The Student Room Group

Why are uni dropouts looked down on?

Why are people who don't go to uni or drop out looked down on?

Surely if someone doesn't want a degree then it's better to get a job than waste 3 years getting into debt.

Uni is over-rated anyway given how many people go just to 'follow the crowd'.
(edited 7 months ago)

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Reply 1
I think there are two types of drop out. There are those people who get half way through university, have a revelation that their time would be better spent elsewhere and then pursue that often to huge success.

And then there are those who are aimless, went to university for something to do and realised it was still hard work / boring / not what they wanted to do. They then drop out with no where to go or no direction to go in.

The later are rightly judged more harshly than the former.
Well dropping out/quitting is a failure, who's impressed by failure? You might have good reason, but it's the opposite of a success.

Not going in the first place is not comparable.
Reply 3
Original post by ELAL2023
Why are people who don't go to uni or drop out looked down on?

Surely if someone doesn't want a degree then it's better to get a job than waste 3 years getting into debt.

Uni is over-rated anyway given how many people go just to 'follow the crowd'.

I don’t know about others, but I wouldn’t put uni dropout in the same category as those that decided to take another path like apprenticeships. As an employer, I would query why they dropped out of uni, to try to ensure they don’t do likewise in their job.
Original post by StriderHort
Well dropping out/quitting is a failure, who's impressed by failure? You might have good reason, but it's the opposite of a success.

Not going in the first place is not comparable.


So someone is a failure because they tried university and discovered it wasn't for them? That's very judgemental. Didn't Mark Zuckerberg drop out of university? Would you describe him as a so-called failure?
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by ELAL2023
Why are people who don't go to uni or drop out looked down on?

Surely if someone doesn't want a degree then it's better to get a job than waste 3 years getting into debt.

Uni is over-rated anyway given how many people go just to 'follow the crowd'.


I dropped out of uni just last month- I had only done a year. Most people have been supportive of me- I realised the course I was doing wasn’t right for me. I’m taking a year out and need to decide what I want to do instead soon. So although I might seem like a total bum right now- uni wasn’t worth the depression it caused me. Mentally I’m doing a lot better. I just need to find a degree/ apprenticeship that would actually be useful. I had friends at uni who were pursuing a degree they weren’t even sure they wanted to do anymore, so I figured, why waste more time and money on a degree I realise I don’t even like. There’s no point in pursuing something you don’t feel passionate about. And I wish a lot more students would be brave enough to leave too- so many people get degrees and then end up working somewhere totally unrelated. So yes- I guess my life will be crappy for a year but I feel lucky to have had the realisation that some things are worth giving up on because life’s too short to waste on stuff like useless degrees (to answer some of the other snobby replies) :smile:
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by EVMD17
I dropped out of uni just last month- I had only done a year. Most people have been supportive of me- I realised the course I was doing wasn’t right for me. I’m taking a year out and need to decide what I want to do instead soon. So although I might seem like a total bum right now- uni wasn’t worth the depression it caused me. Mentally I’m doing a lot better. I just need to find a degree/ apprenticeship that would actually be useful. I had friends at uni who were pursuing a degree they weren’t even sure they wanted to do anymore, so I figured, why waste more time and money on a degree I realise I don’t even like. There’s no point pursuing something you don’t feel passionate about. And I wish a lot more students would be brave enough to leave too- so many people get degrees and then end up working in somewhere totally unrelated. So yes- I guess my life will be crappy for a year but I feel lucky to have had the realisation that some things are worth giving up on because life’s too short to waste on stuff like useless degrees (to answer some of the other snobby replies) :smile:

Hi, thanks for sharing your story. I completely agree university is such a waste of time for so many. Uni is a scam, £9250 for a piece of paper. It's ridiculous. Most employers don't really care if people went to university or not, apart from law, stem or academia. And you're right - uni has a snob value. You don't need a degree to be educated. I never went in the first place and I don't regret it. Education should be tailored to vocational training for specific jobs.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 7
I don't understand it. If a student is seriously considering withdrawing, it's not often because it's 'too hard' or 'boring' - I've been in this game over ten years and can count on one hand the amount of student withdrawals that've been along those lines, it's a myth. Similarly, if they realise it's 'not what they want to do' then that's 100% fine. It's a rational, adult decision. And again, it's pretty rare that students drop out to do nothing at all. Anecdotally I have like two mates that did this. But we follow up with our drop out students and the vast, vast majority go do something better/different.

So there is a stigma, I think, but it is very seldom justified and is largely based on misunderstanding.
Reply 8
Original post by ELAL2023
Education should be tailored to vocational training for specific jobs.


If you want your education tailored to a specific job then that avenue is largely open to you. But to condemn everyone else to it is myopic in the extreme.
Original post by ELAL2023
Why are people who don't go to uni or drop out looked down on?

Surely if someone doesn't want a degree then it's better to get a job than waste 3 years getting into debt.

Uni is over-rated anyway given how many people go just to 'follow the crowd'.

To me, there is a difference between a person who did not go to university and one who drops out.

