What is a degree worth?

After 3 exciting years at Bournemouth University my daughter has just graduated with a degree in Creative Events Management.  She has learnt a lot and was lucky to have really enjoyed the subject she choose to study.  Despite building loads of relevant work experience during her course, she has no clear idea of which aspect of events she wants to work in.  She has therefore left uni, like many, with a wealth of new knowledge and skills, life- long friends, a certificate,  a large debt and uncertainty about her future.

In the current world where debt and credit seems to be the norm, I wonder how new graduates view their student debt?  To me £45 k + debt for a 3 year degree would be a very scary position to start a career.  Yet young people seem to accept the debt or student loan as it is called and many view it as something they will never have to pay off.  The loan repayment starts when a graduates earnings reach £25k and any outstanding loan is written off at the age of 60.

Why do people often leave university with no clear career direction?  Firstly the lack of career guidance in schools can mean that many students fill in their UCAS forms with no clear idea of what they want to study.  They may also choose a degree for the wrong reasons ie the family have always been lawyers or to match their best friends choice.  Also many degree courses will turn out to be different from what is expected ie accountancy is very different from maths.   Sadly many students gain a degree in a subject they will never use and may even come to hate.

I would suggest that there is a need for universities to not only teach their subject but also to take responsibility for the future careers of their students.  To help to provide placements during the course and help to find relevant work for them during the long holidays.  Perhaps past students could  return to talk to current students and discuss how they have used their degree.  Lectures placed part way through the second year could cover career choices and options.  Lecturers could talk about their own career development.  Courses could cover basic cv writing, interview techniques and presentation skills.  In an ideal world students at Uni should have their career planned out before they start their dissertation at the beginning of year 3.  Then they can concentrate on their important final year knowing that there is a job waiting for them when they graduate.

I recently worked with someone who loved sport and therefore chose to study a sports degree.  Half way through the first term committed to a years rental agreement and having paid a years fees, they recognised their mistake.  A sports degree was very different from playing football and rugby!  Fortunately my client was brave enough to step back, talk to their parents and leave university.  After working with my client for a while they have now started a new career which they really enjoy.

Have you or has someone you know, recently left university with no clear idea of what to do next?  You may have loved your subject and not been quite sure how to use it or you may have discovered that the subject you studied is not for you?  I may be able to help you identify a new career path.  I am always happy to offer a free 30 minute, no obligation chat.  This will enable me to check that I can help you and will also ensure that you would feel comfortable working with me.  I look forward to talking to you about your future!

Barbara Hibbart

T : 07769 865487

www.barbarahibbartcoaching.co.uk