how many doubts people have
  • Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Noob Posts: 876
    I think the fact that this thread has become one of the most viewed just shows how many doubts people have

    No
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Alternatively it shows that people have opinions, or are interested in the subject. If you look at the posts, there's a fairly strong leaning towards making an informed decision.
  • Cat88Cat88 Moderator Posts: 377 Boards Initiate
    Alternatively it shows that people have opinions, or are interested in the subject. If you look at the posts, there's a fairly strong leaning towards making an informed decision.

    And this is exactly it - all I want to do is ensure people see a balanced view on the subject! Thanks ScaryMonster! And plugitin your post was great, I wanted to quote it all!

    As I keep saying, theonethatgotaway I very much understand you have had a very bad experience, but I can also list myself (Economics), and loads of friends who did loads of different degrees (Environmental Science, Teaching, History of Art, Politics, English, Maths, Sports Science amongst others)and are all in graduate-level jobs. In fact I can only think of 1 or 2 people who are in a job they could have entered without a degree, and that was mainly by choice. These aren't all from the same Uni either.

    Clearly, neither situation is the full story, but there are very much two sides and to anyone reading this please just look for guidance that is appropriate for you personally.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you think this is how real life works, you're going to be disappointed:

    1. Go to University.
    2. Turn up to lectures every now and again.
    3. ?????
    4. Profit.
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