How Much Should Students Consider Post-Degree Job Prospects?
Man in a suit sat on the floor against a green wall. He's sat next to a window, is on his phone and looks unhappy
Photo by Borna Hržina on Unsplash

How Much Should Students Consider Post-Degree Job Prospects?

Jasmyne Jeffery February 10, 2023

For lots of prospective students, what job they want to do informs their choice of university course. However, there’s more to consider than your degree’s job prospects after uni. We look at all the other reasons students may choose to study a subject, and if the job they end up with is important.

Everyone dreams of being rich and not having to work. Unless you love your job, then you’re not meant to work a day in your life if that’s the case. For most of the population, the relationship between money and work is pretty symbiotic. That’s where university comes in; there’s a rumour that if you have a degree your job prospects after uni are increased, but not necessarily your enjoyment.

Studies About Degree Job Prospects Have Concerning Findings

A recent review has found there are wide discrepancies between the earnings of graduates after they’ve left university. The results have prompted discussions about how informed students should be better about their job prospects after university before they apply.

“We need to ensure prospective students are aware of the earnings implications of all their higher education and further education options, so they can make an informed choice, before applying.”

Even more concerning, was data showing that the most well-paying degrees admitted few students from underprivileged and disadvantaged backgrounds.

The long-term effects of studying the least lucrative courses won’t be known for a few years. But, the initial results are cause for worry.

Some courses had even failed to boost salaries for graduates compared to those who didn’t attend university.

Photo by Borna Hržina on Unsplash

Should Students Pick A Course For Job Opportunities After Uni?

Being aware of the opportunities post-university should be important to prospective students. However, there are other things to consider.

Often ignored as a reason to study, is enjoyment. There’s not a lot of point spending thousands on a university course only to realise that your degree job prospects don’t offer you any enjoyment. Sure, we could all become doctors or lawyers and CEOs of big corporations and earn a six-figure salary, but not everybody wants to do that.

MORE: Best Websites To Look For Graduate Jobs

For instance, a career in the creative industry is a bit of a risk. They’re often freelance with permanent positions coming by like tumbleweeds. However, we can’t get rid of these jobs or passions just because they might not make students millionaires.

So, no — students shouldn’t pick a course just for the job prospects after university, but they shouldn’t be naive to it either. Knowledge is power and making an informed decision is best in this situation. You don’t have to pick a degree just because it’ll pay better in the end if you’ll spend your career regretting it. On the flip side, when your enthusiasm doesn’t allow for an expensive life, don’t be surprised.

Doing what you love and getting good pay is the dream, but it’s not necessarily reality. Find a happy medium, but make sure you know all you can beforehand. It’s definitely not a bad idea to inform students about what their university course will mean. But, it shouldn’t completely deter students from pursuing that degree either.

In the end, money is undeniably helpful and we all wish we had more. But, not to get too existential, but at the end of your life, you’re more likely to regret not enjoying it enough over not being rich.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.