If you want a certain level of Education, University might be on your mind. For many people, university is the assumed path to success. You attend school; college and then some choose post-secondary education for the hopes of a stellar career. Many people, myself included, are guilty of not considering alternate paths.
Many times we think, if we want a credential that will financially benefit us for the rest of our life. We sit and analyze the investment of time and money put in a university education with the evaluating the return on investment. To me an education is extremely important, and I always knew I wanted a university education. However, I never questioned whether if that was the only path I wanted to take. It was a path set out by society, and so it was the path I took without a second thought.
The university path is very personal, it might not be intended for everyone. For me university was an amazing learning experience, not only did I learn academically but it helped me mature as an adult. The university experience can be exciting or overwhelming. With everyone high on their first taste of independence, your first year may turn out to be a bit wild, but chances are you will love it.
Tuition rates in Canada have increased recently. According to Statistics Canada, average undergraduate tuition fees increased by 3.2 per cent last year and 3.3 per cent the year before. The average undergraduate tuition fee paid last year in the province of Ontario was $6191, although the numbers may be higher in other provinces in Canada. Fee also vary from program to program, dentistry and pharmacy can cost many times the average. In addition you have to factor in residence and meal costs if you have decided to go away for university. If you do decide to stay at home, then add in transportation costs along with those overpriced books. Many factors help students decide which university they would like to attend. A helpful way to help you decide can be by reviewing university rankings, which breaks down universities in terms of program, accommodation, student social experience and most importantly future employment opportunities. There is no doubt that attending university becomes a huge upfront investment. But I believe the personal growth from a higher education provides vast intangible gains, many students want to measure the costs against the financial benefits it will provide over the lifetime.
Tony Eder, an executive director the University of Victoria says “”As the cost of education rises and as the markets become more competitive, universities should rightly be challenged to demonstrate that what they are providing does have that tangible benefit after graduation.”
The Hidden Benefits of University
Regardless of what you want to major in and receive the chosen degree, experiencing four to five years in post secondary education can give you a wide range of skills that will be useful in various aspects of life not only in future careers but life as a whole.
A lot of these skills are known as transferable skills, and they include a range of abilities that can unleash a lot of future possibilities in terms of future employment. Some of these transferable skills include, team work, time management, public speaking, organizational skills, decision making skills, leadership skills, effective verbal and written communication. Today these skills are highly valued by employers in any industry, I believe university prepares you well with these skills and provides a student a better change to integrate into the job market.
I will give you a perfect example about myself, when I entered university I was extremely shy and class presentation’s made me tremble. I knew it was one of my biggest weakness, and I knew I had to work on it. The first two years I struggled with class presentations, I would go up to present and just have a difficult time focusing and presenting. This resulted in poor marks; I knew I had to fix this soon. Therefore, I practiced, and sought advice constantly from my professors and peers. During my senior years, I began to see improvement and soon it all become natural. Public speaking and networking is a huge aspect of my career today and I truly believe that attending university truly helped me develop excellent communication skills.
Will a degree increase my chances of getting employed?
It is quite certain but not necessary that having a university degree will work to your advantage and may increase your employability prospects. A post secondary education may not guarantee you a job, however a lot of organizations today require some sort of post secondary experience with your credentials. An undergraduate degree has decreased its value, since many people today have attained a bachelor’s degree. Many individuals are now specializing and obtaining designations in their specific industries to stand out. Many students’ lives have drastically changed after obtaining their Masters. A Masters program does not only provide you with the essential education, but various opportunities -such as, an internship for a well-known organization, networking opportunities, and allowing you to participate in an exchange program in another country.
My advice to for all those who are enrolled, whether it is undergraduate studies or a Masters, enjoy the journey as much as you can. Learn, network and expand your mind as much as you can, it goes by way too fast.