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Is going to university really worth it?

There used to be a time when getting a degree from most public colleges was very affordable (sometimes with free tuition), and it helped young graduates get access the best paying jobs or professions.

Now, most students have to use one or more student loans to pay their fees, and after all that investment may graduate to a world full of job insecurity and high unemployment rates.

Many people ask the question – is university really worth it? The answer, however, depends on the circumstances of the individual, their aspirations and their access to money.

First, there are some professions where a university degree is essential. In these cases, students have no choice but to undertake further study and many will need one or more loans.

It is not unusual for medical or veterinary students to rack up debts, including student loans, of over one hundred thousand dollars during the course of their university education.

However, the status and potential earnings attached to these professions should mean that the suffering will be worthwhile eventually. In the US, doctors and veterinary surgeons are both highly paid and highly regarded professions.

Other industries also expect an undergraduate degree, such as in the legal profession. Although there are opportunities to access paralegal positions without a degree, to really have the opportunity of a high-flying career, a law degree is essential.

It is not unheard of for law companies and multinational firms in other areas to pay off the loans of graduates when they accept a job with the firm.

This fantastic opportunity only applies to the crème de la crème of candidates, however, so an outstanding academic record and evidence of potential and ambition is also needed.

Students who have difficulty with finance often take part-time work to supplement their income. However, if this is to the detriment of their studies, the end results may be less impressive.

It may be worthwhile to take some time out and build up financial resources before attending university, so that the student does not have to commit time to paid work.

There are numerous jobs, though, which do not require a university education and individuals may be better off by simply gaining work experience while earning a decent wage.

Some of the more manual professionals such as plumbers and electricians can bring significant financial rewards. Students generally gain an apprenticeship and may study at a local college to get the necessary qualifications.

Many highly paid individuals have taken this route through their working life and have built their fortunes and even empires this way, sometimes starting as a plumber, electrician, or carpenter before moving on to lucrative careers as construction managers or real estate developers.

So, university is really worth if for many people but it does depends on the individual’s professional aspirations. It is expensive but it may be essential. However, there are many ways to make a good living and that is only one route. If your talents lie elsewhere, investigate those options, as they may be just as lucrative and rewarding.