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Why Fewer Young People Are Going To University

  • by: Ian Preddy
  • On: 15, Aug 2019
2 min read

The number of young people in the UK who believe a university degree is vital for success in later life has fallen to around two thirds. This number has been steadily falling for the last three year. More surprisingly, the number of young people who believe university isn’t important for success has doubled in the last year.

Is Networking Better Than University?

With the rise of Linkedin, students now believe networks and connections can open more doors than a degree. On top of this, because of rising costs, some university students are unhappy with the quality of education and support they receive at university given how much money they’re paying for the experience. Almost half of UK universities have seen a decrease in the overall satisfaction levels of their students.

Why More Young People Should Consider Apprenticeships

A growing awareness of apprenticeships and internships has also contributed to the drop in young people thinking university is necessary. The government has pushed these schemes, wanting to get more young people into work without the excessive debt that university brings. After university many students end up with a debt of around £50,000, that they often struggle to pay back over the course of their working lives. 40% of students are worried about university costs, perhaps unaware that there are alternatives available.

64% of young people have said they’d be interested in doing an apprenticeship if it led to a job they wanted. This suggests that many young people don’t know the opportunities apprenticeships can lead to.

Due to low wages, graduate jobs that might have been prestigious or well-paid twenty years ago are now the bottom of the career ladder. Often a young person could go straight into work, get promoted, and then be earning significantly more money than they would be if they got into the same field after university.

It’s worth noting that, in general, those with degrees do go on to earn more on average than those without. But that isn’t guaranteed. And getting a degree in one field doesn’t mean you’ll get a job as well.

Degrees Don’t Guarantee Success

While many still believe a university degree is a good indicator of general intelligence and work-ethic, they’re by no means a requirement for a successful career.

Some students who go to university end up in careers completely unrelated to what they studied, leading some to believe their years at university were wasted.

You Can Start A Technical Career Through An Apprenticeship

If you’re looking for a career in a technical industry like engineering or design, an apprenticeship might be better for you than going to university. You can earn money while you gain practical, on-site experience in the field you want to work in.

Apprentices earn on average £100,000 more over their careers than someone with no higher qualifications.

On top of that, you’ll start building a network of professionals in your field as soon as you start work. These two factors form a strong foundation from which to build a successful career.

Here are 10 reasons to do an apprenticeship.

Here are the best jobs you don’t need a degree for, or learn about skills you should put on your CV.

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