Thursday, 23 April 2009

Massive Rush For University Places

image credit Sheffield Hallam University

The science of social influence predicts that the present surge in interest in university education will gather momentum.

Worries about job security and the ability to secure employment from the diminishing reservoir of jobs means that more people than ever are seeking university places. This can only drive up demand as people see university education as 'social proof' that it it is a good idea. This in turn will generate scarcity, which will increase the value of places.

So, is a university education a good idea during these uncertain times? Well if it can be funded it might be a haven away from the trials and tribulations of a stormy job market. 3 years should see you through the worst of the recession I guess. On the other hand is a university education right for you? Remember universities are places of academic study and endeavour and this comes with certain obligations and expectations. Sure many of the so called 'new' universities are climbing down from their ivory towers and providing more vocational courses. Don't be gullible and think that a university education is exclusively learning more about a subject 'in depth' and that because you know 'more stuff' that well entitle you to a job.

People still by people. For sure the university experience should develop your self confidence and self esteem, but it would be gullible too if you thought that the degree in itself will guarantee you a job when you re-surface in 3-4 years time. Just be mindful of all of the people who are thinking just like you are at the moment and armed with their new degrees they will be hunting for jobs when the economy picks up. The degree should not be thought of as a 'competitive difference' in its own right.

Be prepared to see your 'world view' change. A degree is a process of intellectual transformation, even if you study hard sciences or social sciences. You will go through periods of frustration and elation, motivation and demotivation. Crucially don't ever be duped into believing that you are embarking on a process of 'getting all the answers'. You are embarking on a process that continually confronts you with how little you know and how much there is to know.

A degree can be inspirational. Giving you ideas and thought processes that kick start you on an independent path. No more being dependent on other people's businesses for your income, no more putting your eggs in someone elses basket, no more being the the 'thing' that is cut loose after years of management rhetoric telling you 'what a valuable team player your are', or just 'how vital you are the organisations success'

A degree can help you row your own boat, and possibly even build one. If you make one good decision this year then it's probably 'don't miss out on increasingly scarce university places'. Now that would be gullible wouldn't it!

Read more:
is a degree worth anything in a recession

University Choice Resource:
Choosing a British University

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