Pyramid Comment

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Monday, January 10, 2011

University Degrees

Simply considering how much the future will cost does not help much when the issue is whether university is the correct choice or not. The cost for most prospective students is too high to consider going simply because this is "what everybody does". Thinking like this is entry into the trap. The "needing to go" is critical. Not the "wanting to go". A ticket just to board a 'plane is not enough as it is essential to know the destination. Without this information it is unlikely that the destination will be the right one. A university degree involves an expensive one-way trip. There are careers and there is work. They are not the same thing. If a career is not the best considered option, then the degree may not be the best choice. This is a very personal decision that must not be allowed to be influenced by peer groups (school friends). They can move away very soon (and very quickly) leaving behind them all sorts of poorly made decisions based on that influence. They could well make the wrong choice themselves based on emotion and not pragmatism. Any quality decision should be examined and made with a 'cool head'. This can be a difficult state to attain in youth, but the cost issues make it very important. Such decisions are about the very long-term.

The career selection must be clear from the outset so that the course and university can be chosen wisely. It should never be about entry to "a university", but entry to "the university" that provides the best options for a future that will, hopefully, last for many years. The so-called 'soft-option' courses are not likely to open the doors of real opportunity. There are too many graduates with unhelpful degrees to obtain quality employment. And it's not just about money. A career is (very) long-term.

The cost of the course that provides the degree must be financed and settling the debt could last for up to 30 years. The cost of owning a car or buying a home must be factored in. It is so easy to increase a debt by borrowing more and more, but that simply stacks up poor cards in a 'game' of life. But life in not a 'game'. It's very real and exists every second, minute, hour, day... of life. If a mistake is made at the beginning, it is possible that a solution may never be found. Personal success is measured by what is actually owned and not by possession. Many own huge (unaffordable) debts, but have very little that they can really call their own.

Any long-term venture has to be properly considered if mistakes are to be avoided. There are no guarantees to success either even though the chances of success can be improved. Today, the (global) situation regarding employment is tough and competitive and to possess the right 'ticket' to a desirable 'destination' becomes ever more important. To enter into an unknown future (the potential trap) that may not begin for several years, but with a known downside (the debt), is patently unwise. In order to turn the known around into advantage, the future must have been considered at the start.

While it's fine to set sights high, they must be realistically high. Aspirations can be (expensive) dreams or realistic life goals and early (and considerable) consideration may avoid a lot of grief later that could be very long lasting. There's little point in going to 'a university' to get 'a degree'. It's important to go to 'the university' for 'the degree' that is necessary to fulfill a deliberate selection of career.

When the stake is a probable +£30,000, avoidance in making a mistake is absolutely paramount. Government propaganda is designed to encourage entry into the system. The condition of entry is to take out a very expensive loan (tuition fees for a minimum 3 years that may take 30 years to pay off). If a wrong choice is made there is no way out. A no exit trap. This illustrates the difference between a career choice and a job choice. A job may not require a degree and the degree may actually hamper gaining later employment.

Jobs can be very short lived,
but careers are lifelong