The REAL value of a Degree

The REAL value of a Degree

Just last night on my way to work, I heard someone in government claiming that university is not worth the thousands of pounds worth of debt students gain from receiving and achieving a degree. And like usual, I would have loved someone to have heard my response. Because frankly, in my eyes, the statement hit the nail on the head!!

Of course, university bosses argued it is worth the cash. But that was a given considering they’re bagging nearly £9,000 a year from each student for putting on shit excuses of lectures, and lecturers not turning up because of a cold.

I have been a graduate for a little over 2 years now. And in those 2 years of being out in the ‘real world’ I have truly learnt the value of my degree. Jack Shit. Literally!

Every potential job interview mildly related to my degree resulted in a rejection and a side note of ‘more experience needed‘. And other job interviews for those neither relevant or related to my chosen degree resulted in a real grilling as to why I was applying for said job, because why the hell am I not going into Journalism?

It was, and continues to be flipping exhausting.

3 years of arguable hard work and dedication resulted in either a low paid job I could’ve applied for post college. Or a unpaid intern-ship in a last attempt for some experience, because you know, a degree alone is not enough!

So where am I?

I have had 3 jobs since leaving university and none required my degree level of education. Nor did they give me a little le-way to demand that extra salary that was oh so promised if I had the said degree. I have achieved jobs through my personality and experience in life more than anything. And one job in a estate agents, has now resulted in a sales job at a very reputable publishing company.

I am one of the many graduates in a job that unfortunately, neither a degree nor a large amount of debt helped me achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike my job. But let’s just say if I was pitched that as my end job after £60,000 of debt when looking at uni’s, I would’ve jacked in the uni dream and caught the next train home to apply. 

What’s your argument here Charlotte?

University is something I neither regret or am over the moon I went and did. I certainly met some amazing people. Heck one turned out to be my best friend and is my bridesmaid in a couple of months! I most certainly had some amazing times, and learnt valuable lessons not involving and involving alcohol. Most importantly, it taught some life lessons on money and living alone.

And strangely these are all things that come as a side line and not advertised on the uni prospectus, yet became much more valuable than the degree itself! 

All in all, I strongly resonate with those students struggling to get a job post uni.

It’s a tough old world in the sphere of work. I have been grilled by interviewees. Treated like a child when questioned and lectured on the world of social media and the impact it can have on job prospectus. I have been on the lowest income available for a 21 year old and worked my butt off to get better. I have even been mocked by fellow colleagues in one job, because I tried to better myself with a degree and ended up beside them.

And yet, students especially, are looked upon as fools. As drunks who party hard and sleep all day. Who live a easy lifestyle and receive 20% off in New Look. We don’t even receive an apology or reasoning if a lecture is cancelled.

So what’s the real cost of uni?

A tougher skin.

A lump sum of debt you pay minimally until it’s written off.

A true grasp on the value of money and hard work.

These are the things that I consider the real cost of uni. What’s even worse, every pay cheque you are reminded of that minimal payment you are making on that hugeeeee debt you’ve accumulated! And all for what?

University is different for everyone and will be. It can all differ from the course you embark on, the university you study at, or the path you decide to take whilst and after studying.

This post is not to scare people off heading to uni. Not at all. This post is more of a real insight to the life of a student during and after university. I find it infuriating when there are news stories and even university stat’s stating anything but the real deal. University is a business that is interested in profit turnover. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean the students get the best experience, or education for their money!

University most definitely taught me a thing or two. But honestly, if I knew what I do now, I would have quit after a year of making friends and freedom, and nabbed myself a job!

What are your thoughts on university? 

Have you been and regret it? 

Are you considering it? 

Let me know in the comment section below! 




    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much! So lovely to hear you liked the post!! x

  1. 06/02/2018 / 11:46 pm

    I really resonated with this post on so many levels. I just graduated and every job I apply to requires “more experience” yet being an entry level graduate job… Personally I believe that university is all about learning those life skills such as organisation, social skills, being independent, rather than job credentials since so many jobs these days require 1+ years experience. I am so anxious about finding a job but I know it will be alright! I am working on my personal brand, doing little projects, and freelancing so at least, I’m not bumming around at home like I thought I would be post-graduation. Amazing post, Charlotte 🙂

    Stephanie |

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 12:07 pm

      Thank you so much stephanie, so glad you like!! You are totally doing the right thing. I really hope this ‘experience’ criteria gets written off pretty soon as there are soo many graduates who have soo much to offer within a role, but are being sidelined because of experience!! x

  2. 07/02/2018 / 1:40 am

    With only a few months left of my degree I couldn’t agree with this more! Just looking online for jobs so I have something to go to after I graduate is seeming bleak, to put it lightly…

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 12:06 pm

      I’m sure you will find something!! Have to remain positive sweet! x

  3. 07/02/2018 / 9:03 am

    I love how real and honest this is. I hadn’t really thought about how difficult it would be getting a job post graduation. Sometimes a degree doesn’t even make a difference which is so sad considering the amount of time and money you’ve spent!xx

