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Does university really help your career?

I’ve always heard mixed opinions about whether or not university prepares you for work life. I had always questioned whether it was better to gain work experience or complete a degree. Could education really prepare me for a career? Clearly, I opted to get my degree, but it wasn’t an easy decision. In this blog piece, I’m going to take you through my reasons for coming to university and how I feel studying is preparing me for my career.

Why University?

If you’re anything like me then you have absolutely no clue about which career you want to pursue – this was the main reason I came to university. I knew I wanted to be in the media industry, but I had no idea which part. When I found the Media Studies course, I knew instantly that it was the right path for me; I could explore different areas of media and complete a work experience month. However, I still had my doubts on whether university would prepare me for the workplace. Now that I’m in my final year, I look back on the past three years at how I’ve developed and grown – both personally and professionally.

What Has University Taught Me?

First and foremost, I now know which career I want to pursue. The combination of diverse optional modules, a month-long placement and working as a student ambassador has led me to digital marketing. Even as I write this blog piece, I am gaining experience in my chosen field. I have been given some amazing opportunities to apply the skills I’ve learnt, and work I’ve done in university, to work situations. I think when we question whether education can prepare you for work, this is where some of us get stuck. Of course, theories aren’t always obviously applicable, but if we can figure out where and how to apply it, that is when we truly see the benefits of university.

Theories aren’t the only thing you learn in university though; you’ll develop tons of transferable skills. For example, deadlines are one of the most stressful things about university, but the ability to meet them is a great skill to have. They require organizational and time management skills. You’ll also likely encounter your fair share of group assignments and the ability to work well within a team is something employers love to see.

So you may have moments when you’re thinking, ‘why am I learning this – am I really going to ever use this?’ and don’t think you’re alone – I think most of us have had this thought at some point. I think it’s useful to remind yourself that no matter the assignment, or the readings and theories, you’re always learning something you can use. It’s not always obvious but it’s always happening. You may be developing your confidence, finding something new you enjoy or completing practical work in your chosen field. You can always take something away from this experience, so take in every opportunity and you’ll grow in ways you couldn’t have imagined.


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Rachel Bulman • 17th February 2021

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