Is uni really worth it? Watch

Jedimonkey
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So I'm in my first year at uni studying film production. I'm gonna be honest, I'm really not enjoying it. I LOVEEEEEEEDDDDDD college to bits. it was the best 2 years of my life. And I thought to myself, I could carry on studying film at uni to a higher level. People have also mentioned that uni was even "better" than college.

Now that I'm into my second term, nothing's really changed since the first term. I've realised a film degree is pointless as **** since no one really cares about it in the industry. They want experience. Secondly, because I'm really passionate about film, I learnt a lot in college and did loads of stuff on my own. I also made a few shorts films in my spare time. Now in uni, the stuff they are teaching us is stuff I've already learnt (Be it through college or my own studying). Also, they have taught us a few things which I know are utter **** and 100% wrong. I even mentioned it to my old college tutors and they were like "yeah that's wrong". Right now I feel I'm wasting my time and money. It feels like my life is going nowhere. Even if I finish my course in 3 to 4 years time, I'm pretty much gonna be in the same position as I am now. I ain't suddenly gonna be a filmmaker just because I got the degree. Another thing to mention is that uni is pretty much self taught. If I've taught myself quite a bit on my own before I even started uni, do I even really need uni?

I've been toying with the idea of changing degree to something like graphic design (I still enjoy it and it's my backup in case the film stuff doesn't work out) and carry on with my film stuff on my own. Alternatively, I've thought about working full time but still stay enrolled on the course and do course work in my spare time.

What would anyone advise?
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velvetzappa
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University is a place for researchers like scientists, historians and perhaps philosophers. The main reason that people outside these categories attend university is to make social connections and develop their inter-personnel abilities. Otherwise it is a globally inflated system. That makes it just an extension of school really, which is a worthless system of it's own. When most people graduate, they still have that hopeless and lost sense of identity they had after graduating high school. You won't feel a difference unless you have made a difference in the world. Hence why university is most suited for researchers. I think that the modern university system is underdeveloped and it's quite stupid that people are forced to pay such extortionate amounts for such a pathetic spending of time.
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Acsel
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(Original post by Jedimonkey)

What would anyone advise?
TBH, it sounds like you've already made your mind up to an extent. Based on what you've said, I'd agree that continuing with your degree doesn't seem like a practical idea. Getting into a mountain of pseudo debt and spending years of your life on a degree that you don't really enjoy and by your own merit has little value seems silly.

Since you're not entirely clear on where you want to go, my recommendation would probably be to drop out and cut your losses now, then spend teh rest of this year deciding what it is you want to do. There's no point rushing into a different degree and making a similar mistake. Take the time out, work out what you're after and apply for courses starting Septmeber 2020.

In terms of answering the title question of "is uni worth it", that depends on the student. If all you do is go to class, graduate with a mediocre grade and never look at your degree again then probably not. If you spend loads of time outside class developing yourself, and want to go into an industry where the degree is necessary, then it has value. Putting a value on uni is difficult because it's primarily an investment of time. What you do with that time is up to you. The financial aspect matters, but taking a student loan is totally different to paying £9250 up front every year from your own pocket. Uni being worth it very much depends on your time.
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DarthRoar
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There are a lot of degrees that you can take that will harm your future earnings. After taking them, you will be predicted to earn less than if you'd just not gone to uni instead. Film is one of those degrees; it wasn't very smart to enroll in that one.

Uni is definitely worth it for employable, desirable degrees.
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BenChen10
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Most people are paying for the experience and powerpoints. In the end, you just end up with a 40K debt.
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StaffsUniGee
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Hey!

I totally understand where you're coming from! I had a similar issue in my first year - finding that everyone seemed to be telling me that I didn't need a degree in my industry to get a job (I'm on a comic arts degree). But the thing is, while you don't need a degree to get some jobs, it does help with job applications. It shows commitment (cuz you stuck out three years of non-enforced education), and actual proof of knowledge in that area. There are also tonnes of jobs that, even though they don't need degree knowledge to be done, require a degree during the application! Unfortunately, jobs that require 'a completed degree AND 3 years industry experience' are annoyingly common.

