Being A Student

in Student MoneySaving
9 replies 3.5K views
i notice in a lot of these posts students are very much in debt, and afterwards many of them have low paid jobs.
What is everyones view on being a student, is it really worth the hassle now.
When i was at school 5years ago i decided that an apprenticeship was the best route. My teachers told me that this was a stupid idea as it was for pupils with low grades and you will never amount to anything. Well i didnt take there advice (i didnt really like school and i hated the idea of college). So i joined an apprenticeship with a power station. I did go to college and stay in digs for 4 years (well at least everything was paid for..and i got paid) so now out of my time and i have an ONC HNC NVQ level 3, many other course pass rates and 4 years experience in a power station. i know work as on Ops tech on very good money for a 20yr old (£26000). my friend on the other hand has taken the degree route, and even though he was successful in gaining a degree he has a job at the supermarket as other jobs he would like to do want experienced staff.
To me a degree doesnt mean much at all unless you have experience as well. I would like to do a degree (paid by my company of course) as it will get me further hopefully, but i see a lot of undergraduates that can work out the thermal dynamic efficiency of our plant..yet not know how to use a screwdriver (you may laugh but its true). Basically i am saying information is best found out through life experience not from a text book


  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    I am in total agreement with you!!

    I too decided to take that route after 1 1/2 years at college with no money.

    I have also gained an ONC HNC NVQ3 and many other academic qualifications during my 5 year apprenticeship with money still coming in.

    My recommendation would be to do the same.

    Many companies are crying out for skilled labour and an apprenticeship gets you there with both theory and practical knowledge which can only help if you wish to move on.
  • swilkyswilky Forumite
    1 Post
    I am going for best of both worlds, I am 24 and last year, I decided to do a degree in social work.
    I have worked in the caring profession for 8 years but I felt I needed to get on the career ladder. So I can work as a hospital or Mental Health social worker working with children.

    I would not of been able to do this without life experience.

    Named after my cat, picture coming shortly
  • rachrach Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    despite ending up in debt i would not have given up my student years for anything. i had a fantastic time - enjoyed it socially and even academically. ;D

    though i myself am not in an amazingly paid job this is by choice because of what i have decided to do with my life. i absolutely love my job and wouldn;t give it up for any amount of money. if earnings are a marker of success (i don't think they necessarily are) lots and lots of my uni mates are earning massive salaries and are doing extremely well in their fields.

    each to their own - uni isn't for everyone, and i'm not sure that the trend of getting more and more people to uni is the right one, but for me it was definitely the right way to go. :)
    Mum to gorgeous baby boy born Sept 2010:j
  • Toda1977Toda1977 Forumite
    33 Posts
    Hi Rach,

    I agree, I would have loved to go to Uni,

    I just didn't like the idea of being in debt. (Otherwise i would have gone too)

    I wouldn't class anyone as successful cos of the money they earn!!
    I would class people as successful because they have achieved what they set out to do.

    I am now considering a career change by doing a course away from work, (hopefully i will achieve more of my goals too).
    Val :)
  • LouiseW_3LouiseW_3 Forumite
    26 Posts
    i agree that gettig a degree isn't the best route for everyone and it certainly doesn't guarantee high wages. I spent 4 yrs at uni doing a degree in criminology and social reseacrh, only to realise that i didn't really want to be a researcher. i am now studying for a diploma in criminal justice studies (degree + NVQ4) for my new job and until i get this qualification i am on low earnings.

    when i look back i could have taken this job to begin with but the time at uni gave me the chance to think about what i really wanted to do.

    people get different things from different experiences and although some might not be able to use a screwdriver i think a lot students have plenty work experience by the end of their degree just from working to pay their way through the thing!!
  • lee__48lee__48 Forumite
    68 Posts
    I do wonder why the government wants 50% of school leavers to get a degree. Surely if half the population had a degree then a degree would be the same as an A level is now, so anyone trying to get a good qualification would have to do a second degree or go post grad. Of course, to get a degree it will cost you £5000 + living expenses - little or no income. So the government wants half the country to be £12,000 in debt before they get a job and a morgage?

  • savvysavvy Forumite
    31.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    So the government wants half the country to be £12,000 in debt before they get a job and a morgage?

    Hmmm I wonder why??   :-/  Personally my degree has opened up doors for me that wouldn't have been there if I hadn't have done it, I also met some great friends and had a whale of a time!  I did the apprenticeship thing first and it didn't work out for me and was treated like crap really, then I drifted and had kids.  But life changed when I went for a's basically given me focus........................and a large debt..........but hey, I could've ran that debt up anyway and at a far worse percentage rate, at least it's been on something useful!
    Honorary Northern Bird bestowed by Anselm
    I'm a Board Guide and volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly on Special Occasions, Green/Ethical, Motoring/Overseas/UK Travel & Flood boards, it's not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Report inappropriate or illegal posts to [email protected]. Views are MINE & not official MSE ones ;)
  • fwehorxfwehorx Forumite
    23 Posts
    I hear from a TV program that in the NEAR future, there will be a shortage of graduate jobs! :o
  • Lucie_2Lucie_2 Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I really enjoyed my student days, but worked all the way through to support myself. Coupled with help from my Parents I graduated with only about £3K debt. The jobs I had were all relevant to my degree & enabled me to get a full time job at the end of it. Now I get job applications from just-about-to-be graduates with very little or no work experience & they want to be managers! Get real! These days I look for work experience before qualifications - I can get people qualified realtively quickly, I can't get them experience.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

The 'Ask An Expert' event

Last week's energy Q&A with MSE experts

MSE Forum

Ninja Kitchen air fryer & grill £175

Normally £250. Excl Northern Ireland

MSE Deals