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Is A Degree Worth It

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Graduated a few years ago but i find myself on the same salary as people who left school.

To make things worse the people who did leave school bought property in 2001-2002.

Why do people go to university, to get in more debt and find out at the end of it, it has been a complete waste of time.

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because having more people at university lowers unemployment figures, because you have more people in education and more importantly you need more staff and companies running the universities....

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Graduated a few years ago but i find myself on the same salary as people who left school.

To make things worse the people who did leave school bought property in 2001-2002.

Why do people go to university, to get in more debt and find out at the end of it, it has been a complete waste of time.

Depends on what you degree is and where it is from.

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Graduated a few years ago but i find myself on the same salary as people who left school.

To make things worse the people who did leave school bought property in 2001-2002.

Why do people go to university, to get in more debt and find out at the end of it, it has been a complete waste of time.

Several reasons.

1 They were lead to believe it would get them a better job.

2 They couldn't get a job so decided to study until things got better (this definately happened in the years before and after I went. I was lucky that when I went there were jobs around when it finished.).

However, I think it is slowly being seen through, especially with the effective devaluation of qualifications with lots of new 'universities' popping up in recent years with dubious standards.

The government had a target of 50% of people going into higher education. This was clearly an attempt to hide unemployment as the incapacity quota had long been filled. As a result we have more overqualified unemployed youngsters than ever before, but still can't get a plumber.

I was lucky and chose to study in the field of IT. If I was to do it now, the only things I would consider are: law, accountancy (boring), medicine (bit squeemish) and some sort of IT, because otherwise you're going to struggle to get a job that was worth all the effort.

I did do a year of astronomy (as an aside) and it was the best thing I've ever studied but there are simply no jobs so I did not pursue it further.

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My daughter is doing A levels (reluctantly) and she absolutely has no desire to go to uni. She says it is pointless unless you know what you want to do afterwards and she does not want to get saddled with a load of debt. She would rather get a job.

If the Government's ambition is to get 50% of the population to go to uni - a degree is hardly going to have the same value as it did when (?don't know the figures) say 10% went.

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because having more people at university lowers unemployment figures, because you have more people in education and more importantly you need more staff and companies running the universities....

Right on the ball there moosetea!! <_<

I've got no degree whatsoever and I'm on similiar salaries to people at work with degrees. I also find some of the people who do have computing degrees know absolutely nowt about computing. My best mate doesn't have any qualifications apart from O-Levels and his level of computing, programming and general intelligence is astounding.

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Depends on what you want to do. In my idustry (IT Consulting), the best paid and most interesting jobs are only given to Graduates with a good degree. You can do hack work with no degree, but your career progression hits a limit much earlier.

In response to Ozz above, having a degress is of course no guarentee of a good employee, however not having one does mean that at a lot of companies you won't even get to the interview stage for a job.

Edited by Gtr London FTB

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Right on the ball there moosetea!! <_<

I've got no degree whatsoever and I'm on similiar salaries to people at work with degrees. I also find some of the people who do have computing degrees know absolutely nowt about computing. My best mate doesn't have any qualifications apart from O-Levels and his level of computing, programming and general intelligence is astounding.

Some jobs need a degree level education. Those who say they do the same job without one as someone who has a degree, are probably doing a job that doesn't require one!

If I ever need a Doctor I hope he will have a degree - I wouldn't want advice from an enthusiastic GCSE leaver!

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It's interesting that the question has been considered as purely a financial one. Discounted cash flows less cost of investment etc.

Anybody want to stand up for the other benefits of further education?

(I'm not going too, I'm not sure there are any and I'm certain that the idea will get shot down).

Edited by bandylegs

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Depends on what you want to do. In my idustry (IT Consulting), the best paid and most interesting jobs are only given to Graduates with a good degree. You can do hack work with no degree, but your career progression hits a limit much earlier.

