The death of the arts student: why go to uni?
Why go to uni when could be out-earned by a typical high school graduate who never even bothered?
That’s right, the guys who messed around during their A-levels and went straight into work could to earn more than you, especially if you have studied an arts subject. In a worst case scenario, according to theatlantic, this could be by around $200,000 (in a US example)!
Pressure and expectation
One reason we go to uni may be because it’s expected. It just seems the next logical step, especially when everybody else around you is going. That’s all everyone talks about during A levels: getting into uni!
I think this crowd mentality could be dangerous for those who want a career in an area such as arts, whatever that would entail… All the hype about student life may well lead many art students into wanting to study a university degree, even though it’s maybe just not necessary.
Under an illusion
The problem is that they aren’t turned away, because where there’s demand, there is going to be supply, and universities roll out loads of cool, arty courses. These courses can look a very attractive option, especially when so many people are doing it. It’s an easy decision to follow the crowd, even if what they’re doing is stupid.
I’ve used art as an example here, because it’s the best one, but the same can apply for many other subjects. Is it really worth paying university fees to gain skills that you could actually get on your own, or on a trainee scheme? This case is made even stronger now that fees in the UK have doubled.
Furthermore, a lot of what you learn on a university course seems absolutely pointless if you never actually use it in the ‘real world’ (whatever that is). Even from my own experience as a Computer Science student, I am pretty sure I’ve gained more practical skills on the job that provide more value day to day, than all that theory I learned as part of my course.
The greatest advantage of a degree in my opinion is the recognition – that piece of paper you get at the end. So if that doesn’t provide you with as much value as a toilet paper, then there’s no point in it.
If you want the uni life, just hover around campuses and go along to the student nights. Then instead, throw all that money at starting your own business – it could well be a safer bet! After all, Steve Jobs never got a degree (neither did Shakespeare, for those arty students).
Do you think it’s worth doing a degree? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Tech109 / Flickr