Should I go to University?

To go or not to go to university has now become a major question for young people nearing the end of their secondary education. And it's no longer an easy choice.

For years middle class parents expected their children to go to university and for most of the kids, it was the automatic choice. At the end both parents and offspring expected a great career to be waiting. More recently, the option to go to university became possible for young people from working class homes and the government encouraged more and more of them to take up this opportunity

In the present economic climate, many graduates are unable to find jobs and universities are cutting back on places, so much so that many of this year's 18 year olds did not get a university place, despite good exam results.

So, if you are leaving school in the next year or two, how do you choose - to go or not to go to university?

There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before making a final decision.

And you need to spend plenty of time thinking about your answers. You will probably also want to do some serious career related research before you are able to make the right choice. So be sure to start this process early, well before you have to apply for university if possible or at least some time before you have to accept your place.

What's your answer to why go to university?

There are plenty of good reasons to study for a degree and not all of them include a job at the end of your course!

 What is my long term goal?

If you are unsure about going to university, you need to be as clear as possible about your long term career goals so that you can figure out the best way to achieve them.

Which alternative career paths are open to me?

Although some careers can only be followed with the right degree, there are many which don't require a university education. In fact, you may find that you can progress more quickly by taking an alternative route.

What are the financial implications if I choose to go to university? This involves not only considering the cost of tuition and supporting yourself during the course itself, but also the amount of debt you will accumulate and eventually have to pay back. You may be eligible for financial support from the government or scholarships and all of this needs to be carefully checked out.

Could I study part time?

Part time degree courses, including online degrees, are becoming increasingly popular and for some young people, a welcome alternative to full time study. Distance learning courses enable you to study at your own pace, while holding down a job, which will enable you to eradicate or at least minimize your student debt.

Could I study part time or online in a few years' time when I have established myself in a job? If a degree isn't essential but something you would like to have, there is the option of doing this at a later stage in your career, either by attending a course part time or taking the entire course by distance learning.

So should I go to university?

It's a big question - be sure to get as much information as possible before you make your final decision.

For more information to help you decide if you should go to university click here.