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    Hi,

    I'm 19. I left Sixthform in 2009.

    Never really seen the practicality nor efficiency in a degree for myself. I aim to forge a career in either the Police or Fire Service, career paths which rely on experience, common-sense, reliability and integrity. My backup plan is also to start my own business in mobile computer repairs (no overheads), as I have the skills to do it.

    As it stands right now, I'm working full time earning about £230-£300 a week net (and have for 6 months) as a care worker as an interim solution to my real achilies heel - lack of quality experience. I've often questioned my decision not to go to university. I could have, but to me, it's surplus to requirement.

    The solution is to promote inhouse training by employers. Too many people go to university, learning common sense concepts. It used to be the case that in the vast majority of jobs the employer provided you with all the training you needed, bespoke and to spec. A degree used to be proof of competency for Doctors and Astophysicists, not a factor in a papersift. People have become a commodity in the eyes of employers. THAT is what needs to change.
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    Hi,

    I'm 19. I left Sixthform in 2009.

    Never really seen the practicality nor efficiency in a degree for myself. I aim to forge a career in either the Police or Fire Service, career paths which rely on experience, common-sense, reliability and integrity. My backup plan is also to start my own business in mobile computer repairs (no overheads), as I have the skills to do it.

    As it stands right now, I'm working full time earning about £230 a week (and have for 6 months) as a care worker as an interim solution to my real achilies heel - lack of quality experience. I've often questioned my decision not to go to university. I could have, but to me, it's surplus to requirement.

    The solution is to promote inhouse training by employers. Too many people go to university, learning common sense concepts. It used to be the case that in the vast majority of jobs the employer provided you with all the training you needed, bespoke and to spec. A degree used to be proof of competency for Doctors and Astophysicists, not a factor in a papersift. People have become a commodity in the eyes of employers. THAT is what needs to change.
    Common sense concepts?
    So that means anyone can be a doctor really?
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    Hi,

    I'm 19. I left Sixthform in 2009.

    Never really seen the practicality nor efficiency in a degree for myself. I aim to forge a career in either the Police or Fire Service, career paths which rely on experience, common-sense, reliability and integrity. My backup plan is also to start my own business in mobile computer repairs (no overheads), as I have the skills to do it.

    As it stands right now, I'm working full time earning about £230-£300 a week net (and have for 6 months) as a care worker as an interim solution to my real achilies heel - lack of quality experience. I've often questioned my decision not to go to university. I could have, but to me, it's surplus to requirement.

    The solution is to promote inhouse training by employers. Too many people go to university, learning common sense concepts. It used to be the case that in the vast majority of jobs the employer provided you with all the training you needed, bespoke and to spec. A degree used to be proof of competency for Doctors and Astophysicists, not a factor in a papersift. People have become a commodity in the eyes of employers. THAT is what needs to change.
    First of all, that's great. I think you have a really nice life story. The more life stories you tell, the more right the rest of your post becomes as well - anecdotal evidence is the best kind! Next, you say you've never been to university, and yet you feel that you are an authority on what happens at university? This is not how it normally works. Normally, you do something THEN get to tell people about it. Next, you're 19. You went to sixth form. You've been working for a year at most, and yet you feel qualified to tell us how almost all employers used to behave? You've only had time to be employed by two or three companies as it is, and you weren't even alive for most of the period you are talking about. Finally, to an employer, employees are a commodity. They are a valuable commodity, but they are something to be bought and sold just like anything else. No change in the education system is going to change that, it's capitalism.
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    1. Learn the meanings of the big words you are trying to use.
    2. Learn the spellings of the big words you are trying to use.
    3. Wait until you are informed before expressing an opinion.

    Trying too hard.
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    I think someone regrets not going to university.
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    (Original post by Bobifier)
    First of all, that's great. I think you have a really nice life story. The more life stories you tell, the more right the rest of your post becomes as well - anecdotal evidence is the best kind! Next, you say you've never been to university, and yet you feel that you are an authority on what happens at university? This is not how it normally works. Normally, you do something THEN get to tell people about it. Next, you're 19. You went to sixth form. You've been working for a year at most, and yet you feel qualified to tell us how almost all employers used to behave? You've only had time to be employed by two or three companies as it is, and you weren't even alive for most of the period you are talking about. Finally, to an employer, employees are a commodity. They are a valuable commodity, but they are something to be bought and sold just like anything else. No change in the education system is going to change that, it's capitalism.
    Bull**** aside, what do I know about degrees?

