The Value Of Higher Education Now In Comparison To Previous Generations

Aug 28, 2019 by

“If you want a good job then stick in at school” was the mantra that most of us heard while growing up from parents and teachers alike, and for previous generations there was little doubt this was the case, higher salaries, management trainee positions and fast-tracking were all common. But is this still the case? There has been a lot of questioning of how much value there is in attending a university these days? Here we look at what value a modern-day degree holds and some of the alternative options as well, is it the best option considering that university may not always be what the student expected.

% Of School Leavers Attending University

It’s certainly true that many more students are attending university than in the past, going from 4% of the population in the 60s up to around 40% today. But what does this mean? Well, simply put, there is more competition, more people with degrees and, surely, in some cases poorer quality teaching. Combine this with the fact that now students are charged tuition fees and you can see it’s not quite as clear cut an advantage as it used to be.

Average Salary Of A Graduate

Let’s have a look at the salary a graduate can expect to achieve, according to instantoffices.com a graduate can expect to earn a salary of around 7% more than those without a degree. But this is far from universal and many experience no advantage while others can see a huge benefit.

Specialist & Vocational Degrees

One area where the advantage is clear is those who hold professional and vocational qualifications as they have expertise and qualifications that certain jobs cannot be obtained without. Good examples are traditionally high-prestige careers such as medicine or law, for example, attending BPP University Law School puts you on the path to becoming a lawyer giving a much higher earning potential than the average graduate.

Availability & Value Of Other Career Paths

There are now much more in the way of options to get a well-salaried job. Looking at modern apprenticeships we can see that you can get qualifications and experience while being paid, meaning while university students are racking up debt the apprentice has a head start in this regard. Another option is simply to work your way up to management internally without formal qualifications, this is an increasingly common method for employers, although be wary that they may take this approach to justify paying lower salaries than they would to university graduates.

Different Study Methods

Why not have the best of both worlds though? These days it’s easier than ever to add higher education after you have begun your career. Part-time study options and distance learning allow many mature students to add a degree to their CV without having to leave the workforce. Online learning is now so normal and common-place that most universities offer at least some of their courses this way.

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