should I go to University and is it worth it?

According to The Guardian, young people are skeptical . Many are asking themselves “should I go to University and is it worth it?”. It seems like less people have college ambitions these days. Some are rightly questioning the benefits.

New research from Ipsos Mori found that “75%agreed it was “important” to go to university, down from 86% in 2013”

“Young people face a dilemma. If they go on to university they incur debts of over £50,000 and will be paying back their loans well into middle age. And in a number of cases they end up with degrees that don’t get them into graduate jobs. -Sir Peter Lampl

The concept of higher education is of course a worthy cause. When you have  ambition to enter into a profession and take part in a discourse (like law, medicine, politics etc..) you are not only benefiting from the historical nature of that discourse ie. you are coming into career that has already established a narrative, many strategies and practices and you are taking part in that “conversation” to enhance and evolve that discourse.

But for many of us I would seriously question the value of a University degree theses days, in the 4th Industrial revolution that is.

During the 3rd Industrial revolution (until circa 1980), we used to get our education, acquire knowledge, put that knowledge into practice, get a job and life a happy life. Our society had a framework for taking care of us. There was longevity in careers and decent pensions at the end, to take care or you in retirement.

But these days the market place has gone global and is changing so rapidly, society just can’t keep up. People from emerging markets can take your jon with a laptop or smartphone. Customer needs are changing. How we work today will be different from how we work tomorrow.

Technology has provided people with the capacity to compete with large corporations, through their computer, in a way that was not possible before. New industries are springing up every day, from new cloud based platforms to blockchain technology through to new ways of training and coaching people how to deal with and monetize this marketplace drift.

Students are burdened by load debt more than ever. It’s scary, and doesn’t bode well for society.

Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. That’s about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.

I’m not saying University or College isn’t worth it, but you may want to think carefully about what you’re really going to get (aside from the debt.) I’ve seen so many people who had amazing “successful” careers who subsequently got laid off in their 40s as the market changed. Their role was no longer valuable to their employer (they could employee two grads to do their jobs) and they had difficulties securing new jobs (the market had moved on). Some of them even set up their own business, but it wasn’t just the dilemma of being employed or self-employed. It was the fact that they failed to recognize the change in the market, which happened without them noticing. They were not prepared. To their surprise, their employer, family, friends, culture, society didn’t warn them.

Traditional education provides you with “common” knowledge (the stuff that everyone is thinking and doing). It teaches you how to “do” – when what you may really need is an education that teaches you how to “think”. I’m talking about using technology, the internet and computers in way that’s different to everyone else.

There are courses, schools and training opportunities out there that will give you essential thinking tools, strategies and practices to thrive in the future.

What do you think? Should you go to University and is it worth it? I’d love to hear you comments.