If your course leaders are teaching you incorrect things, have you considered changing uni? Finding a film course that's more inline with your ideals? This could also mean finding a course that puts more weight on finding you external, real world work that teaching you the stuff you already know.

Hope this helps!

- Gee
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Acsel
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(Original post by DarthRoar)
There are a lot of degrees that you can take that will harm your future earnings. After taking them, you will be predicted to earn less than if you'd just not gone to uni instead. Film is one of those degrees; it wasn't very smart to enroll in that one.
I don't suppose you have the sources behind that claim? Might be an interesting read
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auburnstar
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Depends on a couple of factors really. For the OP specifically, I would advise switching degree or enrolling on a vocational course. But in general:

1. Science and mathematics degrees tend to have higher ROI (return on investment) because of higher starting salaries and/or projected earnings. There will always be exceptions and high-earning non-graduates, but on the whole, an English graduate will earn less than a computer science graduate.

2. Degree classification - a lot of placements and jobs require a 2:1, getting a 2:2 isn't a career-ender by any means but it does block out some opportunities and certain postgraduate courses/training.

3. How much you put into your study and extracurricular activities/societies. Societies etc help to develop people skills, communication and well-roundedness.

4. How much you are actually enjoying it. University, in general, is challenging by its very nature. If you don't like what you're studying, it will be hard to be motivated to do well which can then affect your classification and most importantly your mental and even physical health (which can have its own residual effects later down the line if it's severe enough).
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mia2019
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hey girl well done for carrying on with studying about something you love
However have you applied for jobs yet? Get afew interviews some experience in getting yourself out there
I know there crying out for animators ?? Graphic design always good too!
dont worry too much yo uhave your whole life ahead of you
try control your thoughts etc x
No worst thing than wasted time hope you figure it out
add me on instagram to talk more missmaryannelondon send me a message x
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mia2019
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what do you mean - how can a degree harm yor salary ?
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nintysixthousand
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you could look at apprenticeships in fillm, places like channel 4, BBC and Viacom do them. then you can get more qualifications while gainging experience, i think thats the best path to go with something like film!
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reb3kah
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i have a question: my tutor was saying how she went to uni at my age and found it so easy, my other teacher didn't really like uni her choice was asian languages/studies. at college they kind of push too much onto us students saying you should/need to be thinking about what you want to do after and trying to get into good uni's but whats the point if its so easy? it was some design thingy it's putting me off wanting to go and honestly i don't see myself going, i don't even know what i'd study tbqh. none of the courses show me much interest and i don't like the self taught type of teaching either. i prefer actually being taught something otherwise it seems a waste. my mum knows someone going to manchester and he only attends 2 days a week+he's paying so much for the course, what a shame. i think people make a huge fuss of university then in reality it's kind of mundane.
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DarthRoar
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(Original post by Acsel)
I don't suppose you have the sources behind that claim? Might be an interesting read
The IFS recently did a study on graduate earnings by age 29. Plenty of courses provide a negative expected change in earnings.

https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13731
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Acsel
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(Original post by DarthRoar)
The IFS recently did a study on graduate earnings by age 29. Plenty of courses provide a negative expected change in earnings.

https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13731
To quote in the section discussing this:

For men, studying creative arts, English or philosophy actually result in lower earnings on average at age 29 than people with similar background characteristics who did not go to HE at all.

For women, there are no subjects that have negative average returns, and studying economics or medicine increases their age 29 earnings by around 60%.
I find it difficult to believe we have causation here, more just a correlation. Especially when the results are different for men and women. If a course were actually reducing your income, that should be uniform across genders. But it makes little sense that doing a degree would reduce your earnings in the first place. So I think there's a bit of misinterpretation going on here.

