Why Study Anything?
Many students may be pondering over which subjects they should pursue into higher or further education, but there will also be a number of individuals pondering whether they should even progress into further or higher education at all. Their issue is not what to study, but whether to study.
Further Study as a Choice and not Just the Expected Next Step
Often, students fall into a further study as an expected next step having completed their GCSEs or A’Levels; many do not consider the alternatives of a gap year or going straight out into the world of work but these are of course very real options and maybe the best option for some. Some people, however, will be viewing further study as a choice and not just the expected next step and us such they’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of studying anything; of which there are many.
Looking at the pros, the most obvious one is that you will gain further qualifications, which in the competitive job market that we are facing at the moment, would be a real advantage. Anything that can put you one step ahead of the competition will hopefully help you achieve the job of your dreams. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the more qualifications you have under your belt, the higher can be your expected starting salary when you enter employment. In gaining another qualification, of course, you are also gaining knowledge and new skills, and this in itself may be an important consideration in terms of your own personal development and life goals. Additionally, studying at University provides you with a whole new lifestyle, greater independence and new social opportunities which you may otherwise not be in a position to access. This can be very beneficial in shaping yourself as an individual and providing you with some basic people skills and life skills for when you enter a working environment.
All of the pros seem very convincing but there are definite cons when it comes to considering further study. Firstly, the expense; although it is possible to work and study; tuition fees, living expenses, and resource costs will all add up and most students will leave university with a degree and a large debt to go with it. This debt is something that you may still be dealing with well into your 40s or further and therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly. Secondly, in choosing further study you will be delaying entry to the workplace, if you have a definite career in mind and you know that you do not need any additional qualifications to achieve your career goals then it may be wise to jump straight into that career, giving yourself as much time as possible to learn and progress up the ladder, with some careers actually expecting new starters to come fresh from school or college.
These are just some of the reasons why you should or shouldn’t study anything. The final decision is down to the individual and will depend entirely on their own ambitions, life goals, career goals and importantly finances. Always took through any important decisions such as this with either family members, friends, career advisors or tutors; it’s a difficult decision to make and should be made in an informed and considered way.