The Student Room Group

Gap year or uni??

I’ve applied to study politics and international relations, a degree that interests me, and I’ve applied to study it at UCL and SOAS. However, I realise that my job prospects may not be the best; I’m interested in the legal/finance/business sector. I’m worried about making a financial commitment to university, and I’m aware that degree apprenticeships are becoming extremely popular, and I like the idea. Still, because I’m not 100% certain about a career, I’m unsure what to do, do I apply for a degree apprenticeship because it is experience and a free degree? I’m thinking, should I take a gap year or defer a year because I do feel slightly uncomfortable taking a degree where I’m not guaranteed a job but guaranteed debt? However, I am a proactive student and try my best to find and complete quality work experience, so if I go to uni, I won’t just sit and do my degree. I know I’d prefer to do a degree than a degree apprenticeship just because I’m not sure about a career, and I know I’d enjoy uni way more. Still, in terms of being realistic, it seems like a useless degree, and people who say that uni debt isn’t real debt annoy me because our year is most likely to pay the entirety of the debt. So, is it wise for me to take a gap year to sort things out? But I’m worried that I get FOMO, won’t build a valuable social life or struggle to find my way. Any tips?!
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 1
Who said that politics and international relations don’t guarantee a good job? That’s crazy thinking like that. Do what you love and you’ll be fine. And don’t forget that you have to do a master's so you can do your bachelor's degree in pol and ir then, do an MSc in economics or finance that’s possible! You can also do a job in law or finance even if you have a degree in pol and ir! Trus the process do what you love !
Hi Florence_6791,

I understand the struggle of not knowing what it is that you want out of a degree/what that degree will bring you; but ultimately the degree is what you make it. As you said, being proactive is certainly going to help you find a job after you graduate. SOAS offers numerous job opportunities alongside your studies, I have been a Peer Mentor, Student Representative, and Student Ambassador, though there are many more opportunities on offer here!

As for doing a gap year, I certainly do think that they can help you to figure out what it is that you want, I began my undergraduate degree at 22 and it was the best decision for me. That extra time can also help you to figure out which career is right for you, as well as knowing which path of study is right for you, too. Don't stress out too much about future job prospects, it's a slow process that you can start whenever you feel ready 🙂

All the best with your decision & I’m happy to answer any more questions if needed 😊

D
Final year UG Chinese student
Original post by SOAS Student Rep
Hi Florence_6791,
I understand the struggle of not knowing what it is that you want out of a degree/what that degree will bring you; but ultimately the degree is what you make it. As you said, being proactive is certainly going to help you find a job after you graduate. SOAS offers numerous job opportunities alongside your studies, I have been a Peer Mentor, Student Representative, and Student Ambassador, though there are many more opportunities on offer here!
As for doing a gap year, I certainly do think that they can help you to figure out what it is that you want, I began my undergraduate degree at 22 and it was the best decision for me. That extra time can also help you to figure out which career is right for you, as well as knowing which path of study is right for you, too. Don't stress out too much about future job prospects, it's a slow process that you can start whenever you feel ready 🙂
All the best with your decision & I’m happy to answer any more questions if needed 😊
D
Final year UG Chinese student

Thank you,
I'm just worried about a gap year not because of the age just because I know I'd feel lonely during it because everyone has gone. If you don't mind me asking, what do you study?
Original post by Florence_6791
I’ve applied to study politics and international relations, a degree that interests me, and I’ve applied to study it at UCL and SOAS. However, I realise that my job prospects may not be the best; I’m interested in the legal/finance/business sector. I’m worried about making a financial commitment to university, and I’m aware that degree apprenticeships are becoming extremely popular, and I like the idea. Still, because I’m not 100% certain about a career, I’m unsure what to do, do I apply for a degree apprenticeship because it is experience and a free degree? I’m thinking, should I take a gap year or defer a year because I do feel slightly uncomfortable taking a degree where I’m not guaranteed a job but guaranteed debt? However, I am a proactive student and try my best to find and complete quality work experience, so if I go to uni, I won’t just sit and do my degree. I know I’d prefer to do a degree than a degree apprenticeship just because I’m not sure about a career, and I know I’d enjoy uni way more. Still, in terms of being realistic, it seems like a useless degree, and people who say that uni debt isn’t real debt annoy me because our year is most likely to pay the entirety of the debt. So, is it wise for me to take a gap year to sort things out? But I’m worried that I get FOMO, won’t build a valuable social life or struggle to find my way. Any tips?!

Hi there,

I am towards the end of my final year studying International Relations at Cardiff. I was in the same position as you before coming to university but opted to come out of covid cutting off all other options. I would say to apply for as many apprenticeships as you can, to ensure that you don't have any regrets, yet, if you prefer university, then I don't think that you should hold yourself back. However, I would advise you be sure to make the most of it, as you said. Such as taking the opportunity to network, get work experience and experiment in the different areas that you're interested in.

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by CardiffUni Rep
Hi there,
I am towards the end of my final year studying International Relations at Cardiff. I was in the same position as you before coming to university but opted to come out of covid cutting off all other options. I would say to apply for as many apprenticeships as you can, to ensure that you don't have any regrets, yet, if you prefer university, then I don't think that you should hold yourself back. However, I would advise you be sure to make the most of it, as you said. Such as taking the opportunity to network, get work experience and experiment in the different areas that you're interested in.
All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep

Thank you!
I've applied to one and got through the interview process then didn't get it and it was for a project management role. I'm honestly not sure if it's what I want to do but my mindset is just do it cause its a free degree. I've already applied to uni and haven't applied to that many DA it's just all a bit confusing
Original post by Florence_6791
Thank you!
I've applied to one and got through the interview process then didn't get it and it was for a project management role. I'm honestly not sure if it's what I want to do but my mindset is just do it cause its a free degree. I've already applied to uni and haven't applied to that many DA it's just all a bit confusing

I was in the exact same place! Had a few interviews but no offers (ruined my confidence but you have to understand that it's super competitive!) Just know, that there is no way to get over this hurdle except to keep going! Keep your options open and work on what you're interested in and see what happens! I'm sorry that I can't help more.

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by Florence_6791
Thank you,
I'm just worried about a gap year not because of the age just because I know I'd feel lonely during it because everyone has gone. If you don't mind me asking, what do you study?

You're welcome!

I understand that; however, a gap year is also a great opportunity to make friends in the workplace or on your travels 🙂

Sure! I study BA Chinese (I'm a 4th year student).

Daisy

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending