University is a waste of time? Q&A Time
In my last video, I spoke about why University may well be, a waste of time. And you guys have given me great support in response to that video. There have also been many thought-provoking questions to challenge those ideas.
So I’ve compiled some of them and I will discuss them right here, right now.
Before going into it, you don’t need to have seen my previous video to understand the questions talked about in this one, buuuut I do recommend it. Now without further ado, let’s goooo
What about the people who are more suited to learning in a university environment?
Look mate, if your most suitable place for learning is in a room full of hungover savages in front of an unenthusiastic professor and you’re happy to pay more than £30,000 for it, that’s your choice.
But what if you allocated that 1/30th of that into some books, maybe an online course, and being able to travel around, visit different coffee shops and do your learning wherever and whenever you like?
And the beauty of self-learning is there are no prerequisites, you don’t need to wait until you’ve finished college and you certainly don’t need to worry about if you’ve gotten 2 Bs and an A to qualify and be accepted. Whether you’re still in secondary school, or even if you’ve finished education 20 years ago, you can literally start your self-learning journey in the next 10 minutes if you wanted to.
What do you mean apprenticeships “don’t change much”
So this varies on an individual basis because every apprenticeship is different, but I speak for the majority of them.
In one of the previous places I’ve worked at, there were two apprentice web developers who became apprentices after graduating uni. After 1 year, they became official employees of the company at junior positions, the lowest in the hierarchy.
And this is how it tends to be with apprenticeships. The fact that it lasted only a year for those web developers was already quite generous, because most apprenticeships take 2 or 3 years to complete.
And at the end of your apprenticeship, you will only naturally progress to the lowest position in the company. And once you are settled into one of these bottom positions, progression into a higher position becomes generally slow.
However, apprenticeships are still great for a number of reasons. You get actual workplace experience in your field which puts you ahead of most university graduates already.
There are in fact, plenty of degree apprenticeships which do get you a degree without paying any student fees. In fact, you are getting paid to get that degree which in my books is a massive positive. In this case, it can be an excellent choice.
But do definitely look at all your options, and ask yourself these questions. Does having that degree make a difference? Could you spend those 3 or so years doing something else that advances your career further? And can you learn the necessary skills to be able to skip those bottom positions and gain a head start at a slightly higher position?
I don’t know how to learn on my own
I’m gonna read an excerpt from one of my favourite books, The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ De Marco. It goes
“But I don’t know how, your cry. Oh stop. Public Enemy no. 1 on the most used excuses list is I don’t know how! Well, why don’t you know how? I’ll tell you why. You don’t know because you haven’t taught yourself how, nor have you wanted to know how badly enough. You see, it is easier to relent under the weight of I don’t know how than it is to actively pursue the knowledge”
MJ De Marco puts it perfectly and I couldn’t have said it any better.
By the way guys, The Millionaire Fastlane is an excellent book and honestly quite life changing, it definitely was for me, exposing the secrets of money and mindset that even other “get rich” sort of book authors don’t want you to know.
If you do want to check it out, I’ve put a link to the book on amazon down in the description. It is an affiliate link so by clicking the link and buying the book, you will not only have taken a major step towards changing your life, but you will be supporting me as well. Much thanks.
I wish I had the skills but I’m doing “x” degree
Like I’ve said in my previous video, some fields and degrees are exceptions to this rule. For the most part, these are sciences. You can’t become a physicist without a physics or engineering degree, for example. And you certainly cannot be a doctor without a degree in medicine.
However, people throw in a lot of jobs and careers into this category before doing the research to find out whether or not their dream job requires them to have a degree.
And the biggest example I see of this is law. In fact, law was the real example used in this question. It has become common knowledge that to have any real career in law, you absolutely need a degree.
But here’s the thing right. Do a quick google search on “Can you become x job without a degree”, and you will find out whether or not your dream job does need a degree, or if there are alternate paths which 1. Doesn’t require 3 years of wasted time and debt and 2. Could be quicker ways towards your dream job.
I’ve done a quick google search on Can you become a solicitor without a degree and almost immediately, I’ve seen a few alternate paths to the job, one through an apprenticeship which means you’ll be getting paid as you gain the experience to become a solicitor, and another one is through CILEX which offers a variety of options to start or progress your legal career for all levels of experience or qualification, even if that experience and qualification level is zero.
Now if Law has all these alternate options, what about your career field?
