The value of a university education
University – where it all begins?
With the average degree costing in excess of £8k a year, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of youngsters are opting for on-the-job training and apprenticeship schemes.
But does this mean that university has priced itself out of the market? And, what does it mean for the job market? Are degrees still valuable to employers or is an entry-level employee who can learn the skills on the job a more appealing option?
In my view, a degree gives a young person transferable skills and social mobility. If a youngster comes from a disadvantaged background and wants to succeed in the professional world, then university provides the bridge. It helps to create a level playing field.
We know the likes of Richard Branson and Jo Malone built their businesses from nothing, but unlike youngsters from difficult backgrounds, they had the right connections. I’m not saying their businesses were built on who they knew and not what they knew – you have to be insightful, hard-working, sharp and courageous to build a business. But, a little helping hand or piece of advice from a well-placed knowledgeable contact can sometimes be all it takes to help the person with the right skills and drive, make an idea a reality.
I’m still of the opinion that apprenticeships can limit opportunities. I can’t help but think of the Post Office redundancies. But, if a person knows at a young age what they want to do and where they want to go, then they can generate the right experiences and progression.
Whatever the choice of education, it has to be the right fit for the individual. Whether, it’s degree or apprenticeship, it should not only teach practical skills but the art of building rapport, relationships and how to make the most of an opportunity