Young Reporter: Make the right choice
CURRENTLY I'm in Year 12 (sixth form) so naturally I'm beginning to think about university, but there's another question on my mind. What next?
I've been to one university open day and a striking statistic was that 87 per cent of their students are successful in gaining employment.
This may seem high, but bear in mind this university has the advantage of being central to a variety of high-tech companies, which recruits recent graduates.
In my mind, there is still a high chance of facing unemployment after university, especially in my field.
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So much chance, in fact, that I wonder, is it worth going at all?
My dream is to design and inspire, so I'm hoping to go into advertising. Advertising and the media are all around us, more than anything else today, opening doors for many career opportunities.
But, like I said, getting a degree cannot guarantee a job, especially one to be enjoyed.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. Ambitious? Yes, but not altogether impossible.
Then practicality set in. It is never going to happen. I'm sure we've all had a dream, something we long to do, but then practicality sets in, forcing us to look for a job in the "real world".
Then again, is there really a practical job?
With redundancies forever in the news and talks of cuts in workplaces in every discipline, it would seem nothing is safe.
I'm currently working for one of the largest fast food companies in the world. I realised, if I'm unsuccessful in getting a job in my desired field, I could end up working here forever.
But would that be such a bad thing? After careful consideration, I've decided it's not so bad at all. There is a clear rank structure and promotions for workers to aim for, the foundations of a successful work place.
So here I am, 16 years old and already considering a back-up plan for a failed, "practical" dream.
The main thing compromising the chances of students progressing to university is money. The cost of going to university has risen considerably over the past few years and made it impossible for some people.
Graduates can leave with debts totalling £30,000. A ludicrous price for a better life.
Whoever is in charge is trying their utmost to ensure only those with money can afford university, which leads me to my next point.
What happens to those young people raised with parents on low incomes who cannot afford to let their child go to university?
I'll tell you what happens. Some will find work, but others will end up jobless, on benefits. Not everyone in this situation arrived there by the scenario above but chances are, many of them did. "Why don't they get a job?" people will ask. I have come up with three answers to that.
Firstly, they are actually better off on benefits than working for minimal wage.
This is often the case. In fact, it was the problem a family member was facing not so long ago.
With benefits, money was very tight but they could just pay off the bills each month, whereas on the minimum wage they couldn't.
They didn't feel good about "sponging off tax payers" but what else is there to do when you're a single parent with a family to feed?
Secondly, others cannot work due to disability. One person I spoke to was ashamed that he had to rely on benefits. But alas, that is all changing.
Very soon, in order to claim disability allowance, you must not be able to walk 20 metres. This means that no matter how much pain you are in or what you use to walk, if you can walk 20 metres, you don't qualify. Is this fair?
They didn't ask to be like this. Surely as human beings we should help.
Finally, some people live off benefits simply because they can. They have no desire to work, as money can be handed straight to them.
If you're one of them, working isn't all that bad. Have some pride and go out there and try, if you don't, the blame rests on you when people who need the help have it taken away from them.