A student spends twelve years of his life in education through playgroup, primary, junior and then high school.
At the end of those twelve years, it is assumed that the student has attained social skills and an outlook on life based on that education which gives the student a foundation for a future.
The study of literature,, language, art, sport, history, geography, religion, human sociology, maths and science are the core subjects for every student which they convert into life skills.
The student will leave school to go to College or University, attain knowledge and develop skills which will enable him or her to get a job, earn a salary and become a responsible member of society.
It will give the student confidence in relationships. They will begin dating, form a love bond with another and get married, produce children.
But why should I go to University to follow my dream and make that dream come true?
Does it mean that if I go to University, I am guaranteed of a job on graduation?
Does it mean that if I do not go to University, I will not get a job or the kind of job I want?
Does it mean that not going to University, I have failed myself, my family and society?
Does it mean by going to University, I get some kind of silver star as a status symbol of my acceptance into society and the workplace?
Does it mean that there are no alternatives to going to University?
A University education costs money. A lot of money. A student may be able in part to fund the education and day-to-day maintenance himself or herself but in truth the education will be paid for by parents, via a Bank loan or by a third party.
University education is seen as a necessity by most educated parents for their children and children grow up expecting to go to University at the end of their tenure in mainstream education without having really delivered results to match expectations of the parents.
Not all students want to go to University. They go to University because it is expected and asked of them by their parents. They follow their parents dream, not their own.
Then there are students who want to go to University but are denied the opportunity for a number of different reasons. Perhaps it is the culture from within that will vice the girl into marriage at an early age. Perhaps a student has dropped out of school. Quite simply, there is no money available from any source to finance he University education.
It would be hard to argue against a University education if aspirations are to be a doctor, dentist, lawyer, engineer or pilot but hardly if you want to be a basketball player, taxi driver, business entrepreneur or hairdresser.
Parents expect some sort of payback for the time, effort and money they have invested in their child for those twelve years of education.
Payback is for the student to go on into the next stage and make the parents proud with getting a University degree, a job, getting married and becoming independent without any reliance on the parents.
Even the Bank when they grant the loan to the student see it that way. There will be a payback at a future date when the student graduates into a good job, so it is a calculated risk worth taking.
It is much more of a calculated risk not worth taking when the Bank consider granting a loan to a student who does not go to University but instead wants to set up his or her own business.
Employment implies there is a security cushion for both the employer and the employee by a contractual arrangement. When someone works independently in a self-employed capacity, they are not employed by anyone and there are much greater risks.
It needs to be re-stated and repeated that there is no cast iron guarantee of a job just because you go to University and get a degree.
It may look very nice and impressive on your Curriculum Vitae and in many instances, it should give the student the edge in the job market where it matters that a University education has been completed.
There are, of course, alternatives to the University way.
Nobody can expect to do a job without some form of training. Academic study is almost unavoidable in any field of work.
Even a football player, as brilliant as he may be, would be required by a club to take a course and perhaps learn English if it was not his native tongue.
Apprenticeship is one alternative. An employer takes on a trainee and trains him or her up. From law firms to clinics, from cobblers to marketing executives, they all have the scope to take someone on and train them up.
An Internship is similar to Apprenticeship but not quite the same. In this case, a student will be interned to a business enterprise without actually being paid for his work. An apprentice would be paid a basic weekly wage.
Many people have become successful in business life without ever going to University. If you have a capacity for hard work and opportunity, then there is no doubt that anyone can overcome the obstacle of not having gone to University and got a degree.
The cost and eventual end result of a University education must be weighed up against the time and money which can be used to great benefit by a student immediately after the school years to enhance his or her life for a better future.
I personally never went to University and I have no regrets about it whatsoever.
University education is just one way forward in the life of a student but no student should be dismissive of the other options.
Consider all the options.