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Is it worth going to Sixth Form / College and university?

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    People also need to realise that there are tons of decent career paths available where university isn't necessary:

    e.g. Gas Fitter, Plumber, Electrician, Mechanic, Air Traffic Control, Paramedic, Carpenter, Plasterer, Tiler, Roofer, Builder, Sales, Web Design, Coder, Network Admin plus hundreds of career paths in the Police, Fire Service, Army, Navy and RAF.
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    Well I did and it was only just over 5 years ago. I had 5 years of work experience; and around 4 of those were relevant to what I was doing. I got onto a grad scheme without qualifications because the company realised that my experience of actually doing the job made me a better bet than a wet behind the ears college boy.

    I suppose it is fair to say that I had some opportunities that I wouldn't have today but then again, the economic climate will eventually improve and things will get better again. I don't think that the proportion of kids going to university 5 years ago was that much higher than today.
    Were you 16 when you started that work experience? 16 year olds can't get much work experience because they're not 18; they can't do anything that requires a specific insurance policy or health and safety legislation, which is what nearly everything in the work place demands. By being in sixth form or college they can be something productive to work towards their futures.

    'The economic climate will eventually improve' - when exactly? When mass unemployment hits a 100 year high, with everyone without some sort of qualification can't get a job, because the market is so over populated with people who have at least something to their name? You can't just say that things will improve and stick it out, it just can't work like that.
    ...and do you think having a degree makes it any easier to get a job in McDonalds or Topman?

    You are confusing two issues. There is mass youth unemployment - people with degrees often aren't finding things any easier than those without.
    I'm saying that if you have a degree in an area like medicine, dentistry, nursing, law, education, engineering etc, then hopefully you won't be chasing jobs in McDonalds or Topman because you'll be qualified to do a job that is high in demand; inaccessible jobs for those without a degree.
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    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    Were you 16 when you started that work experience? 16 year olds can't get much work experience because they're not 18; they can't do anything that requires a specific insurance policy or health and safety legislation, which is what nearly everything in the work place demands. By being in sixth form or college they can be something productive to work towards their futures.
    Yes, I started working at 16 and as I said - at the time, finding a job was a doddle. I remember going to an agency the afternoon after my last GCSE and I was in work the next Monday and upgraded to a permanent job a couple of weeks later.

    What do you mean by saying that 16 year olds 'can't do anything that requires a specific insurance policy'? Are you making this up off the top of your head? I worked full time from 16-18 and never had any problems with this.

    Also, on the other side of things, as an insurance underwriter dealing with casualty insurance, predominantly in the construction trade - I also underwrote employers and public liability for construction firms, many of whom employed 16-18 year old labourers or apprentices.

    Yes, there is specific legislation for employees under 18 - most of it concerning working hours but it isn't as restrictive as you seem to imagine...

    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    'The economic climate will eventually improve' - when exactly? When mass unemployment hits a 100 year high, with everyone without some sort of qualification can't get a job, because the market is so over populated with people who have at least something to their name? You can't just say that things will improve and stick it out, it just can't work like that.
    We had the same thing in the late 70s/early 80s and also in the early to mid 90s. In fact, unemployment was higher in 1992 then it is now.

    Seasons come and go.

    My point however, was that even though the economy as a whole is on the slide - that doesn't mean that everyone going to university is going to help things. Of course, it does in the short term because it means young people are doing something else for a few years and don't count as unemployed.

    The fact still remains that there are many career paths where university isn't much of an advantage to you and going for the sake of it could be a waste of time. Just because there are less jobs in total doesn't mean that graduates (in general) are going to find employment any easier. Look at how many of them fight over the same few crappy graduate schemes, fail and then end up fighting for a retail job where they are at a disadvantage against people who left school at 16 and have a decent few years work experience.

    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    I'm saying that if you have a degree in an area like medicine, dentistry, nursing, law, education, engineering etc, then hopefully you won't be chasing jobs in McDonalds or Topman because you'll be qualified to do a job that is high in demand.
    Like law... ? You must be having a giraffe. I'd love to know the amount of people who do a law degree and then fail to actually get a (non-entry level) legal job. Judging by the coursemates of an ex of mine, I would have to say that it isn't that great a percentage.
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    Of course going to Sixth Form and University is worth it.
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    Yes, I started working at 16 and as I said - at the time, finding a job was a doddle. I remember going to an agency the afternoon after my last GCSE and I was in work the next Monday and upgraded to a permanent job a couple of weeks later.
    Well good for you. That NEVER happens in today's world. Walk into an agency at 16 years old now, and get put on a waiting list for 16 months before they even look at you.

    What do you mean by saying that 16 year olds 'can't do anything that requires a specific insurance policy'? Are you making this up off the top of your head? I worked full time from 16-18 and never had any problems with this.
    When I was 16 I did a week's work experience at a supermarket. I couldn't touch fruit or vegetables without a health and safety certificate, I couldn't lift heavy loads due to not being insured since most companies don't have insurance policies that cover anyone under 18. All I could do, at a push, was stack shelves, remembering to get somebody who had a health and safety and food hygiene certificate to handle unpackaged food for me.