    Go to University for three years? Learn pidgeon-holed concepts remotely and beauraucratically pertaining to your chosen discipline? Do about three months in a four year ratio (default) in actual expecience in your chosen discipline? Attend a draining ceremony then somehow profit?

    Well no, probably not profit if you graduate atleast this year.

    I don't feel qualified to tell you anything, Infact - I scoff at the notion of needing qualification to vocalize **ck all - I'm speaking an oppinion - but I'm flattered you see me as such an authority on the matter. It's simply food for thought. What does your degree/future degree represent? Is a degree, a societal institution - a substantial contribution to your knowledge about what you eventually want to do with your life, or is it a beauraucratic hoop you must (or feel you must) jump through before you get there? What is the practical application of the anal therory long expired or does it extend past the colon:

    No?

    (Original post by SPMS)
    I think someone regrets not going to university.
    I don't regret anything mate. I got my A-Levels, I evaluated the situation and appraised my core skills and intentions at that moment.

    As it stands Im earning a wage doing something I LOVE and is socially productive and pro-social, earning me a fair sum a month for my age and plenty of time to do what I like to do.

    Most importantly, the experience ties in closely to the work I intend to eventually do.
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    Hi,

    I'm 19. I left Sixthform in 2009.

    Never really seen the practicality nor efficiency in a degree for myself. I aim to forge a career in either the Police or Fire Service, career paths which rely on experience, common-sense, reliability and integrity. My backup plan is also to start my own business in mobile computer repairs (no overheads), as I have the skills to do it.

    As it stands right now, I'm working full time earning about £230-£300 a week net (and have for 6 months) as a care worker as an interim solution to my real achilies heel - lack of quality experience. I've often questioned my decision not to go to university. I could have, but to me, it's surplus to requirement.

    The solution is to promote inhouse training by employers. Too many people go to university, learning common sense concepts. It used to be the case that in the vast majority of jobs the employer provided you with all the training you needed, bespoke and to spec. A degree used to be proof of competency for Doctors and Astophysicists, not a factor in a papersift. People have become a commodity in the eyes of employers. THAT is what needs to change.
    Well, sure, a degree is useful for a career which relies on academia, with isn't so much needed in many careers. Taking the fire service for example, I imagine a computer science degree would prove almost useless to a firefighter.

    On the other hand, people used to go and study for degrees not caring what their career would be - what happened to the days where people did what they enjoy, were passionate about the subject they were learning and would thrive in working towards their degree? We don't get enough of it anymore, and it's a real shame.

    People haven't become a commodity - degrees have, but only in the general sense. If you say to somebody, "I have a degree.", then they probably won't care, because plenty of people have degrees now, or are students studying for one. If however you said, "I have a degree in Maths from Cambridge", then people are likely to be impressed, because reputation still exists, and people recognise the difference in difficulty shown in a range of courses.

    Whether prospective applicants actually know this is another matter.
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    I'm not lambasting degrees, I know that applied acedemic study is invaluable in certain fields. What I am saying is we're not all interested in even being astropysicists or doctors, no matter how much we covet it's fruits.

    Those who aspire to be architects, historians, programmers etc etc etc should be employed by merit of their ability, not their quota of tickboxes. Some have failed in education yet excelled in extra-curricular applicable topics.
    The first part is pretty much a summary of my post :p:

    In terms of how employers should view applicants, it completely depends on the individual job. Let's take a programming position for example - whilst my employer does value a degree, we employ programmers with music degrees, because you won't be able to practice this kind of programming elsewhere. Likewise, programming experience doesn't come in handy as much as it might in other programming roles, because we have in-house languages which people won't have seen before, and again, there are very few situations where you'd be doing this programming elsewhere. So ultimately, we employ people on how well we think they can adjust, and how well they can be trained, and the degree and experience don't count for very much, either of them.

    You also need to consider how valuable experience can be. I could say I've worked for the NHS, which may sound impressive (or ****e, depending on your views on the NHS!), and the mployer would think, "Oh wow, they must employ good programmers", but if I didn't have a degree, I might have spent 9 months programming dreadful code which only I can read because I was working on a largely independent project. I then get employed, and everybody around me has studied for a degree and has been taught good programming practice.

    Then there could be a third job, which is say a games programming job, and I've spent 4 years working for a games development company, and other applicants have spent 4 years getting a degree and working for some local firms on accounting and Web 2.0 applications. In this instance, the experience, as you say, will count for a lot more.

