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Is the cost of a degree worth it?

Here’s the big question, what are your thoughts about the cost currently on degrees? 

I spoke to someone today and he’s really frustrated he was telling me during lockdown he was paying full fees. 

The total cost of his degree is somewhere in the region of around about £50,000, which is a lot of money. 

He said a big chunk of that is a loan and that begs the question, is it really worth it?

I said why are you doing it? He said I want to get a business degree and get a job. I said what job? He said, I don’t know, I just want to make money. 

I said there are many ways to do this, you don’t necessarily have to have a degree and the challenge you’ve got getting a degree at the moment and this is my personal view the career ladder is so different now and it’s not consistent and not for life. 

I just think that young people are chasing the degree to get letters after their name in the hope that it will stand them apart from other people, but actually if you look at the world if you are looking for success and in the measurement of earning an amount of money that really gives you a great lifestyle, getting some time back and being able to do what you love and the pursuing the purpose and passion, then I don’t think it’s in a career off the back of a degree. It is not to say a degree isn’t a good thing as you might want to pursue it for the love of it. 

Imagine creating a business and time frame for that business you choose to do and then going and studying because you love that subject and really enjoy the degree and getting involved. 

That’s amazing. 

If you’ve got kids and you feel like some kind of pressure or obligation to get them to go and actually get a degree ask yourself the question, why? 

And is that putting undue pressure on them because you feel that there’s something you didn’t achieve so you want them to have it? Or they’ll be the first person in the family or is it because you believe that it will really sincerely catapult their lives and what did you do? If you’ve got your degree are you in that profession and if you’re my age 55 there can be the argument to say that you may well be. 

But I think people coming through now move like this and there are so many more opportunities to actually have a career or start a business which employs people that have got degrees.

I think the world is being more steered towards entrepreneurialism, creativity. When I say the world I mean there is an aspiration for that, but there’s still an illusion or a delusion that I need to conform to a system of education. 

Where I have an issue with it is we’re testing kids at four, five, six, seven and we’re putting them into a system that qualifies them based on their ability to remember things because that’s really an exam system. 

You’re revising and you have to get it right to fulfil the answer that the examiner wants you to say, you’re now actually having to write things that somebody else believes is the right way to articulate that subject. When in fact there are infinite ways to see the same subject. 

We’re having to conform to a system and pass exams and get results that allow us to jump through hoops for other people, because it’s about conformity. I find that a difficult situation right now for our youngsters and the pressure put on people and it was there when I grew up, but I think it was different. 

I think the career structure was different for people going out then. But the choices are so broad now and the subtleties of the skills needed. This guy I was speaking to today said the loan will affect my mortgage ability. 

I think the average first-time buyer to get a mortgage is 30 in the United Kingdom now. 

My message is really think carefully about why you’re actually choosing that path. If you delay it and mature a bit and pursue a few different opportunities and then find that they were what you want and you’ve got a passion about it and you get a mentor or coach or someone you look up to that you could model you may never need to go do a degree. 

Equally you might spend a couple years and get really inspired by a specific career that does require a degree, but now one you might not have thought about before. So you fit that passion around education and then you go and work in that career, whereas a lot of young people just don’t know. 

A lot as I’m hearing at the moment is that they’re pursuing the ability to make money. I do think it’s the wrong way. 

If your objective is to make money, you can go and sell sweets I think you have to think about what you’re passionate about, and then reverse engineer your career around that. I find young people say, what does that mean? 

Because passion and purpose and pursuing a purposeful goal in the career most people don’t get taught that. 

My argument is stop, press pause, fast forward 10, 15 years, think about how you’d like to look, what do you want? 

Then ask yourself, can I achieve in that career? If you can’t then what could you do to achieve that and work backwards from there.

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