    We had the same thing in the late 70s/early 80s and also in the early to mid 90s. In fact, unemployment was higher in 1992 then it is now.

    Seasons come and go.
    So you're saying just don't bother do go to sixth form or uni, just wait for the economic climate to pick up so you can get a job, and sit and twiddle your thumbs in the mean time whilst attempting to find non-existent jobs?
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    University is worthwhile for some people, who excell academically and make the most of it. For many others it is a big waste of time.

    I just hate the way that it is being made into the default option for middle class kids without even thinking about it.

    I see so many 18-21 year olds at university with no interest in their subject, no tangible plans and no good reason for being there in the first place. The only reason they are there is because of this stupid no-think pressure from their parents and teachers who tell them that they are a 'dropout' and a 'failure' if they don't go. It is just all wrong and already, some of the current crop of graduates who are signing on and aimlessly sending out the odd letter to any companies advertising jobs with the word 'graduate' are having a think and slowly realising that they have been led a bum steer by their parents, their teachers and their government and that they were sold into a scheme that they didn't have any business being a part of in the first place.
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    I am an economics teacher from Sri Lanka and let me tell you if I had the opportunity to go to uni I would take it but for a worthwhile profession like economics, medicine, fishing, cooking. Those are some important skills but don't go to uni to do business or german, just a waste of money.
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    ...
    How are people without real qualifications going to compete with graduates and people who were made redundant (with experience in the industry)?

    You were talking about being chosen because you have more experience than the graduate, how are you supposed to get experience in this current climate?

    Things will improve... your right, but why spend the next 2-5 years unemployed or in a rubbish job with no career prospects and will more than likely not provide relevant experience. When you could get A levels or a degree.

    A close friend of mine left school at 16, despite having numerous interviews in london, is still unemployed almost 18 months on. His only job offers include part time in burker king and Mcdonalds but did get rejected by morrisons...
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    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    Well good for you. That NEVER happens in today's world. Walk into an agency at 16 years old now, and get put on a waiting list for 16 months before they even look at you.
    ...and the same applies to 21 year old graduates with no experience too.

    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    When I was 16 I did a week's work experience at a supermarket. I couldn't touch fruit or vegetables without a health and safety certificate, I couldn't lift heavy loads due to not being insured since most companies don't have insurance policies that cover anyone under 18. All I could do, at a push, was stack shelves, remembering to get somebody who had a health and safety and food hygiene certificate to handle unpackaged food for me.
    Hahahaha. So you are basing all that rubbish you are talking on a week long work experience stint?

    Most jobs that involve handling foodstuffs require you to complete COSHH and Food hygiene training. Nearly EVERY job requires an element of health and safety training. For things like working in a supermarket, this normally amounts to a basic training course lasting a day (or even an afternoon).

    If a job requires lifting heavy loads or anything more hazardous then sedentary work, then normally, the employer is duty bound to provide extra health and safety training. Often the employers insurance company require that employees receive a certain level of training and instruction. However, most supermarkets DO have insurance that allows them to employ 16 year olds to do all tasks.

    You are basing your comments on a weeks work experience. Have you not considered that they just saw you as a pesky kid and couldn't be bothered to give you the training that they would have to give any employee, regardless of age, before allowing them to lift heavy goods? Of course supermarkets and retail outlets can purchase insurance to employ under 18s.... Just think how many under 18 year old employees these industries have.

    I worked in a supermarket at 16 unloading lorries and moving heavy goods about in the warehouse at the back and there was never an insurance problem. I also worked in the insurance industry as a casualty (liability) underwriter and never had a problem with insuring under 18s (although there were occaisionally special conditions regarding supervision and training).

    The fact is that you are incredibly naive and inexperienced and you make sweeping statements based on a weeks work experience. You are just plain wrong.

    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    So you're saying just don't bother do go to sixth form or uni, just wait for the economic climate to pick up so you can get a job, an sit and twiddle your thumbs in the mean time?
    No. You completely misinterpreted what I said.

    What I said was that you should do precisely what serves you as an individual best and works best for your (realistic) career plans and ambitions. By realistic, I don't mean coasting through an arbitrary degree subject and getting a 2:2 and reckoning you can get 'a management job in industry'

    I recommend that instead of blindly following the herd and going to university for the sake of it and ending up with a crap degree in a subject that bores you to death and ending up in the dole queue with everyone else but with debt and three years gone - you think about what you want to do first and make sure that it is the right decision.
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    (Original post by dean01234)
    A close friend of mine left school at 16, despite having numerous interviews in london, is still unemployed almost 18 months on. His only job offers include part time in burker king and Mcdonalds but did get rejected by morrisons...
    ...and I know tons of people who went and got a degree yet are in exactly the same position as your friend except five years older and in £20k+ of debt - all for nothing.

    (Original post by dean01234)
    Things will improve... your right, but why spend the next 2-5 years unemployed or in a rubbish job with no career prospects and will more than likely not provide relevant experience. When you could get A levels or a degree.
    Because unless you have a good reason to get those qualifications, you may end up just wasting your time and money.