    There's a lot more to it than you're making out, and it's not black-and-white at all, in any career stream. At the end of the day, working towards a degree can't really be compared to work experience for the skills which employs crave so desperately - communication, numeracy, literacy, working with others, improving own learning performance, and so forth. You can get them in work, and you can get them through study. What counts is what's applicable to the individual job, not the role, not the team, not the department, organisation, sector, area of work or anything else.

    Hope this is clearer than mud - getting tired.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    Well, sure, a degree is useful for a career which relies on academia, with isn't so much needed in many careers. Taking the fire service for example, I imagine a computer science degree would prove almost useless to a firefighter.

    On the other hand, people used to go and study for degrees not caring what their career would be - what happened to the days where people did what they enjoy, were passionate about the subject they were learning and would thrive in working towards their degree? We don't get enough of it anymore, and it's a real shame.

    People haven't become a commodity - degrees have, but only in the general sense. If you say to somebody, "I have a degree.", then they probably won't care, because plenty of people have degrees now, or are students studying for one. If however you said, "I have a degree in Maths from Cambridge", then people are likely to be impressed, because reputation still exists, and people recognise the difference in difficulty shown in a range of courses.

    Whether prospective applicants actually know this is another matter.
    I'm not lambasting degrees, I know that applied acedemic study is invaluable in certain fields. What I am saying is we're not all interested in even being astropysicists or doctors, no matter how much we covet it's fruits.

    Those who aspire to be architects, historians, programmers, police, accountants etc etc etc should be employed by merit of their ability, not their quota of tickboxes. Their potential is limitless, yet all the skills required are completely teachable extraneous to the formal education system. Some have failed in education yet excelled in extra-curricular applicable topics. Employers today quantify the value people can bring to their business, and it's easy to use arbitrary qualifications - which completely overlooks the quality they could get.
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    I'm not lambasting degrees, I know that applied acedemic study is invaluable in certain fields. What I am saying is we're not all interested in even being astropysicists or doctors, no matter how much we covet it's fruits.

    Those who aspire to be architects, historians, programmers, police, accountants etc etc etc should be employed by merit of their ability, not their quota of tickboxes. Their potential is limitless, yet all the skills required are completely teachable extraneous to the formal education system. Some have failed in education yet excelled in extra-curricular applicable topics. Employers today quantify the value people can bring to their business, and it's easy to use arbitrary qualifications - which completely overlooks the quality they could get.
    Firstly: You mentioned a historian as somebody who could learn their way by experience. This looks a little odd as unlike the others in your list it is a branch of academia rather than a profession in itself - a historian is likely to be somebody working in research (similar to astrophysicists, biologists, classicists etc) so I'd have thought it'd be one of the most requiring of a university education.

    I agree with you in that too many people are doing degrees when it isn't necessarily the best thing for their career, and that many people go to university to get pissed for three years and still don't have a clue what to do when they come out of it.

    But I think you are seriously underestimating the value of education to our economy. The reason why we have universities, and why they receive/d public funding, is because being on the forefront of research keeps our industries competitive. Degrees are preferred for many jobs because they know that people with a university education can add something which the organisation or profession currently lacks. Industry moves forward, and remains competitive with the rest of the world, by graduates being able to take something they learned at university which is really cutting-edge, combine it with the experience they gain on the job and come up with something new. Of course this is a continuous process of research taking place at universities and filtering down into practical applications. Even if you're not doing a subject which is particularly research-based, everybody learns at university to take the initiative and link things together to apply knowledge in ways they haven't before - essential to innovation, not something you're really taught at school and I'm guessing not something you're likely to learn when you're simply learning from your boss.

    If everybody got nothing besides the on-the-job training to do a specific job then no new technology would find its way in and industry would simply stagnate.

    I say this as somebody going into a profession where this is particularly relevant. Civil engineering would no doubt be something you would immediately say should not require a university education, and in fact there are still many successful (normally older) civil engineers who didn't go to university. There is even sometimes a little animosity between them and the younger university-educated lot as new graduates aren't aware of quite how much on-the-job learning there is still to do. But I know that when I join a company as a graduate there will be knowledge I have which older engineers won't - either they won't have gone to university, it'll be since they went to university or they'll have forgotten it. I'll also have a different take on things to them - my course had a large influence from the research priorities of the academics running it (e.g. sustainability). My bosses will know how to make the most of this - they'll probably put me on tasks where I can use my analysis and design skills from university while they use their experience to keep an eye on me. I'll pick up the experience myself with time, but by the time I have more graduates will be arriving with the knowledge but no experience.

