Is higher education worth it?

With the rising costs of attending university, many students & their parents or guardians may be thinking, ‘Is obtaining a Degree worth it anymore?’


The media paints a picture of 5 figure student debts and a saturated market where there are so many graduates finding it difficult to achieve employment as employers look for those with ‘real-world’ and job experience.

With so much debate taking place around the issue of Higher Education and University, what are the real benefits of completing a degree or Higher Education study and is it worth it for your daughter or son to attend?


    In the long term, graduates will earn more than non-graduates will, so statistically your young person is more likely to improve their earning potential by attending university or higher education.

    In 2018, the average graduate salary (£34,000) was £10,000 more than the average non-graduate salary (£24,000) (Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018).

    The decision whether to go to university, take an apprenticeship, or go straight into the workforce can be a difficult one. Access to accurate and timely information is a critical part of this decision-making process. However, information is often difficult to find and hard to interpret. The Pay Index, in conjunction with a number of higher education bodies, have developed reports as part of an easy to use and informative tool that can be utilised by students to help them to make sound decisions at this critical stage in their development. Reports are generated based on answers that students provide to questions, to help students and parents/carers make informed decisions about the future. 

    The Pay Index answers key questions that may be on the minds of students, such as: What value can university bring to your job prospects? How does university affect your take home pay? How might where you live affect your cost of living?

    Future Quest and The Pay Index are focused on educating students in Years 10-13 and their parents/carers of the long-term benefits of choosing further education vs. heading straight into work after school.  Students can sign up for FREE to use the tool using this link and we encourage students to show this to their parents and discuss the results generated by the answers that they give.


    Your young person may move away to go to university or may choose to study locally at a Further Education College and live at home. Whatever their decision, Higher Education will broaden their horizons, help them become more independent and enable them to meet people from other parts of the country (and the World!) and make friends from different walks of life.


    University is one element of Higher Education (the continuation of study post the age of 18).

    There is no set path to take and there are all types of degrees, diplomas and full or part time courses. Discuss with them what they would like to do – maybe it’s completing a degree course at the local college or looking into degree and higher apprenticeships where they can earn money and experience on the job but earn a degree at the same time.

    If your young person does decide to undertake a degree and accept a student loan, the way the loan is structured means that the amount they pay back is based on how much they earn after they graduate. They will not pay back what they cannot afford and it is unlikely they will pay back the full amount.


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