For millennials who go to university, life is fairly linear. You graduate high school, go to university, graduate and work in your field. In most cases, that is. The job market has proven to be fairly unreliable and gone are the days of getting a degree and working in your specialised field right after graduation. Employers now require experience through internship after internship. This begs the question, how long are we expected to work for free and not be given full time opportunities?
The job market has become so unpredictable, and experience has become almost impossible to gain without other experience. It really is a paradox. Employers will only employ an individual if they have the required experience, which is all well and good. However, there are almost no job opportunities that allow an individual to correctly use their degree and gain this required aforementioned experience.
My experience personally saw me work as a marketing assistant for a year and then a sales representative for a few months following my graduation with a degree in Communications Major in Public Communication. I have yet to work for a PR firm. If I was told that employment opportunities did not exist within my field, I would have taken a different approach when picking a degree. Nevertheless, I have gained the necessary experience and placed myself in a position where I can apply confidently for job opportunities within my field.
However, there is always the thought, should I go back to university? We are always told to expand on our skills or gain new ones. Going back to university for four to five years will always seem like a daunting task that raises many questions. What if I hate the degree? What if I still can’t find a job?
There should not be degrees that lead to nothing. It sounds very cynical, but these degrees do exist. To be a bit more specific, the degrees I am talking about do not have a direct and clear pathway to employment. For example, people study law to become a lawyer, nursing to become nurses. Finding a job with the description in the title is something we can all dream of. However, life is not so simple.
In my own employment journey I have been rejected for jobs because “I am not the right fit”, “I did not score well in a personality test” or my personal favourite, “you do not have the experience we are looking for”. Rejection can be frustrating.
To help those of you feeling this frustration and thinking about returning to university again, this article will help identify the pros and cons of making such a commitment.
Expanding on your tertiary education but actually having an understanding of university life and expectations this time around. Being able to experience university life again but this time knowing the ins and outs of the university experience will definitely give you that much needed advantage amongst your peers in terms of understanding assessment standards and time management.
There is a slight chance that a second degree or expansion to your current degree accounts for nothing to employers who are looking for a prospect with industry experience and not multiple degrees.
You will be older and wiser the second time around at university. You’ll understand the importance of looking for employment opportunities within your field while you study in order to gain experience in conjunction with your study.
You might finish your second degree and still be facing similar issues when interviewing for positions. You might just interview poorly and not prepare appropriately enough for interview opportunities within your chosen field.
Finding a degree which can positively reshape your career aspirations.
Placing yourself into further debt to either extend a degree or begin a new degree which cannot fully guarantee you an employment opportunity post graduation, especially in this job market.
Pros and cons can be listed until the end of time on this particular topic. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to considering returning to university. You just have to make sure you’re going back for the right reasons and not just because your parents told you to. The last thing you want is to start a new degree because of your parents demands and end up failing every unit anyway.
University is not for everyone. That is just the way society was built. However, going to university does not make you a genius, and going back to university does not make you a genius either. It should be an experience to reassess what you want regarding career choices in your life, a chance to go back older and wiser. One thing is certain in regards to whatever decision an individual makes – they must make the decision themselves.