    I don't think you understand what really goes on in universities - if you think they're nothing more than a 3-year extension of school then you are wrong!
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)
    I'm not lambasting degrees, I know that applied acedemic study is invaluable in certain fields. What I am saying is we're not all interested in even being astropysicists or doctors, no matter how much we covet it's fruits.

    Those who aspire to be architects, historians, programmers, police, accountants etc etc etc should be employed by merit of their ability, not their quota of tickboxes. Their potential is limitless, yet all the skills required are completely teachable extraneous to the formal education system. Some have failed in education yet excelled in extra-curricular applicable topics. Employers today quantify the value people can bring to their business, and it's easy to use arbitrary qualifications - which completely overlooks the quality they could get.
    I don't really get your point. For an architect to practice, we need to gain validated degree's by the RIBA. Tickboxing is required. I think your confusing and hybridising your point.

    The 7 years it takes us is valuable and required.

    You need talent AND tick boxes.... that counts in most fields i'd imagine.
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    For most people a degree is just signaling. You are only getting the degree to show to the employer - yes i care this much about my career that i am willing to spend three more years in education to make myself stand out and to open doors. It's much less about the actual skills gained, which for the most part would probably be better gained on the job. Obviously there are major exceptions to this, where university is the best setting for gaining certian skills, but for the majority of people and careers this is not the case.
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    What you say is true but uni is really a matter of personal preference. Some employers value 4 years experience more than a job and some don't. It just depends on your chosen career path.
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    I agree with you.

    When I finished University I ended up getting a graduate job which had no reliance on my previous skills whatsoever... all training was provided by my employer and at no point did I have to make use of anything I had learnt at University. I didn't need my degree to do my job, but I had to have a degree to get it.

    Expanding this out to all the big graduate recruiters, you quickly realise that they're asking for degrees for loads of jobs that don't actually require them. Accounting, Consulting, Investment Banking, Retail etc... all the biggest industries in the graduate recruitment market actually provide all the necessary training for the job and are able to take on graduates of any discipline (translate to: you don't need a degree to do the work). Yet they only take on graduates. The age old argument for this is that having a degree apparently "proves" your academic prowess and commitment to work. However, given that every man and his dog is a graduate these days, the only thing your degree really says is "hey look, I'm a clone of that guy who also has a 2:1 degree".

    University is an enjoyable experience. But three years of fun is not something that the public should pay for everyone to have when it's largely unnecessary. Given the major problems with University funding these days, I'm very disappointed that the government just wants to find more and more ways of increasing the numbers of students instead of addressing the real issue which is that too many employers are unnecessarily demanding degrees and thus forcing young people to waste tens of thousands of pounds on higher education just to get a job that they would have been perfectly capable of doing three years ago.
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    (Original post by PrettyBored)

    The solution is to promote inhouse training by employers. Too many people go to university, learning common sense concepts. It used to be the case that in the vast majority of jobs the employer provided you with all the training you needed, bespoke and to spec. A degree used to be proof of competency for Doctors and Astophysicists, not a factor in a papersift. People have become a commodity in the eyes of employers. THAT is what needs to change.
    Most large employers of graduates already offer a large amount of in-house training already. My employer offers graduates huge amounts of training suitable for their particular development role including recognised qualifications in areas such as project management, health & safety and accounting for example. However, they want graduates for these roles and will employ them, even if that means going abroad to find them. Reducing the number of graduates in the UK will not mean that employers will begin to employ non-graduates in graduate roles.
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    You're right I don't need all that linear algebra or differential mumbo-jumbo they saw fit to teach me at university but it does mean that I feel pretty confident that anything that anyone decides to throw at me maths-wise in my current job is going to be a walkover.

    So what's the value? Well that value to me is confidence in my own abilities. That I taught myself large parts of the course, I dealt with the pressure and managed my own time sensibly. Would I have a similar level of confidence in my abilities had I not gone to university? I just don't know.... but I have also met a few people who have a real chip on their shoulder about graduates and I don't want to end up like that either. Not saying you will but you might come to regret it.

    As Hitchens said, you have to choose your future regrets in life.
 
 
 
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