A more realistic explanation is that the degrees mentioned generally don't lead to well paying jobs, assuming they lead to jobs at all. Take Philosophy for example, a graduate is unlikely to get a job as a philosopher. This means they are more likely to end up in some unrelated job where the degree isn't very relevant. Quite possibly they're in the same jobs as their peers without a degree. The difference is, the graduate had to spend 3-4 years at uni, which gives the non-HE worker several additional years of experience, allowing them to demand higher pay. It's not that the degree itself has reduced their earnings as such, it's that the time hasn't been spent on something that improves earnings. I would imagine if you took the graduate student and instead of getting a degree they had just self studied (so don't have the qualification but did spend the time) you'd see similar results.

So it's not that degrees reduce income directly. It's that degrees exist on a scale, and depending on the scenario the degree is lower on the scale than just working and building skills that way. In some cases, the degree itself isn't the best use of time. It's a very subtle distinction though
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DarthRoar
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(Original post by Acsel)
I find it difficult to believe we have causation here, more just a correlation. Especially when the results are different for men and women. If a course were actually reducing your income, that should be uniform across genders. But it makes little sense that doing a degree would reduce your earnings in the first place. So I think there's a bit of misinterpretation going on here.

A more realistic explanation is that the degrees mentioned generally don't lead to well paying jobs, assuming they lead to jobs at all. Take Philosophy for example, a graduate is unlikely to get a job as a philosopher. This means they are more likely to end up in some unrelated job where the degree isn't very relevant. Quite possibly they're in the same jobs as their peers without a degree. The difference is, the graduate had to spend 3-4 years at uni, which gives the non-HE worker several additional years of experience, allowing them to demand higher pay. It's not that the degree itself has reduced their earnings as such, it's that the time hasn't been spent on something that improves earnings.
You may indeed find it difficult to believe, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies seems to disagree. The difference in results between men and women don't suggest a lack of causation. Women's average earning on aggregate are lower than mens, yet graduate women's average earnings are broadly on par with men's up to around age 30. This means fewer courses for women would give a negative impact on earnings.


It does make sense that doing a degree could lower your earnings. Your 'more realistic explanation' is precisely the one offered by the report. Spending 3-4 years studying a course irrelevant to their graduate work puts them effectively 3-4 years behind their peers who worked and gained experience, leading to a loss of income overall. Doing that degree has reduced their earnings as compared to if they hadn't.

If you want to be pedantic, yet it is the time spent doing a degree that damages income, not the degree itself. If degrees didn't take time to do, those degrees wouldn't damage income. However, degrees do take time to do, thus it doesn't really make sense to suggest it's not the degree causing the damage, as the degree and the time taken to do it go hand-in-hand.

I would imagine if you took the graduate student and instead of getting a degree they had just self studied (so don't have the qualification but did spend the time) you'd see similar results.
Yes, I think you would. I suppose I agree with you, but really it's a meaningless difference. Either way, doing one of the degrees listed with negative impact will negatively impact your earnings, even if it's not technically the degree certification itself that's caused it.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Acsel)

A more realistic explanation is that the degrees mentioned generally don't lead to well paying jobs, assuming they lead to jobs at all. Take Philosophy for example, a graduate is unlikely to get a job as a philosopher. This means they are more likely to end up in some unrelated job where the degree isn't very relevant. Quite possibly they're in the same jobs as their peers without a degree. The difference is, the graduate had to spend 3-4 years at uni, which gives the non-HE worker several additional years of experience, allowing them to demand higher pay. It's not that the degree itself has reduced their earnings as such, it's that the time hasn't been spent on something that improves earnings.
I'm not sure that holds for a lot of young men. Read these boards for further evidence! Degree in philosophy - spend years clerking in a law firm hoping for a training contract, or in McJobs applying for the civil service and other grad schemes. Same goes for creative arts - lots of attempts at internships in the hope of landing a career.

