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School, a recruitment agency


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If you are applying for jobs, just having a degree helps a lot. If you don't have one, you'd better have lots of experience in the field, and even then it's going to suck if you ever decide to do something else and don't have a degree. I went to a top university and I feel like I don't have any street smarts or knowledge on how to be in the real world. Now I have to learn, after the fact. I almost wish I went to trade school-- most of them have really job placement programs so they can advertise having a 99% placement rate.

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No, universities are a terrible job recruitment agency BECAUSE you don't learn much practical skills (for most degrees).

However, getting a degree IS valuable IMHO. For one, it teaches you how to think critically - SO important. It also teaches you how to research, be resourceful, write well. It teaches you to be open-minded (as you learn a whole host of different view points and then you can debate about it with your classmates). It teaches you to be skeptical (meaning DON'T just accept what you are told...unlike highschool). It introduces a lot of things you just haven't thought about before. So I really do believe it opens your mind. I honestly can usually tell someone who is university educated vs one who isn't. University educated people just seem to be better critical thinkers and able to see and understand different points of view better. I grew a lot during my university years, so for me it was valuable.




Also, yes, having a degree makes it easier to get a lot of jobs, and you might be promoted over someone who doesn't have a degree. So it's useful in that way for career progress. Sad, but true.

(ANd perhaps your uncle isn't quite thinking about how the theoretical stuff he learned does help him problem solve and troubleshoot as a practicing engineer. And maybe just having those fundamental skills/knowledge is to him "common knowledge"...but trust me, I work with engineering undergrad students and the stuff they learn, I was NEVER exposed to during my university education...so I could not be an engineer even with on the job hands-on training! I would be missing all the basics, the building blocks. The understand of WHY something works how it works. If that makes sense, lol)


That being said, inthemeadow raises a good point - it doesn't make you "real life workplace ready". That you have to learn/do seperately. Co-op or internships programs are great for that.


That all being said, going straight into trades is also very worthy so there is nothing wrong with that!! Less debt, more money (often). And you didn't spend four years filling your head with facts you don't use in your daily work/life.

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