What’s the point of going to University?
I’ve had this conversation with a lot of people over the years and it’s always been a topic that brings out the argumentative nature in me.
Not because I am determined to prove my point, but because It’s a subject that I feel extremely passionate about.
For various reasons, I think making the choice to attend university is one of the best choices one person could make in their lives. I also think that making the choice not to go to university is one of the best choices you could make in your life, depending on what you choose to do with your time.
In the UK, employers care about one thing in particular that far outweighs any other qualities that a candidate may have… Work experience!
Ask yourself this question.
There is a job being advertised for Marine Amphibian Conservation Analyst in Plymouth.
Applicant 1 is a first class degree holder in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Kent, specialising in Marine Amphibians.
Applicant 2 spent one year in at Bournemouth University studying Animal Biology. However, he/she dropped out and has since gained two years working for London Zoo’s Marine Conservation Analytical team. For their first year, they volunteered, for their second year they started to get paid.
Who typically gets the job?
I loved my time at University, I was able to connect with people I wouldn’t usually connect with. Learn from industry professionals, meet friends for life and be involved in all kinds of campus activities that helped shape who I am today.
But did any of that help me get a job? Or was it the countless hours of volunteering for work experience that was able to get my media internship? Was it then my experience and knowledge at my internship that helped me get my first job out of uni? Was it the experience from my first job out of uni that helped me get my current job?
I believe it was.
I love and will always love my university and the people I met, it was them that put me on a platform that made me realise what had to be done to succeed. But do you really need a first class degree or even a 2:1 to be who you want to be and do you what you want to do?
No you don’t.
Do you need work experience to be who you want to be and do you what you want to do?
No you don’t.
But taking a diversional route and seeking opportunities outside of the norm, not being afraid to be different and challenging the world will allow you to be who you want to be and do you what you want to do.