Dropping out could be viewed as the person lacked the resilience to finish what they started. As a potential employer, my questions would be:

1. Why did they drop out?
2. What did they do next?
3. Is there a pattern with this person’s quitting when they cant be bothered?
4. Do they have resilience to finish what they started?
5. Are there deeper issues that I should be aware of?

Those are questions that I would ask myself whilst assessing such an individual. I would rather the person chose a different path than uni.
Reply 10
Original post by ELAL2023
So someone is a failure because they tried university and discovered it wasn't for them? That's very judgemental. Didn't Mark Zuckerberg drop out of university? Would you describe him as a so-called failure?


People like Zuckerberg are the exception. No one talks about the 999/1000 other people who drop out ans get nowhere. Also, this Silicon Valley dropout thing is a very specific group. It tends to happen there because people do a little bit of time, meet some people and then leave to go into entrepreneurship. It’s not a universal idea
Original post by Wired_1800
To me, there is a difference between a person who did not go to university and one who drops out.

Dropping out could be viewed as the person lacked the resilience to finish what they started. As a potential employer, my questions would be:

1. Why did they drop out?
2. What did they do next?
3. Is there a pattern with this person’s quitting when they cant be bothered?
4. Do they have resilience to finish what they started?
5. Are there deeper issues that I should be aware of?

Those are questions that I would ask myself whilst assessing such an individual. I would rather the person chose a different path than uni.


Employers shouldn't be allowed to ask personal questions, that's unprofessional.
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by ELAL2023
Employers shouldn't be allowed to ask personal questions, I'd tell them it's none of their business.

They would not ask you, they will see it on your profile.

Let me give you an example:

Boris applied for a 2-year graduate scheme. In his CV, he has been to 3 unis with no degree because he dropped out of them. He subsequently did a job role at a Company that lasted for 7 months where he resigned and then moved to another role that lasted for 11 months before he was made redundant. He has no references from his unis or former employers.

As a potential employer, my first question to myself would be “WTF?”. The second one would be “do we have other candidates?”.

The sad part would be that Boris would never know. He would receive the generic email.

“Dear Mr Boris,

Thank you for your application. Due to intense competition, I regret to inform you that we wont be taking your application further.

We wish you the best in your career.

Yours sincerely,
Abi Quagmire,
Head of Human Resources - Company X”
Original post by gjd800
If you want your education tailored to a specific job then that avenue is largely open to you. But to condemn everyone else to it is myopic in the extreme.


A professional training programme is much better than a degree in a random subject. There's no such thing as transferable skills it's all just bs packaged by universities to attract students.
Original post by Wired_1800
They would not ask you, they will see it on your profile.

Let me give you an example:

Boris applied for a 2-year graduate scheme. In his CV, he has been to 3 unis with no degree because he dropped out of them. He subsequently did a job role at a Company that lasted for 7 months where he resigned and then moved to another role that lasted for 11 months before he was made redundant. He has no references from his unis or former employers.

As a potential employer, my first question to myself would be “WTF?”. The second one would be “do we have other candidates?”.

The sad part would be that Boris would never know. He would receive the generic email.

“Dear Mr Boris,

Thank you for your application. Due to intense competition, I regret to inform you that we wont be taking your application further.

We wish you the best in your career.

Yours sincerely,
Abi Quagmire,
Head of Human Resources - Company X”


That's a very odd example to use. Almost every human being has at least one reference and besides, having a degree doesn't make you employable.
Original post by ELAL2023
That's a very odd example to use. Almost every human being has at least one reference and besides, having a degree doesn't make you employable.

:facepalm2:

Read this thread again. I never said that university makes you to be more employable.
Original post by Wired_1800
:facepalm2:

Read this thread again. I never said that university makes you to be more employable.


I read your thread very clearly. I'm just pointing it out because you seem to be of the mindset that people who either drop out or can't keep settled in a job have something wrong with them.
Original post by ELAL2023
I read your thread very clearly. I'm just pointing it out because you seem to be of the mindset that people who either drop out or can't keep settled in a job have something wrong with them.


That’s the perception. Put yourself in the other position, would you hire someone who had a profile that was unsettled?

Some people have the perception that they are doing employers a favour by applying to their company. It takes time, money and effort to recruit a new person, so employers want to know that the employee would be worth their time and stress.
Original post by Wired_1800
That’s the perception. Put yourself in the other position, would you hire someone who had a profile that was unsettled?

Some people have the perception that they are doing employers a favour by applying to their company. It takes time, money and effort to recruit a new person, so employers want to know that the employee would be worth their time and stress.


Yes I understand what you're saying and no I wouldn't employ someone who was that unsettled like in the example given but there's a difference between dropping out once and sticking with a job and someone who continually drops out and can't get settled into anything. If someone chooses to drop out of university because they aren't enjoying it and would rather do something else then that's entirely their decision. If an employer chooses to look down on them because of it then they're not the type of person I'd like to work for. Why should someone stick it out to the end if they're not enjoying it? That would make them miserable and be a complete waste of time. However, that is different from someone who drops out continually and can't get settled.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 19
Original post by ELAL2023
A professional training programme is much better than a degree in a random subject. There's no such thing as transferable skills it's all just bs packaged by universities to attract students.

Nonsense.

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