September 15, 2020 10:07 am Published by

 

Charlie Herbert
Head of Marketing


Last week whilst looking through LinkedIn I saw a title for an article titled “How important are university degrees?” and considering many people in the UK and round the world including myself applied myself in school to be able to go to university to get a degree and get a “good job” in the future. My degree is always something I have used in the workplace and feel like I wouldn’t be where I am today without it, but does it really count for anything?


What, if any, is the importance of further education? In my view, it gives a person a chance to be independent and have a sound career by virtue of getting a better paid job, greater prospects of advancing on the career ladder. Most importantly though, through higher and tertiary education a person finds the opportunity to mature, learn to take some responsibility for themselves, and develop friendships with people from all sorts of backgrounds.


I think most who disagree with the idea that a degree will help you get a higher paid job are from a more practical background. While degrees still play a role, it has become secondary in today’s job market. The way we learn has changed a lot with digital technologies. We have everything from google to YouTube and new and emerging technologies such as TikTok which drive the availability of free courses and free information is lowering the barriers to entry-level for jobs in numerous business sectors from painting and decorating to coding.

You could argue, for entry-level roles it is important to engage people with the right attitude and motivation to learn and move forward. But taking into account that companies like Google have even created “career certificates” that allow people to up-skill for jobs, does it really worth to afford the cost of university enrolment?

A vote cast on LinkedIn by Pieter Cranenbroek shows the debate in full flow:

One opinion from a business owner on this subject.


“Do we still end up hiring graduates? Yes, because, like many employers, we are still looking to hire top students, and, these days, nearly all go on to university, because they know most employers won’t hire them if they don’t”.


Ultimately, What it comes down to is the adaptability of the individual with the speed of the changes in the landscape. The key here is constant learning. It don’t matter how you learn, as long as you keep learning. 


As technology develops and “How you learn” adapts, maybe by 2040 you wont need a degree to be considered for a role or the next step on the employment ladder. But I can tell you that the 1-4 years of university can change your life for the better as it did mine, and I would always recommend anyone with the opportunity to go study should do so… even if it’s just for the cheap drinks.


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