confused about what to do next?

investigate your choices, get the facts about university
and discover the truth about student life

Is University for Me?
Is University for Me?

Deciding what to do next when you leave school or college can be a difficult decision, and it certainly isn’t a decision which you should take lightly given the potential impact your decision can have on the rest of your life.

Your parents, teachers and friends will all have an opinion on what you should do next, and whilst it’s worth taking this advice on board, at the end of the day it’s your decision, and no one else can make that decision for you. There’s no point going to university because your parents / teachers have convinced you, if it’s not something you really want to do (because at the end of the day it’s you that’s going to have to put in the effort to pass your course). At the same time, if you really want to go to university, don’t be put off by your friends just because they’re not going.

For some people, the decision may be a simple one. If you want to go into a career that requires a degree, for example if you want to be a teacher, lawyer, architect or doctor (to name a few), you’ll need a university degree before you can start your chosen career.

But what about those jobs that don’t require a degree? What’s the point of going to university if you don’t need a degree for your chosen career?

Just because your career doesn’t require a degree, doesn’t mean that a degree won’t be useful to you as you progress through life, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should rule out going to university.

A University degree, regardless of your subject or career choice, can offer a wide range of benefits, present and future.


The Benefits of University

One of the most obvious benefits of higher education is the increase in your subject specific knowledge and level of education, but there are many less obvious benefits to be had as well, ranging from cultural and social benefits to transferable skills.


Cultural & Social Benefits

AthleticsWherever you choose to study, you will undoubtedly find a rich cultural diversity in the student population. This represents a great chance to improve your understanding of cultures and beliefs different from your own, something which is becoming increasingly important in today’s multicultural society, particularly as you progress in to the workplace.

University also offers a great social experience, whether you choose to join sports teams or any of the multitude of clubs and societies on offer from your student union.


Transferable Skills

Group WorkIn addition to gaining subject specific knowledge, graduates also leave university with a whole host of transferable skills which graduate employers just love, and in many cases employers are more concerned with these transferable skills than the content of your degree. Why? Because the skills gained at university are exactly the same skills that are required for most graduate jobs.

The competencies or transferable skills that are particularly popular with graduate recruiters include:
• communication - ability to communicate orally, in writing, or via electronic means, in a manner appropriate to the audience;
• teamwork - being a constructive team member, contributing practically to the success of the team;
• leadership - being able to motivate and encourage others, whilst taking the lead;
• initiative - ability to see opportunities and to set and achieve goals;
• problem solving - thinking things through in a logical way in order to determine key issues, often also including creative thinking;
• flexibility/adaptability - ability to handle change and adapt to new situations;
• self-awareness - knowing your strengths and skills and having the confidence to put these across;
• commitment/motivation - having energy and enthusiasm in pursuing projects;
• interpersonal skills - ability to relate well to others and to establish good working relationships;
• numeracy - competence and understanding of numerical data, statistics and graphs.

No matter what course you study at university, you’ll develop the above skills throughout your time at university through working in groups, making presentations, submitting assignments in the form of essays / reports, and planning your own work and meeting deadlines.


Financial Benefits

MoneyA university degree can significantly boost your earning potential!

On average graduates tend to earn substantially more over the course of their lifetime than those without formal university qualifications. According to statistics made available by the government, on average university graduates will earn £100,000 more over the course of their lifetime than someone leaving education after completing their A-levels.

Even when you consider that you may have to borrow money (see our section on student finance) to fund your study at university, this increased earning potential more than makes up for this initial outlay.