    As I said, there are plenty of great career choices yet for many - a degree is a big waste of time. It really depends on what you want to do. Blindly going into university and hoping it leads to a generic 'good job with career prospects' is just a symptom of being brainwashed into thinking that that is what you will end up with. You need to work out what you want to do and pursue that. University is not for everyone.
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    (Original post by Snowfreeze)
    My economics teacher used to be a senior executive in a worldwide bank. He was made redundant 2 years ago, being one of the major players in the bank. How on Earth is anybody who dropped out of school at 16 going to get a job that brings in 20-40k at 21 with no qualifications? Maybe 15-20 years ago, but certainly not in this day.

    In today's economic climate, 16 year old drop outs who can work every our under the sun since they're not in education, can't even get jobs in McDonalds or Matalan, because there are hardly jobs available, worsened by the fact that they have no qualifications. Even retail shops like Jack Wills and Topman in my area are asking for GCSE maths and English at grade C or above before they even consider you, to differentiate between the hundreds of applications they get from the hordes of drop outs.
    I could have got a job out of college that paid 25k PA if I hadn't got into uni (and they wouldn't have considered my alevels) with reasonable promotion prospects in a company that promotes from within.

    I know a girl who gets 30k at 22 - went to work as some sort of secretary in a law firm when she was 18 and proved very effective at what she did (she didn't have Alevels and worked at pc world for 2 years on leaving college).

    WIth the whole unemployment thing people very very rarely go and look at every job oppertunity they can.

    I dunno why you call people who leave school at 16 dropouts either?
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    (Original post by Niko Bellic)
    If you spend all your time studying for your subjects, this must have some form of negative psychological impact to your brain. From my experience and research so far, most subjects in sixth form and college are taught so that the person passes. Teachers don't care about expanding the students imagination, they in fact (mostly unintentionally) delude and train the students to become consumers and conformists working for around £25-40k a year. We aren't being taught, we are being trained. How many film directors or artists or millionaire entrepreneurs and businesses men do you know who went to college? Here are some examples of college/university dropout successes; Quentin Tarantino the director of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Richard Branson, owner of the virgin company. Sir Alan Michael Sugar, owner of Amstrad, dropped out when he was 16! Bill Gates - Microsoft. Steve Jobs - Apple. These examples made me lead to the assumption that we are being trained in college and in university, and on top of that, we are paying to be trained! It's ridiculous! Is paying 27 thousand pounds for a three year course in University really worth it? I surely don't believe so... modern education methods corrupt the students imagination and potential to thrive and become a somebody.

    Well, most of the 16 year old drop outs I see aren't exactly Sir Alan Sugar...

    It depends on the degree, you're being too vague. We need dentists, doctors, pharmacists, engineers, teachers, lawyers and so on.... do you think they became one of those without a University education?

    A University degree is worth it if it gets you a job which requires a degree, however if you get a job which didn't need a degree, then it's not worth it.
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    (Original post by segoviawoods)
    I dunno why you call people who leave school at 16 dropouts either?
    This. People don't seem to realise that they are being brainwashed into thinking that university should be the default choice for everyone. It isn't. It is higher education generally way beyond the level of formal education that most want, need or would even find helpful.
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    (Original post by Wise Tamil Guy)
    I am an economics teacher from Sri Lanka and let me tell you if I had the opportunity to go to uni I would take it but for a worthwhile profession like economics, medicine, fishing, cooking. Those are some important skills but don't go to uni to do business or german, just a waste of money.
    Best post on this thread.

    Yeah uni's good for some not good for others depends on the person.

    But the examples the OP listed are exceptions rather than the norm.
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    Depends on the person I guess. I don't agree that there must be a negative psychological impact - I enjoy studying, especially the subject I'm going to study at university. I study outside of my syllabus (especially since I've finished all my pure maths in school) and hope I can succeed at university. So I'm enjoying it, should hopefully be going to a strong uni to do a strong course which I love. I don't think I could personally succeed if I didn't go to university, at least it'd be very very difficult. One of my biggest strengths is academia so why would I cut that out of my life and try succeed without it? I don't think creating a handicap for myself is a fun challenge
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    (Original post by Wise Tamil Guy)
    I am an economics teacher from Sri Lanka and let me tell you if I had the opportunity to go to uni I would take it but for a worthwhile profession like economics, medicine, fishing, cooking. Those are some important skills but don't go to uni to do business or german, just a waste of money.
    :lolwut:
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    The rare, most successful people are drop outs.

    The very successful people went to uni.

    The average people went to sixth form.

    Those failing financially went to high school.



    A general rule
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    (Original post by Mr. Z)
    The rare most successful people are drop outs.

    The very successful people went to uni.

    The average people went to sixth form.

    Those failing financial went to high school.

    A general rule
    ...and those failing high school English wrote the above.
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    Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did go to university, it was there where they found what they wanted to do with their lives and they left, but essentially going to university gives you a certain skill set that, if you aren't the next founder of Microsoft, Apple or Amstrad, you will need.
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    (Original post by AAJ)
    ...essentially going to university gives you a certain skill set that, if you aren't the next founder of Microsoft, Apple or Amstrad, you will need.
    What is that skill set? Why do you think that everybody needs it? Why can't you get it elsewhere?

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