What matters most?
The simple answer is: it depends on the career you want to pursue.
Some jobs cannot be done without the right qualifications. Becoming a Doctor requires a university degree. Getting a job in law, accountancy or engineering also requires a degree. For some jobs, a specific license is compulsory. But for others, there’s no need to have a qualification at all.
Benefits of a Degree
It's said that university graduates have better opportunities and usually earn a higher salary. Having a degree shows you have good knowledge of a specific field and allows you to further your career. It helps you stand out from the crowded job market.
Going to university will teach you valuable skills, and not just in the subject you go to study. You become self-resilient as you develop a greater depth of understanding. You’ll make friends with people from different walks of life. It benefits your social, sporting, personal, artistic, and ethical understanding.
The best graduates are those who come from a ‘sandwich’ course with a year in industry. They’re the best of both worlds, a degree as well as experience. They have the knowledge and can actually apply it.
Negatives of a Degree
There is a massive price tag attached to going to university. With the rising cost of education, it’s no wonder people think twice about pursuing higher learning.
Additionally, a university degree doesn’t guarantee success. Many students are lured into university with the promise of top jobs and a good salary, but this is not always the case. Lots of these students are left with lots of debt.
Benefits of Experience
Most university students are “book smart” but lack soft skills such as leadership or teamwork. Gaining experience lets you develop with hands-on work knowledge. These graduates may also have an inability to work independently. They just aren’t prepared for the workplace. A degree does not make up for the lack of real-life experience.
Although you may not have a degree, this doesn’t stop you from studying for non-degree certificates to enhance your knowledge. Take the initiative to complete a formal certification to help you become more of an expert.
Negatives of Experience
Those without a university degree need to fight harder for what they want. A lot of companies look to recruit university students as interns. People without degrees can sometimes be looked down upon because they didn’t go to university. It’s important for them to continuously learn and meet new people to network.
If you want to study a course it will probably require an upfront investment, and they’re not always cheap. There’s also a necessary time commitment alongside your working commitments.
Do I need a degree?
Nowadays, everyone seems to have (or wants to have) a degree. But as more and more people gain degrees, do they really make you stand out as a better-qualified candidate?
More and more employers are disregarding degrees as a requirement for a job. There is no clear link between a degree and your ability to do your job. By opening up the applications they will attract more diverse people.
But, at the end of the day, people are hired based on their performance at the interview.
It’s your skill, talent, and hard work that matter!