The decision to go to university is an important step in a person’s personal and professional life. The benefits are innumerable. For a lot of young people, moving away to start a degree is the first time that they will no longer live with their parents. It is also a taste of freedom. It can be difficult at first, but it is great because it teaches you all sorts of things. For instance, managing your money is a skill that a lot of people could work on but running your own student household is a crash course. You also need to learn how to do all the regular things that your parents may have done for you all of your life. This includes paying bills (it is difficult to believe but if you do not do it yourself, you may just find yourself sitting in a cold apartment in the dark), getting groceries and cooking for yourself, and doing your own laundry. Actually studying should be a priority too. The degree that you choose to study is perhaps the most important part of the decision itself. You have to consider what it is that motivates you to pursue higher education. Some will spend the best three years of their life in the library luxuriating in the collected knowledge and wisdom of thousands of years of human civilisation. The pursuit of knowledge itself is their impetus. Others will be more career minded and will want to do a degree as a means to an end. Their telos is money. That is legitimate too.
If you do want a high paying job, a degree is often the best start you can have to your career. Research has shown that graduates earn an average of half a million pounds more over the course of their lifetime than non-graduates. Graduates also experience less unemployment. However, there are a lot of different subjects that you can study. Figures collated from online job vacancies show that those who can expect to earn the most are the people who studied accounting, business, and finance at just over £80000. Incidentally, in a separate study, those working in the accountancy and finance industries said that they were dissatisfied, and in fact, they are amongst the unhappiest professionals in the country with 59% saying that they wanted a bigger salary. Apparently earning a lot of money is not enough to redeem one’s job.
However, STEM graduates have been found to earn about 20% more in an entry level position compared to their fellow graduates. If you are looking for IS&T Jobs, you may already be on the right track to start a brilliant career. Computers and other technology are obviously a massive part of our modern society so it stands to reason that experts would be sought after. Science graduates, as well as engineers, can expect to earn more money too.
The only problem is that if you are like those who looked at accountancy and saw a means of earning a lot of money only to find that you are not earning enough and are miserable, you may want to make the decision now to do something you love and earn less. Money isn’t everything. Going into work for the next forty years and enjoying it counts for something too.
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