Confession time: I didn’t go to university.
Throughout my daily life, this never proves problematic, but it has, at times, been a bone of contention with certain people. For example, I remember talking to an old boss following a significant promotion. I was thanking him for it when he unexpectedly asked if I had attended university.
“No, I went straight into the world of work,” I explained, confidently.
His reaction? A slightly disappointed “oh…”.
What followed was a successful period of employment, and one during which I continued to develop a range of very useful skills. It also served to remind me yet again that I should never doubt my decision not to go to university, regardless of what other people may think.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar predicament and are unsure as to whether you should head to uni, I think there are five tell- tale signs that it might not be for you:
1. Your current job has fabulous prospects
There’s no getting away from the fact that university can heighten your chances of bagging a very rewarding career. Harvard University in Massachusetts, for example, can claim to having created over fifty billionaires to date.
However, very few of us become billionaires, and your dream role might be rather closer to home. If you have a sneaking suspicion that your current job has very good prospects, it may not be ‘just’ the pre-university fund raiser you thought it was. Follow your nose.
2. One of your hobbies has demonstrated earning potential
We now live in the world of the freelancer and gigging professional, and if you’ve discovered an ability to make money from something you love doing, you wouldn’t be alone in pursuing it.
If you’re in this position, there’s a strong chance you won’t need to graduate in order to become successful in your chosen field, so instead of heading to university, put everything into your own venture. Make it work.
3. Your heroes didn’t go to university
If you’ve got a relatively solid idea about the type of career you want to build, chances are you have one or two heroes to whom you aspire.
Take a look at their backgrounds. Do they all share common histories of higher education and cherished graduations? If not, why not follow their path, instead?
4. It just doesn’t work, logistically
Most people will have a university not too far from their doorstep, but if you live in a particularly remote region or dislike regular travel, university might not be for you.
There’s an awful lot of upheaval involved in higher education, and it isn’t for everyone. The effects long-distance uni travel can have on one’s life aren’t always desirable, and if the thought of leaving everything behind seems too disruptive, choose a different, more local path.
5. You don’t want to go
No one is forcing you to go to university, and if you have absolutely zero interest in going, or there are aspects of the lifestyle that fill you with dread, seek a different path. It’s your life, and your career – never forget that.
Whatever you decide to do when it comes to higher education, stick to it. If you feel university is a crucial step towards your career goals – go for it, but if one or two of the points above ring true, move onto something else and don’t, whatever you do, feel bad about doing so.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.