In response to Ozz above, having a degress is of course no guarentee of a good employee, however not having one does mean that at a lot of companies you won't even get to the interview stage for a job.

Spot on . My 2 graduate sons (23 and 25) are earning more than they would without degrees, IMO, with miles of headroom still above them.

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Depends on what you want to do. In my idustry (IT Consulting), the best paid and most interesting jobs are only given to Graduates with a good degree. You can do hack work with no degree, but your career progression hits a limit much earlier.

In response to Ozz above, having a degress is of course no guarentee of a good employee, however not having one does mean that at a lot of companies you won't even get to the interview stage for a job.

Some companies won't interview you if you dont have a degree, sure! But are these companies excluding extremely knowledgable people - yes. I think any interviewer should conduct an apptitude test for any person being interviewed.

If it were down to me and I had a choice of the following:

Person A: With degree, 1 year experience

Person B: Without degree, 10 years experience

I'd take experience any day over a qualification.

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Some companies won't interview you if you dont have a degree, sure! But are these companies excluding extremely knowledgable people - yes. I think any interviewer should conduct an apptitude test for any person being interviewed.

If it were down to me and I had a choice of the following:

Person A: With degree, 1 year experience

Person B: Without degree, 10 years experience

I'd take experience any day over a qualification.

You're obviously talking about jobs that don't need a degree level education. How can you be an experienced brain surgeon without a medical degree?

Edited by Casual Observer

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Depends on your reasons for going to Uni aswell though surely?

I studied English Lit because I liked it- have never used it specifically but had a great 3 years!

(I did graduate 10 years ago though & didnt come out with debt as there were still grants in those days!!)

Have recently completed an NVQ 4 which will stand me in much better stead though career wise!

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Depends on your reasons for going to Uni aswell though surely?

I studied English Lit because I liked it- have never used it specifically but had a great 3 years!

(I did graduate 10 years ago though & didnt come out with debt as there were still grants in those days!!)

Have recently completed an NVQ 4 which will stand me in much better stead though career wise!

Isn't NVQ5 supposed to be comparable to a degree? Do you think it is?

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You're obviously talking about jobs that don't need a degree level education. How can you be an experienced brain surgeon without a medical degree?

You have a point. When it comes to something where you have absolutely no margin for error because if affects lives. But computing, banking, building, electronics, mechanics etc etc can be self taught - I guess brain surgery could - but you'd never be given the job.

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Isn't NVQ5 supposed to be comparable to a degree? Do you think it is?

NVQ 4 is comparable to a degree, NVQ 5 to a masters- and no its not comparable in any way! I did mine in 6 months and it was somewhat "micky mouse"! But its what employers look for as it is reflective and proves that you can do a job!

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You have a point. When it comes to something where you have absolutely no margin for error because if affects lives. But computing, banking, building, electronics, mechanics etc etc can be self taught - I guess brain surgery could - but you'd never be given the job.

Again, it depends on the type of work. Names like "electronics", "building" etc. are sectors rather than jobs - some jobs within those sectors need a degree.

I have electrical engineering graduates working for me who are designing 275,000 Volt substations, which involves complex power system analysis and calculation. At the same time, there is an electrician in our office today, changing light fittings. They are both in the electrical line of work, but it's pointless me saying I'd rather have the electrician than the graduate, because he's got years of experience; they are doing different jobs.

It's a bit of a cliche to say the street-wise, enthusiastic worker is more valuable than the graduate, and I suspect that whenever it's said, it's said about a non-degree admin type job.

Edited by Casual Observer

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Although my wife and I are very education conscious and do all we can to give our 2 totts the best start in life (eg we both read to / with them for 1 hour every night without fail etc etc), we in the end are'nt as stressed / concerned as some parents we know.

This is because its always been in my genes to row my own canoe, so I have this optimistic outlook that even if my kids dont go to Uni, they will (if they want) set up on thier own and enjoy the sense of freedom and control I treasure today. I dont get out of bed until 8.00am and Im usually home by 7pm. Its an urban myth that you have to work long hours to enjoy a comfortable living. Lots of my self - employed (some v rich) aquaintances are even lazier than I, SOME TAKING 8 HOLLS PER YEAR.

