Millions of us have faced that quandary in those late teen years: whether to study further or start working full time. There is, on the one hand, the prospect of a gruelling period in university that will pave the way for a bright career- one that may or may not come to pass. On the other hand, there’s the prospect of getting to work immediately, to explore the world and start earning your own money.
Tempting as it may be to plonk for the later, here is one fact you should definitely know before taking a decision: the unemployment rate among Australians who hold a university degree is just 3.2 percent- less than half of the corresponding figure for those who have not studied beyond high school. There is also the undeniable fact that university graduates earn much more than non-degree holders.
To be sure, it is not all black and white. For starters, not all of us are academically inclined. Besides, going to college could be an expensive proposition – from tuition to transportation – which means that it could be worthwhile to earn and save up for higher studies. Whatever the final decision, it needs to be a well thought out one. Here are a few guidelines that can help in taking that call.
Choose the Right Subject
First and foremost, you need to decide what field of study works best for you. Surgeons may be among the best paid professionals in the country, but you need to have the interest and the temperament to succeed at it. If civil engineering is where your heart lies, go for it.
Plan Transportation Properly
If you aren’t planning to live on campus, you’ll have to find accommodation nearby or commute to campus daily. Ensure that your travel to and from campus is as cheap and efficient as possible, whether taking public transportation or saving up for a car. However, if you are organising group transportation, for example for off-campus retreats, consider charter bus rental options for every need.
While partying shouldn’t be at the top of your list of priorities, you will definitely go out now and again during your time in university as part of the university experience. Getting group transportation could be a fun and safe way to go to and from parties.
Consider Your Career Options
It’s always good to follow your heart, but it is equally important to have a realistic picture of the career path ahead. If, for instance, history is where your heart lies, you may explore the possibility of working as a university professor. However, in that case you also need to e prepared for the fact that you are unlikely to ever earn as much as your peers who have opted to study law. Therefore the decision you make needs to be a well thought out one.
Plan your Finances
This may hardly sound an attractive proposition, but it’s the wisest thing you can ever do. Before you sign up for the course, make a realistic assessment of the cost of completing the course, how much you will need to borrow, your earning capacity after graduation and the cost of servicing the loan once you start working. Remember, your loan repayments will impact your capacity to raise finances in the early years of your career, so use an app like a borrowing calculator to assess where you will stand a few years from now
Choose the Right University
Having decided what you want to do and figured out your finances, you need to decide which university would be ideal. Look up university ratings to shortlist the universities you want to be targeting and then check out whether they offer the courses you are interested in, the quality of the faculty, etc.