Career

2 min

University is irrelevant. Here are three alternatives

University was one of the most enjoyable and defining periods of my life.

I learned a lot about which careers I liked (and didn’t like), made some of my closest friends, and had too many assignment submissions at exactly 11:59pm.

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But after being in the workforce for 5 years and working over 10 different jobs, I’ve realised that University has three massive problems when it comes to building your career.

Here are the biggest problems with University - and how they can be fixed.

Problem 1: It’s a bad place to discover your future career 🔍

How old where you when you decided what you wanted to study?

I remember choosing science subjects in Grade 10 because I wanted to be a doctor.

In Grade 12, I did work experience at a hospital and realised that I couldn’t handle the sight of blood (and that medicine wasn’t interesting to me).

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It wasn’t until I interned at at a law firm that I realised I didn’t want to go to work in a suit and research documents all day.

Before starting University, I was forced to choose which career I wanted. But wasn’t until I got experience in the role that I realised which careers were right for me.

And it’s no surprise that 50% of students don’t feel confident with their career path at university and will change their major at least once.

Solution: Start the discovery process before University

The process of discovery can happen earlier - before committing to a four year course.

If you’re interested in a career, try to get practical experience in it by volunteering or interning.

And if you don’t know where to start, companies like HEX with their Online Semester program, and Career Test by Career Explorer can help you discover which career path is right for you.



Problem 2: You will end up in the Sea of Sameness 🌊

You’re probably going to university to land a secure, well-paid job that covers the bills and makes you and your parents proud.

But unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.

Degrees can take between 3-5 years to finish, and when you do finish you enter what we call the Sea of Sameness.

These days, you’re not ‘special’ for completing university.

You are competing against the thousands - if not tens of thousands - of students who just graduated the same degree as you.

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And you’re also competing against the global world of talent that are faster and cheaper than you. They probably have less of an ego too 👀

University doesn’t teach you how to stand out or combine what you’re great at with your career field.

This ends up in thousands of students in the job search for months after graduating

Solution: Find out where your skills and interests align, and make something!

The people who really smash it in their career combine their skills and their passion to stand out from everyone else.

As they hone their skills, the best roles come to them.

Samanvay stood out from the Sea of Sameness to land his dream job - find out how you can do the same here.

Problem 3: There are much better ways to learn 🧠

At university, you commit to semester long subjects with no flexibility on what you learn.

A lot of time is wasted learning things that you will never apply at work.

Rather than wasting time learning things you will never apply, you can spend that time learning skills that are valuable in the long run.

If you study computer science and want to be a developer, you will probably spend six months at University learning calculus.

Nowadays, you can learn how to build a website in a week on Youtube.

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I studied Corporate Law for six months at university, and have never used anything practical from the subject.

Instead of learning Corporate Law, I could have learned how to become a better writer - a skill that would help me in any job I have in the future.

Solution: Start learning life-long skills now

There are tons of short programs that show you how to do a specific job, role or skill.

EntryLevel teaches you how to learn to do a job in 30 days, and gives you skills you can apply to any job - like marketing or data analysis.

Eazl teaches you how to improve your writing skills and write like a pro at your own pace.

If you have a skill you want to learn, don’t wait for University to teach it - start learning now.

University has some big problems when it comes to helping you win at work. But luckily, there are faster and more direct ways of levelling up in your career.

If you start the career discovery process early, find unique ways to stand out and learn life-long skills now, you can stay ahead in your career.

How valuable was university for you in reaching your career goals? Let us know below 👇

Date originally published:
Nov 9, 2022
Date last updated:
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