Do you really need a University Degree?

Training, Businessman, Suit, Manager

These days, let’s face it, the world and its mother has a university degree. A bachelors at least. With the job market in many parts of the world either stagnant or hyper competitive, this often leaves many of the current generation questioning the value of their time spent at university.

Increasingly so, it seems that we require a minimum of some years of experience or a master’s degree, requiring yet more study. That’s just to get started, but if we continue on the current trend of education, what happens when everybody possesses a master’s degree and no specifically practical workplace skills?- With that question in mind, we examine if it is really necessary to have a degree to progress your career.

Practical Skills vs Book Knowledge

This is an age old question really. In every industry there are often two main types of individual. Those who have a world of knowledge about the industry and the practical skills to match it or those who have been educated to a really high level in the area but are yet to gain any hands on experience.

In years gone by, it is quite likely that preference would be given to those who displayed a great natural aptitude for the task and a passion to work, whilst somewhat overlooking the need for qualifications on paper. Nowadays however, much to the frustration of many who are passionate about an area, paper qualifications are a must. While this does result in some fantastic candidates being overlooked, it generally results in a higher standard and better regulation within industries.

Practical Career Prospects

Computer, Office, Business, Work

In terms of being an entrepreneur and starting your own company, it is very feasible that you can do so without a vast university education. Just look at the likes of Steve Jobs whom it is fair to say, started Apple with not the greatest love for higher level education. For the most part, business success comes from an innate passion and determination combined with a set of unique characteristics which often cannot be garnered from any textbook or if so would be criticized as the path not to follow by most.

Outside of enterprise, there are many fantastic careers which exist in many sectors of construction, electrical, waterworks, carpentry to name but a few which highly value practical skills above educational knowledge. These practical careers are also something to be proud of.


It is quite clear from a human perspective that different people possess vastly different talents. The famous quote of “If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” comes to mind.

In many cases, we cannot just shepherd people into specific boxes. Everybody possesses a unique set of skills. In the case of competitiveness, it is highly likely that the job market in future will become increasing saturated with highly educated jobseekers, again in that sense it important to follow you instinct and not the will of society.