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It seems that nowadays it is almost expected that you should aspire to a university education. However, with the rising cost of tuition fees, the scarcity of work, and the saturation of the graduate market-place, heading to university is beginning to look decidedly less attractive. Not only are most graduates saddled with nearly £40,000 in tuition fees and maintenance loans, but that amount will rise steadily every month as interest starts to pile on, meaning that you could well reach retirement age and only just have paid off your student debt. With all this riding against student life, many are turning to other options to pave their way in this world. If you have decided that university doesn’t seem like the right choice for you, there are other ways you can start your walk down your chosen career path. Below are a few ideas and options.

entry-level job

Though it is true that on average a graduate will earn more per year than a non-graduate, the actual gap between the salaries is shrinking every year due to the sheer number of people heading to university and the lack of ‘graduate level’ jobs. Many graduates find themselves taking entry-level jobs, sometimes in entirely different sectors, due to their lack of professional experience. If you chose to skip out the university part, you could interview for an entry-level job and spend three years working hard and climbing the ladder. Meaning that by the time your peers have graduated, you could have reached a middle management position in the company to earn more, all while earning a decent wage and avoiding nearly £40,000 of student debt.


If you are avoiding university because you haven’t exactly been academically gifted, that’s fine. Many people who struggle with the traditional core subjects find that they excel in more practical applications. Looking into the different apprenticeships available could give you an excellent idea of what path you want your career to take. Plumbers, masons, electricians, and many others are all staple professions that will provide job security and good levels of income for the future. The pay whilst you’re doing the apprenticeship may not be amazing, but you will very likely be offered a job once you have completed your training and be set up with a trade skill for life.

Start your own company

This may seem daunting, but the best time to take the risk associated with starting up your own company is when you are still living at home and have very little in the way of financial responsibility. You could teach yourself many of the skills relevant to today’s blog and online business culture. SEO specialists and marketing gurus are in huge demand, and if you can build up a strong reputation in these areas, you will likely find that you can make a substantial income from the comfort of your own home.

Hopefully, these ideas have given you some food for thought on the possibilities available to you outside the confines of a university education. Weigh up the pros and cons carefully and choose the option that will most likely benefit you in the long run.