One of the many big decisions in you life is should you go to university?. This can be a tough decision and it’s one I have made. I have some strong thoughts on what you should do, so I would like to share them to maybe help you make you decision.
The First thing would be make sure you are doing the subject you would like to do for a career. I actually did lighting design in college and nothing to do with coding. I enjoyed it in school and I enjoyed it more in college, then I always knew I wanted to go to university. I would like to say I wanted to go so much all because I am for better learning and higher education, but then I would be lying. I wanted to go to university because it looked crazy fun in all the films and as it was stereotypical to me. I always thought that if you had the option to go to higher education then you should take it. Once you get a degree then employers just fall down to you feet, well that’s what I thought. With my college degree and a lot of hard work I made it in to University and the adventure began.
University was great fun and I met a lot of new people, which is one of the reason I would say to go. The first year you are constantly having fun and doing little work. You grades do not count this year so as long as you pass then you are good. The second year is where it starts to count, so your nights out get less and the long nights begin. This is where you need to start working harder, which only gets harder in the third year. This doesn’t mean it gets rubbish, it just get more challenging and as everyone else is doing the same so it doesn’t seem so bad.
For the fun and experience of meeting people I would do university again, but for what I got out of it I am not so sure. I gained a lot of skills for Lighting and Design, plus much more. While doing the projects I learned some general organisation skills, time management and how to survive long working days. I then also in my course learnt more useful skills like business , electrical wiring and more that have helped me in my general life plus new career.
Unfortunately this for me counted for nothing. I had plenty of interviews because of my 2 years in college and 3 years in university doing the practice was literally practice to employers, which didn’t matter to them. All the interviewers kept saying that they thought I knew a lot and had great skill, but… they want real life experience. In the field for lighting design they say you can learn everything from a book, but it will not give you the knowledge of working in real life. You need to have the experience of working with real clients, real project and real jobs, which is not what I got from University. Some people did do it out of class, so they got jobs and some started from the bottom then worked their way up. I then not say it is impossible to get into a good position straight from University.
I didn’t do that, instead I found a new passion and that was coding. With this new passion I worked hard and then even harder. I started to learn C++ to create a login module, that would show employers that I am willing to work to get where I want to be. With a bit of luck I go picked up for a web development job and started learning ALL the skills for web development. From here I have continued to work hard, learn more and be more. This showed me that maybe I didn’t need university and that if I didn’t go I would be 3 years further I my career than I am now. I have used minimal skills from University to get to where I am and this will continue to where I want to be.
So my life and experience worked out that although University was great fun it didn’t help me in my career and if anything set me back 3 years where my friends have gain further in their careers. After working hard for a few years I have got further than I had from university. Though I do know people who have got a degree in their chosen field and made use of it, plus I have been told some employers just like the fact that you have a degree. It shows that you work hard, you can write a lot and all the general skills I talked about before. So I wouldn’t say it is a waste of time or money.
If you are undecided about if to go or not I would say to look into if you need a degree first. You can have fun anywhere, but you can’t make a job anywhere. My Lighting Degree got me nothing in my field, but a computer programming degree could have go me everything. I would say do your research first and a make sure it is what you want to do. You can either have a great 3 years learning your career or you can have 3 years set back.
Please share you experience below to help other go forward.