For many decades, graduating from university with a degree was the golden ticket to a better future. However, with the average cost of an undergraduate degree now standing at £22,000 per year, many experts argue that it is no longer a wise investment.

After all, the growing number of graduates in the UK and beyond means that nobody is guaranteed to walk into a well-paid job. Having invested £100,000+ on a three-year degree when also taking lost earnings into account, there would be a lot of ground to make up in the coming years. 

While degrees are still ideal for millions of students across multiple industries, they should no longer be seen as the only path to success. There are plenty of alternatives available.

Learning While Earning

Learning while earning has been a valuable option for many years. Especially in trades where apprenticeships are available. In many business sectors, there is no better learning cure than to experience success first-hand. Even when the direct earnings aren’t that high, it’s a far better financial choice than paying tens of thousands for an education.

However, a growing number of young workers are learning to appreciate the value of work placements and internships. The latter can offer a genuine wage while both options offer the opportunity to network and develop skills in a real business arena. It is also a chance to test the waters in a new industry or geographic location.

By the time that a peer has completed their degree, interns may have completed a placement and gained full-time employment. Within the first three years of work, it is possible to complete several relevant courses too. Especially when enjoying short-term employment at various companies.

Starting A Business

You don’t have to look far to see examples of college dropouts who became successful business owners. When you have the entrepreneurial spirit, learning to do things your way to revolutionise an industry is vital. Business schools can teach valuable mechanics. Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs find that pursuing their ideas is the better choice.

When running an SME, it is possible to do this alongside another job to keep your finances in good health. As long as you have a clear understanding of the freelancer and side hustle culture, it can yield big results. Many youngsters can take a leap of faith due to reduced commitments and responsibilities. Content creation and dropshipping are low-cost ideas too.

The benefits of starting a business are evident. Entrepreneurs have the chance to put destiny in their hands and smash the ceiling of their potential earnings. If things go well, it could also unlock the door to franchising opportunities as well as the possibility of opening new businesses. The possibilities are endless.

The Final Word

Should university be ruled out by a school leaver or sixth-form graduate? Absolutely not. However, the world is changing and it is worth weighing the pros and cons of several options. If nothing else, approaching the next chapter with an assured mindset will give you a far better shot at success. And if you won’t go the extra mile to unlock the opportunities you deserve, who will?