Right off the hop, I would like to make it clear that these are my opinions.
I’ll start with a little history about my own experiences with schooling: I love school, as long as it serves a purpose.
I took all my 30-1 subjects in high school including Biology 30 and Physics 20 to keep my options open. A word to the wise if you’re deciding on high school courses… take Biology 30! If you have a career path in mind for the other sciences then follow that, but majority of Universities and Colleges need Biology 20 and/or 30 no matter what you take. So that one you’ll have to gut through.
Having no clue what career I actually wanted when I graduated, my mom convinced me to complete my Hairstylist Apprenticeship. Best decision I ever made.
Two years after I completed my hours and finished my apprenticeship, a.k.a got my Hairstylist License, I knew I wanted a Uni or College experience too. But where, and for what?
I watched my ex complete his Bachelor of Accounting in 5 years.
I also watched him take classes like Dance and Film Studies. What does this have to do with accounting? Nothing really. But when you go to University you have to take a portion of elective classes to complete the required credits. So, he had to spend thousands of dollars on classes that had no measurable relevance to accounting, finance, or business at all.
This was actually an argument we had a few times. I thought it was ridiculous that for half of his University experience, approximately 1-2 years, was wasted on subjects my mom mockingly refers to as “Basket Weaving 101.” He disagreed and felt these other classes gave him a taste for new experiences and knowledge, forced him to be a dynamic human. Neither of us is wrong.
· Come out with a degree, giving you more opportunities to advance in the workplace.
· Experience a range of subjects.
· Credits that are transferrable.
· Lots of degree choices and specific majors/minors’ options.
· Basket Weaving 101.
· Time and money. If you quit before finishing you have nothing.
· Competition to get into certain programs.
Any program taken through a College is typically 2 years (Diploma) or 1 year (Certificate) in length and if you really enjoyed it, most of them can be transferred to a University so you can finish the program with a degree.
This is why I chose College over University. I completed a Certificate in Business Administration because it gave me a great overview of the business world. As well, all of my current careers are self-employed so it complimented what I had going on. I did a blend of some online classes and some in-person classes, which worked perfectly with my job and the time/travel commitment I was willing to give.
· Takes less time to achieve a diploma/certificate.
· Find out faster whether you like the program.
· Relevant subjects (no Basket Weaving 101).
· Less competitive (except for Nursing programs, those are always competitive).
· Less advancement in the workplace, meaning salary is somewhat capped.
· More job competition, more people with same qualifications.
· Not as easy to transfer to another program.
Back in my parent’s day, only the “super-smart” people went to University and the “kinda-smart” people went to College. The “dumb-dumbs” did neither.
When I was in high school, everyone was expected to go to College or University otherwise you were a useless human being with no direction.
There are many careers outside University/College or combined with it, such as apprenticeships. There are trades, such as construction or mechanics, there is customer service, such as managers and cashiers. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that a grocery store cashier or stocker will always have a job.
How does the fancy doctor get to the hospital? He has to drive on the road, in his car, drinking a coffee.
My Overall Assessment
University is great for the people who have a specific career path in mind. For example: doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist, teacher, veterinarian, lawyer, etc. I certainly want the person drilling into my teeth or cutting my dog open to be a University graduate.
College is great if you have a slight idea what you want to do/try and need flexible options.
If you don’t know what you want, DON’T GO!! School isn’t the be-all-end-all.
But here is one thing they never teach us in school: Real life isn’t school.
Let me say it another way: there is no school in real life. School doesn’t replace life experience, only enhances it.
School will inevitably end and real life will take over, meaning jobs, relationships, and bills. So your life shouldn’t revolve around school otherwise you will have a very pre-mature mid-life crisis once it’s over.
Do your research. Take a bunch of silly career tests. Decide whether you want to work outside or inside. Job shadow some people. Most importantly, make the choice that fits your lifestyle and budget. And whatever you do, make sure your program has an actual job for you once you come out of it!
P.S. In the future I can do a post about my Apprenticeship in Hairstyling, my experience in Makeup Artistry, and/or my boyfriend’s experiences in the Trades (Construction) if anyone is interested!