Committee Reports 'Paltry' Returns For UK Graduates: So Is a Degree Worthwhile?

By Kris Deichler, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

The UK's Education Select Committee has reported that current returns for a university degree are "paltry" considering the average amount of £50,000 students are now investing in higher education. Pointing out what he calls, an obsession with academic degrees, chairman of the committee, Robert Halfon, says of the current UK system that:

"The labour market does not need an ever-growing supply of academic degrees. Between a fifth and a third of our graduates take non-graduate jobs... The 'graduate premium' varies wildly according to subject and institution. For many, the returns are paltry...There are skills shortages in several sectors. And there are millions of people who want to get on in life - preferably without a lead weight of £50,000 dragging from their feet,""

In light of this and a 2.6% drop in the number of people applying to higher education in the UK, however, Universities UK; the umbrella organisation for universities, has said:

"[We must] be careful to avoid using graduate salaries as the single measure of success in higher education. Many universities specialise in fields such as the arts, the creative industries, nursing and public sector professions that, despite making an essential contribution to society and the economy, pay less on average."

This news may be of concern to some considering university, but it depends what they will want to get from a degree. As UUK have said, there are many professions people study for which they do not expect to earn vastly increasing salaries from. This is why it's so important to understand and apply the principle of Personal Leadership when making any decision in life, especially one such as how to invest significant amounts of our time, money and effort.

This principle dictates that we must always set a clear 'end in mind'; a vision or goal for what we ultimately want to achieve, in order to ensure our decisions and actions are in line with achieving this. If someone is simply passionate about learning a particular subject or wants to acquire a particular skillset through higher education, then this news will probably be of little or no concern for them.

However, if the decision to go to university is based on a desire to increase their earning potential within a career, then this recent news may cause many to rethink their approach. Indeed the Independent recently noted a British recruitment agency report that found 25 of the current Forbes 100 wealthiest people in the world don't actually have a degree and 17% of the world's top 100 billionaires started their careers by setting up their own business.

Food for thought for anyone with high-flying career aspirations in mind. So, do you think a degree is worthwhile? Vote below...

Wait! There's More...

To learn more about what levels of education the world's Billionaires do and don't have, click here... 


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