Student loan is convenient to pay
Oh dear, oh dear. Isn’t this the trap of a lifetime? Let’s review it.
We can find out how student loan is repaid through the gov.uk website, but for convenience sake, I’m gonna go to student-loan-calculator.co.uk, because it summarises quite simply how student loan is repaid.
Everyone who attended university on or after 2012 received a Plan 2 loan. You will pay 9% of all pre-tax income above £26,575. If you earn £26,575 or less you will pay nothing. If you earn £30,000 you will pay 9% of £3,425; your annual repayment will be £308.25, or £25.69 per month.
Now £26 a month is quite small, and looks pretty alright doesn’t it? But don’t forget, if you’ve gone to university. You’re probably aiming for a job with a bit more pay than that. So let’s pretend you earn £50,000 a year. Minus the threshold, this is £23,425 accounted for in your repayment. 9% of this is £2108 and 25p. So monthly, You’ll be paying over £175.
This will only become higher as your salary gets higher as well, and will take you about 16 years to repay. £200 off your pay check for 16 years, oh dear.
Just to show you how much £200 every month for 16 years can do for you, if you invested £200 every month into an index fund that has a 7.5% annual return on investment, after 16 years, this would be worth £67,600. So you can either have that, or… you can get a degree I guess.
By the way, I’m not a financial adviser, so don’t take this as professional financial advice. Moving on.
Degrees are super important in my country, I can’t get a job without one
When I talk about the need or the lack of need of university and a degree to get a job, I mostly speak for the UK because it’s the system I know the best.
So in response to my last video, I’ve been told by my friends in the Philippines that it’s pretty much impossible to get a job worth anything there without a degree.
Now I want all my Filipino viewers to know that I’ve never tried job searching in the Philippines, so what I’m about to say now is solely based on research and other supplementary knowledge I may have, so take it with a grain of salt.
In any country I think, there will always be jobs that don’t require degrees that can leverage any particular skills you may have, but this may include your dream job.
This however, only applies if you’re looking to be hired by an employer. But consider self-employment or starting a business. If you are using your skills to sell products or offer services on your own basis, qualifications are completely irrelevant because you are your own boss. You make all the calls, unless of course, you want to reject yourself because you don’t have a level 3 college diploma.
You can make use of platforms like fiverr, upwork, or even set up your own website, among plenty of other ways to put your services out there.
And what if self-employment or business is not your thing, there are still other options. Remote work is one of them. You can find a job based in another country that allows you to work from home, and this could be permanent or on a contract-basis. Theoretically, you have a whole world’s job market if you wanted to go down this route, and many places won’t care about your formal qualifications, as long as you have the skills. This may even earn you substantially more than if you had a job in your home country, especially if the economical gap between your countries is quite large.
I am aware that in the Philippines, there are so many with a strong affinity towards programming. Not only is programming an excellent service you can offer anywhere in the world to build websites, mobile apps, etcetera etcetera, it is also an excellent option for remote work on both a permanent and a contract basis.
According to itjobswatch.co.uk, the median contractor rate for a Web Developer is £400 per day which is not only already high for a salary in the UK, but that translates to about $553 or 26,000 Philippine Pesos… everyday.
Now the final option is to actually go abroad and find a job in another country away from your own, but I wanted to save this for last because of two reasons: It might be financially difficult to make the move abroad and you may not prefer to be away from friends and family.
If you do choose to make the move however, and you decide to come to the UK, send me a message and we can hit the pub and enjoy a couple beers.
University degrees give you something to fall back on
Planning for failure, planning for failure, planning for failure.
Sure, it’s always good to have a plan B, but this argument only exists because graduating university doesn’t guarantee you your plan A. I’ve heard too many stories of university graduates struggling for potentially years to get the job they went to uni to get.
If you’re not able to get the job that you want, consider what your missing. Do you lack the skills? Do you lack the experience? Or do you simply lack the evidence to show for it? You find out, then you work on it until you get the job you’re aiming for.
In this self-learning route that I am so insistently advocating, plans A, B, C, D, and E are to push for your main goal, your dream job, your number one choice and to seek continuous improvement until you get it.
It’s only when you get to plan F that you might have to reconsider changing directions if there is absolutely no other choice.
That is all for this session. It is common knowledge to assume that university is the only way to get into most jobs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. So whether you are a secondary or college student considering your options for the future, or you’re an adult who’s long since finished education and you’re looking for a wake up call to pursue your dreams, I hope this video helps. Peace!
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