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 12:02 pm

      Thank you soo much, so glad you liked the post!! x

  4. Lisa's Notebook
    07/02/2018 / 10:30 am

    I graduated many years ago but when I left I couldn’t get a job either. Every company was laying people off and any company hiring wanted experience. But now many years have passed and I know that I wouldn’t have got some of my favourite jobs without my university degree. Not because of the subject matter but because of the life experience: living away from home, budgeting, deadlines, writing skills, social skills (I’m talking social sklls,not social media which wasn’t around when I was at uni). So while university might not be right for everyone, and may not be worthwhile in the short term, I do think it’s a qualification that employers value. It shows dedication,perseverance, and that you’re capable of standing on your own two feet. All valuable lifeskills if your degree isn’t vocationial, or even if it is. Sorry for the ramble (!) I loved this post x

    Lisa |

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 12:01 pm

      Completely agree!! My degree isn’t being used as I thought it maybe, butttt, like you said, it does show perseverance and dedication, as well as the skills I learnt off campus including budgeting and bills! I do make sure in cover letters and interviews I use this to my advantage x

  5. 07/02/2018 / 2:43 pm

    Without being too controversial I haven’t had the same experience. Of course I do agree that my £50k degree is far too expensive and I’ll never pay off all the debt. However, I did an internship as part of my degree, and was fortunate enough to have a graduate job then lined up for after my final year that I wouldn’t still have now if I hadn’t have gone to university. I graduated almost two years ago now and I definitely wouldn’t be in the same position if I hadn’t gone to uni xx

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 11:55 am

      I understand, and many people have completely different experiences with uni and come out with everything promised, like yourself. I think it also depends hugely on your degree and university and the help and support the tutors and lecturers offer their students. My uni would not help at all with placements ect. I did work experience through university, but that wasn’t nearly enough compared to the other grads and students who were offered internships within their degree. xx

  6. 08/02/2018 / 10:06 am

    This post is so real and honest and sums up my thoughts exactly. I’m in my second year of uni and, sitting in my few lectures a week, I constantly question whether or not this is actually worth the time and money. Especially as most employers these days look more for experience than anything else! Great post x

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 11:49 am

      Thank you sweet, so glad you liked! Most employers do look for experience ON TOP OF a degree, which for many who need to run and earn money after uni is just not viable. I know plenty of people who had mummy and daddy pay their bills for a year whilst they took on a unpaid intern ship within the industry. This is how many get experience, but like I mentioned, unless you have family who are willing to financially support you, it’s a no go for many grads!

  7. thenorthleftblog
    10/02/2018 / 9:49 pm

    Ohh I totally get this. I wrote something kind of similar about how I feel I haven’t really *done* anything with my degree link here if you’re interested!

    It’s crazy, I kind of feel a little duped because it was shoved down our throats at school & college that if you go to uni and work hard you WILL get a great job out of it. So, either I didn’t work hard enough….which is not true, or employers just don’t value degrees as much as they used to.

    I had a phone survey from my alumni society a couple of years ago, asking how well my course and institution prepared me for my job and literally every answer was like “not at all”. Sorry to ruin your stats haha!

    I’m glad you wrote this, though, hopefully it’ll reach people feeling a little pressured to go to uni when, really, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 11:44 am

      Yesss! I completely slated my uni on their survey. I was not prepared for life after uni, I was just given sub-standard education and told I was lucky if I saw my tutor for longer than 10mins a week, because they don’t get paid for longer! x

  8. Taylor
    11/02/2018 / 12:46 pm

    6 months graduated and I totally agree with this. I’m still glad I went to university but i feel it has left more questions than answers when it comes to trying to find work. Great job!

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 11:42 am

      YASS! Glad I went but yeah, too many questions even after a degree!! x

  9. 18/02/2018 / 4:18 pm

    THIS. I’m only in my first year of uni and I love 2 of my courses thankfully, but one has been the biggest waste of my time EVER. Right now I’m trying to get a part time job and even that is actually impossible unless you have ‘experience’ but literally, I think we’ve lost the concept of learning on the job – that half of what people study to get degrees for now used to be skills learned on a job! Where do they think we’re going to get experience if no one is willing to see what you’re made of in the first place? Amazing post!

    Anne //

    • Charlotte
      19/02/2018 / 11:36 am

      Thank you sooo much for reading! Exactly, such a dog eat dog world after uni! So frustrating. Really makes you wonder why you bothered and what the degree actually gives you. Getting a part-time job is always hard because you are always looked upon as just going for it to tidy you over. Persevere and something will come up!! x

  10. 23/02/2018 / 9:00 pm

    This is so true for so many courses! But as a trainee teacher I see no other way to get into teaching without getting myself into debt! Even though a lot of the stuff covered I already know! Lessons are cancelled last minute and rescheduled at awkward times, its even worse for those who commute!

  11. 23/02/2018 / 11:13 pm

    I have a whole 75 days left of my university experience and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been applying for graduate jobs and some of them aren’t even bothered what degree I have! They care more for experience than my academic capabilities. I have a whole 6 hours per week for my £9000, so really don’t feel I get my money’s worth! (Particularly when my lecturers make it “Essential” to buy their book off amazon to succeed on the module that they wrote..something doesn’t quite sit right with that…) Ox

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