If You Could..?


If you could enter your desired profession without a degree, would you still go to university or college simply because you love the subject?

This is a question that I have asked myself, especially since yesterday’s post got me thinking about what our perception of education is. As we know, university degrees have been taking some stick in the news and perhaps rightly. The extortionate amount of costs has led to people asking is there any other alternative?

Sure, there are internships but some careers are better suited to such a system than others. If I wanted to become a teacher, I simply would not be able to without going through four years (and over Β£36,000) worth of university education.

Don’t do it for the money, is what people say but that seems a bit odd when the whole point of going to university is advertised as it will am llow you to earn more in later life.

So if you could enter your profession without university, would you? I like English and I would like to become a successful journalist or a teacher or even an author but if I could have a shot at doing all of those things without going to university then I certainly would choose that option.

Would you?

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63 thoughts on “If You Could..?

  1. Ooh. Now that IS QUITE a question you’re asking here!
    Personally, I would still opt to go to university. Purely because I just want to learn more, way beyond A Level. I’d like to study medicine, but my other choice would be maths, and I think that really getting to know the nitty-gritty bits and pieces of a form of these would be fascinating.

    …but oh, the cost -_-

    Liked by 1 person

      • True. They’re both such broad subjects, but then, isn’t any subject? Ah, studying medicine at university sounds so intricate; it’s intriguing. And maths is gold, so…:)

        You’d make a cool teacher/journalist. Would you ever dip into history if you could? Maybe still keep reading it as a pastime?
        Also. Blogging on the side – book etc. BAM! ‘Ackney’d be proud.

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  2. Yeah but depending on the subject its going to take time and money but its still going to be cheaper than going to a top university or an expensive college.

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  3. I think there is such pleasure from studying the subject you enjoy! I’m taking a gap year and I’ve decided to start a degree in English Literature next year (2015). I know the chances of me getting a career may be slim for such a common degree but I love the subject so I don’t mind. Are you going to university this year? If so I hope your A-Levels went well!

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  4. as time passes, the value of a degree becomes less valuable for many…and, it is unlikely one will get honest, fresh answers from academia, as the business of institutional higher education protects itself from true reform. best to spend time with reflecting on goals, the reality of economic present, and how to best proceed from there.

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  5. I know if I was to go back to school I would focus on a business degree. This is only because you can use the knowledge for anything that I may love. Like for instance, say I love to cook, and I want to be a chef, well if I go to a culinary arts school I could be an executive chef and possibly own my own restaurant, but without a business degree, how hard would it be to start that business, get it marketed, and financing it? You’d have to know how to make a pretty persuasive business plan to present to investors or banks to be able to do it.

    As far as what I love to do, it’s writing. I don’t have a degree in it and I published a book at the beginning of this year. I hired an editor and a photographer to help me bring my book to life and make it bearable for my readers. I know I told my World History teacher back in high school I wanted to go to school for writing, and he laughed and said if I know how to do it then why go to school for it. That honestly rang a bell in my head for a long time. I don’t have a degree but I do have my writing and it seems to pull people towards what I write.

    I will say though I do have a lot of respect for the people who do bust their butt to find the money to go to school because those guys really do deserve the good jobs that our out there right now. I will never tell someone not to go to school, but I will say don’t get into a career for the money, do it cause you love it

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  6. I know some people, who managed to sit in top positions without ending their university careers. I guess there is always a “way”. I even have a friend, who works as a teacher, and she has not studied primary school pedagogy! And now she is a full-time teacher. Still, She had do to an advanced education.

    I guess studying is more than just knowing what scientifc work is (of course its the main purpose) – in particular, when you study humanities. When you study, you acutually learn a lot about interpersonal skills – to keep it short. At least thats my thought, looking back at my study time.

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      • You will. You seem to be very ambitious. Just stay open – in particular regarding opportunities, even if they are out of your “area”. I have done many different things – most of them out of my field, but these have been the best experiences regarding moving forward. You meet people from a wide range of fields and they can open the door for you – thats what I mean with interpersonal skills! To be able to adjust and to be open to start all over again. But first – enjoy your study life πŸ™‚

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  7. I’m way past my undergrad days now, but I would never swap them for anything! It’s not just about the learning it’s the experience too. The thought of the fantastic time I had at undergrad is sometimes what keeps me going in the world of work!!

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  8. I’d still choose to go to University

    I’m part of an ENORMOUS family (14 cousins, 4 Aunts and 5 Uncles, 8 Great Aunts, 9 Second cousins and 4 due, and that’s just the family we see on a monthly basis) and I’m one of the first four people to go to University in my entire family. The rest have got jobs and said they’ll work on their passions and life goals away from spending thousands of pounds. But that never, ever happens; somewhere along the line the taste for money is more than their passions and they just go into life wanting money.