I was an employee in a large corp' until I was 31. Looking back it all seems like an extended nightmare.

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Again, it depends on the type of work. Names like "electronics", "building" etc. are sectors rather than jobs - some jobs within those sectors need a degree.

I have electrical engineering graduates working for me who are designing 275,000 Volt substations, which involves complex power system analysis and calculation. At the same time, there is an electrician in our office today, changing light fittings. They are both in the electrical line of work, but it's pointless me saying I'd rather have the electrician than the graduate, because he's got years of experience; they are doing different jobs.

It's a bit of a cliche to say the street-wise, enthusiastic worker is more valuable than the graduate, and I suspect that whenever it's said, it's said about a non-degree admin type job.

I can see your point. But who's to say the the electrician changing the light fittings wouldn't do a better job!!

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My daughter is doing A levels (reluctantly) and she absolutely has no desire to go to uni. She says it is pointless unless you know what you want to do afterwards and she does not want to get saddled with a load of debt. She would rather get a job.

If the Government's ambition is to get 50% of the population to go to uni - a degree is hardly going to have the same value as it did when (?don't know the figures) say 10% went.

yes ,all that happens if you encourage too many people to get degrees is that more and more people do soft subjects like Media Studies...........No extra people apply to do things like engineering or medicine or physics or anything else that would actually benefit the economy.......20-25% of us are graduate material ...the next 20-25% should leave full time education at 18 like they did 25 years ago....for their own benefit as well as the economy's.............after all only about a fifth (wild guess!) of jobs require graduate skills...

Edited by Michael

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Depends on what you want to do. In my idustry (IT Consulting), the best paid and most interesting jobs are only given to Graduates with a good degree. You can do hack work with no degree, but your career progression hits a limit much earlier.

In response to Ozz above, having a degress is of course no guarentee of a good employee, however not having one does mean that at a lot of companies you won't even get to the interview stage for a job.

I agree. Having a degree will not magic you anything but you are overall and on average better off with one. For a start you are more educated and that's good in itself. And cultural capital can often be turned into economic capital. If you don't have it you can't do that.

There is, however, an inevitable inflation effect as first degree become more common. Like the US the real action is moving to graduate school and higher degrees.

But in the end no degree can compensate for economic dowturn and a lack of jobs.

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I can see your point. But who's to say the the electrician changing the light fittings wouldn't do a better job!!

He couldn't - he hasn't covered the mathematics he needs to do the calculations, for a start, let alone power theory. You learn these at degree level.

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I agree. Having a degree will not magic you anything but you are overall and on average better off with one. For a start you are more educated and that's good in itself.

I don't necessarily agree, like I said, my best mate has no qualifications past o-levels and he is far more intelligent and (self) educated than 99% of the people I know. Same goes for my ex-girlfriends dad. He left school at 15 and went into the army. He is exceptionally intelligent and educated.

He couldn't - he hasn't covered the mathematics he needs to do the calculations, for a start, let alone power theory. You learn these at degree level.

Says who? a certificate in your hand proves nothing to me!

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I don't necessarily agree, like I said, my best mate has no qualifications past o-levels and he is far more intelligent and (self) educated than 99% of the people I know. Same goes for my ex-girlfriends dad. He left school at 15 and went into the army. He is exceptionally intelligent and educated.

You're missing the point. Intelligence and education are not the same things. TRhe most intelligent guy in the world couldn't calculate the stresses in the girders of a bridge, if he hadn't been taught how to do so. And they teach you how to do that on a degree course.

Says who? a certificate in your hand proves nothing to me!

How would he undestand degree level maths if he hadn't been taught it by someone else? A degree certificate verifies that he has, and has been examined to test his understanding.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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