The young man who messed about at school but was pretty bright started in an estate agent, working in a factory and is now a night supervisor getting decent shift pay, HGV driver, tradesman. Not many grads want to retrain in the trades - it means a low/ no income for a while amongst other things. So the top / lucky grads get great jobs but many others are way behing their schoolfriends who left for a job.
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Acsel
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(Original post by DarthRoar)
Yes, I think you would. I suppose I agree with you, but really it's a meaningless difference. Either way, doing one of the degrees listed with negative impact will negatively impact your earnings, even if it's not technically the degree certification itself that's caused it.
I don't think it is strictly meaningless because the time spent on a degree programme and the degree itself are independent. Making that distinction is important as without it, a student is far less likely to understand what the problem is.

If we assume a 3 year degree that requires full time study (40 hours a week), over 42 weeks a year, that's a little over 5000 hours. For reference there are around 26,000 hours in that 3 year period so the degree represents around 20% of your life for that period. Saying it's the degree that lowers your income doesn't account for what you may have been doing during the other 80% of that time.

If we say it's the degree that causes the issue, that implies the act of putting it on your CV hurts your chances. That's not the case though, because if that same student didn't write their degree on their CV, they'd still be in a bad position. Likewise if that student had spent some of the other 80% developing skills then they can put the degree on alongside developed skills and not suffer.

I think making the distinction between the degree and the poor use of time is important, in order to properly convey what the issue is and therefore what can be done to rectify it. Telling a student that on average they'll earn less because they did a degree makes no logical sense and doesn't actually tell them anything meaningful.
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Rabbit2
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I submit that anyone interested in acquiring a degree in hopes of improving their 'life-style' and earnings capabilities, should first consider the 'average' income of people who had acquired those degrees. Hopefully, the uni that you are consideering should be able to furnish you with a list of graduates who a> had acquired the degree you are considering, and b> were using it to earn a living.

Bear in mind that "average" income is potentially misleading. Included in the statistics are people who are young married women, who are partially supported by a spouse, and work only a few hours, so that they can devote the rest of their time to raising small children. Also included are 'graduate students' - who may be persuing a more advanced degree, whilst 'extending' their income by working 10 hours a week or so. You would like to have statistics that only included people working 40 or more hours a week in their degree area.

Consider whether you could live on what these people are earning. Other than a few areas: [medicine, law, enginering, IT], i think i would have a difficult time doing so. I would recommend going out and interviewing 5 or 6 individuals in a degree area you are seriously considering, find out what theyy would do differently in their education if they had it to do over, how much they make, and where they see themselves being in 5 yrs, 10 yrs & later.

In engineering (which is my degree area), i know that on 'this side of the pond', you would not be trusted with a project of 'significant size' - [which i have arbitrarily defined as $1 million or more in total cost]. You would not be trusted to manage, or even be the 'deputy' on a project of such size, without a master's degree. A bachelor's would not do it [as of 2018]. With a bachelor's degree, you could be working on it at the staff level, but would not be trusted to make any significant decisions. Bear in mind that the people who would be making the decision to trust you or not, would usually have (at a maximum) a bachelor's degree in engineering (that was probably 20 to 30 years old - with little real enginering experience in the meantime). This is neither fair, nor reasonable - but that is the way the world works - it's office politics.

Best of luck!!
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mia2019
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Your very very right i like it
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Jedimonkey
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Thanks for all the replys everyone. I'm so for this very late reply. There have been some very interesting points people have mentioned. TBH, at the moment I am just sticking with it with the hopes that it will improve. I've applied for some jobs such as graphic designers and video editors.

I'm kinda liking/toying with the idea of changing uni. After doing some research and reading some of the replies, I think it would be beneficial to have A degree (Even though a film degree is pointless).

I also spoke to one of my old college friends who goes to Portsmouth university and from what he is saying, his course sounds so fun. He's mentioned how he's learnt loads and he actualy does practical stuff.
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