    Go to University, the costs will even out later in life. For now learn as much as you can from people who’ve had decades more experience than you and will be able to tell you things you’d never read in a book or on a blog

    Also, without a degree people don’t take you seriously. If you want a position any higher than manager in any high-street shop you’ll need a degree, if you want to be a teacher you need AT LEAST one degree, if you want to be a journalist you either need to be incredibly lucky and get snapped up as a freelancer or you’ll need a degree

    Degrees do work out to more money and more job satisfaction in the long run, and you get to keep your passions high

    (don’t worry too much about fees, after my first year at Uni I’m around Β£16,000 in debt – but I’m not worried, I’ll pay it off when I’m older. For now I’m enjoying my passions and enjoying education, but still being frugal because being Β£1,500 overdrawn in your bank account is some risky business XD)

    LOOK FOR A STUDENT BANK ACCOUNT TOO!! You get a LOT of fee-free overdraft usage that you can use as either a backup or a lifeline! About half the people I know are living out of their student overdrafts

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    • Wow that’s amazing.

      Hmm yes there is that aspect since people can end up being in a bit of a rut. The thing I would like to change though, is for some companies to change their requirements where the applicant does not have to have a degree but could impress in other ways.

      Yup journalism is incredibly competitive.
      Thanks for the great advice, will keep it in mind πŸ˜€

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  9. I have been thinking the exact same question for a while now. From my GCSEs I was set on going to university but I often found myself telling people that I was going to uni purely because there was no other route for me. The truth is, I don’t know if I believe that. Maybe once I did or perhaps I’d told others (specifically my mum) that so many times I had tricked myself into believing it. Despite the extortionate financial cost just think of the experience! I can’t wait to have so many opportunities thrown at me. If the costs could be factored out for a few moments I’m guessing many more people would choose this option but, understandably, it’s not that easy. I have my fingers firmly crossed that the Β£9,000 a year will be worth it though!

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  10. I would, because I think college is about more than just job training/credentials. It’s about learning and expanding your horizons and experiencing things you never would have otherwise and being exposed to new ideas and new things and new people and deciding what you value and who you want to be. But, then again, I’m a wayward humanities person who went to a crazy hippie college, so obviously pragmatism is less of a priority.

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  11. I don’t even have to think about that one πŸ™‚ I would definitely go to college. My dream is to become a doctor, but the problem in Belgium is that we have this stupid entry-exam for medicine. But I think your college years are just amazing. You make friends for life and memories you’ll carry on with you forever. You’ll be working for the longest part of your life so isn’t that enough already? πŸ™‚

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  12. Depends on the profession. If I felt competent then yeah sure I’d go strait into the field. But for Psychology I’d require some formal education. But I don’t know. It would be good if I could have all the classes for the whole degree presented in front of me and I could tell them which ones are actually going to teach me something I don’t know or can’t work out at my leisure. Which I feel is the case with most things I’m taught in a formal setting, which often causes me to be very disengaged.

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  13. Hmm… See I want to be an author, but I’m not entirely sure if I should take English to university. Nothing is really required to become an author as you don’t need any degrees and no one needs to hire you, so I wouldn’t have to go to university if I wanted to. But unless I became some sort of bestselling author, I probably wouldn’t be able to get by on that job alone, so I could become a journalist.

    I also very much like maths, but I’m not that great at making things, so engineering might be out of the question.

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  14. I’m an aromatherapist qualifying with a college diploma. Many years of hands on experience I went to university to do a complementary therapy degree. a) for pure interest as I love my subject b) it was a BSc. so great to do the more scientific and research side c) many people don’t bother as not a requirement in my professional, so I definitely stand out from the crowd.

    A degree is useful, to hone and deepen your knowledge, it provides discipline and can exposure you to ideas you may not come across otherwise. Definitely an investment.

    I went as a mature student but my daughter went straight from college, we both loved our experiences.

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      • I’ve always felt the desire to go to university as I love to learn but you have to do something you are passionate about rather than ‘for a qualification’ I dropped out TWICE when I was younger because the courses just weren’t right for me. Doing a course I loved meant I walked away with a First…the complete opposite of my drop out status ☺️ Life is flexible…’Follow your heart but take your brain with you’ and I’m sure you will make the right decision for you 😊

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      • Life is SO flexible but society likes to put us in pigeon holes and it is easy to be on the treadmill of expectation and life gets in the way right up until retirement. Uni is such an expense these days, if your not sure if you want to go right now, why not defer for a year, explore other options…after all life experience will enrich your writing and see how you feel in 12 months. The distance may give you some clarity πŸ™‚

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  15. I’m studying Biology so I do not think I would even consider that option. I do love what I’m studying and I think I would do it even if I didn’t have to. ( I /would/ skip some classes if I could)

    This question made me think. Thank you. ❀

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  16. School is school, but university is a powerful opportunity. I have an English degree, but the value of my time in school is from the connections I made. That’s what sets you up for success once you get out. I don’t mention my degree with employers unless they ask. Instead I talk about my experiences in college, the things I did and what I learned outside of class. If I went back in time I’d still go to university, and just work even harder to utilize my time.

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  17. I would avoid college if I could. My major is English as well. It seems to me, a person doesn’t really need a degree to write a book. However, it does look good on a resume.

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