Should I go university?

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Imdad Ahad

Backend Developer | Worked for GOV UK Notify, BT, Shell, GE | BSc Comp Sci

Great question! Brace yourself for this answer, it’s going to be long but hopefully it’ll help you! I, along with many others, asked this at some point before eventually deciding to go to university. Personally I spent a lot of time thinking about this and asking my friends and family for advice (some who had gone and others who hadn’t.) Before I give my answer, what I will say is ultimately once you have done your research and spoken to many people - and of course asked on Scoodle - you’ll find that there is no ‘right’ answer of what you should do, but rather that you’ll be better equipped to make your decision. Let’s start with this question: Do you know what you would like to pursue as a career one day? Most people don’t. Some do. If you know this, then its much easier to figure out what you need to do to get to that career. If for example you want to become a doctor then you have to study Medicine at university, as it is a requirement. If you want to become a software engineer or programmer, these days you don’t /really/ need to go to university for that. Take advantage of the fact that you can ask questions about specific industries on Scoodle, as there are tutors studying at university and others who are working in industries such as banking, engineering, tech etc. If you are unsure, to some extent you have to figure this out soon otherwise it becomes difficult. As an example, if you go to university you have at least three to four years to think about this, try out different work experiences through internships and after those years then make a final decision. This is a really good amount of time. Also, these days you don’t really need a maths degree to get a banking job, or a business degree to get a consulting job - you just need a degree. This means you can be a bit flexible about what you choose to study and I’d argue it makes much more of a difference as to where you study than what you study e.g. studying at Oxbridge looks better than studying at a lower-tier university. If you choose not to study at university, the alternative is to find a job, apprenticeship or a further study course. These options are trickier in the sense that you don’t have time to figure out what you want to do. You can’t do an apprenticeship in plumbing and then decide you want to become a carpenter. It’s not to say that these aren’t good options, they just require you to know what you want a bit earlier. Another question you have to ask is whether you can afford to study at university. There is a lot of financial support available that will help you to cover your tuition fees etc. but you will stack up a large amount of debt. In saying that, this definitely isn’t a reason to not go. It’s more that you have to be comfortable with that amount of debt. However, once you get a job after university you can pay these off over some years. What I would say is getting a part-time job helps a lot. The last question is whether you’re ready to not go to university? This sounds slightly weird, but hear me out. If you choose to start working straight away, then you’ll be working for the rest of your life until your pension age. If you go university, you still have about three to four years to meet new people, try new things, learn new things and take your time a bit to figure out life and what you want from it. Personally I’d recommend going I look back, and for me going to university was the right decision. Having those three to four years gave me a chance to meet some incredible people and many of them are now my close friends who also have jobs in different industries and sectors. I learnt a lot during my time there and interned at some great companies which ultimately helped me to figure out what I wanted to pursue as a career and get a job after graduating. I know this was long, hopefully it was helpful😀 Feel free to ask more questions if you still need help.

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