Do You Need To Go To University To Be Successful?

in life •  last year

Do You Need To Go To University To Be Successful?

We are often told by society, that tertiary education (university for the UK, college for the US etc) is a necessity for success. That societal pressure to attend tertiary education manifests itself in different ways in our society, whether it be by our parents and friends or even ourselves, with our hopes of getting a well-paying job afterwards. This pressure is so acute, that it often leaves one wondering if success is attainable without having undergone tertiary education. An important element in determining if tertiary education is a necessary prerequisite for success, is to first identify what it means to be successful in the first place.   

What Does It Mean To Be Successful?

It is important to recognise that, as individuals, we all have a different view on what success is. However, there is a general notion that being successful involves being financial free. The freedom to do whatever you want, unhindered by the financial barrier that money often presents itself as being. Another way to define success is a much more personal one, it can be seen as having a particular sense of purpose and then being able to achieve it. These are just a few ways one can define success, but these are commonly the ways in which many of us envisage success as being. From here, we can now determine if tertiary education helps to achieve these two interpretations of success.   

Tertiary Education & Success: Financial Freedom

Can attending tertiary education help you achieve financial freedom? It’s complicated. If we take the UK as an example, university graduates do tend to earn more than non-graduates. So in one sense, university is providing one with the opportunity to get a job that can give one the sense of financial freedom. However, this supposed advantage is somewhat diminished when one takes into account the debt that many accrue when going to university. The current cost of university for domestic students in the UK (cost differs for international students), is currently £9,000 per year. So even if we do get that dream job, as a result of having attended university, we are still faced with a large financial burden on our shoulders. Thus, The notion that attending tertiary education will give you financial freedom, in many cases, is simply not true. This is exacerbated by the fact that you are not even guaranteed a job at the end of your studies. In the UK, the number of people seeking to go to university is increasing, which makes finding a job all the more competitive. Being in a situation where you have finished your studies but have no job at the end, is a frighteningly common experience, especially when one considers the outstanding debt that is owed.   

Tertiary Education & Success: Fulfillment of Self Purpose 

Some people do no interpret success as a situation where someone has a lot of money. Instead, it is more personal. For some, success is knowing what the purpose of your life is and then setting out to achieve it. Does tertiary education allow one to achieve this? In some sense, yes. Tertiary education can introduce you to a variety of people and ideas that prompt you to identify what it is that you want to do with your life. Tertiary education also allows you to specialise in an area that you have a nascent interest it; the process of studying that interest at a tertiary level can be a way for you to confirm that the path you are on is the path that you really want to pursue. However, this specialism can be a double-edged sword. If one realises that they would not like to become a doctor and would subsequently like to stop studying medicine, it is not an easy decision to simply drop out from tertiary education. This may be because of factors such as familial pressures. Society overemphasises the monetary advantage that tertiary education can bestow, and under-appreciates the notion that the attainment of your sense of purpose does not necessarily have to involve undergoing tertiary education. This stance is often reflected in our family members and friends, as they counsel you on what the ‘best’ path is for you to achieve your goals. In this sense, the social pressure that accompanies tertiary education is actually an impediment in itself to achieving that sense of purpose one so desires.   

Conclusion: You Do Not Need To Go To University To Be Successful...In Both Senses Of The Word

It is evident that university is not the be all and end all of whether we are successful or not. Regarding financial freedom, take successful entrepreneur Richard Branson as an example, he did not attend university, but that has not stopped him from having an estimated net-worth of £3 billion pounds. Financial success is not exclusive to those that have undergone tertiary education. More important is the character of the individual, and how determined and ambitious he/she is in their quest for financial freedom. Similarly, If the idea of what you want the purpose of your life to be does not include university, then that is no barrier in you attaining that goal. Society is gradually realising that undergoing tertiary education should not be the only way to achieve your goals. This is exemplified by, using an example in the UK, apprenticeships and more vocational courses. Recognising alternative avenues to achieving our own personal ideas of success is important socially. It will go a long way in removing the stigma that sometimes surrounds those who have not been to university. More importantly, we should recognise that we all have different ideas on what success is. It is our role, as a society, to facilitate the achievement of those differing ideas, instead of advancing a pathway that is often regarded as expensive and unnecessary in the attainment of personal self satisfaction.  

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You just have to be creative and have initiative!
So many people that have made it did not attend University.
Good one from @bisade

and pls do stay in touch.

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You're 100% right @mcekworo, the character of the individual matters much more.
Thank you and I will!

I didn't attend university but have had many over the years work for me who have.
A university education has been diluted over the years as sadly it has been used as an excuse by our criminal banker controlled governments to get more people in debt at a younger age to keep the Ponzi scheme economy going.
It sounds trite but I attended the university of life by travelling the world and educating myself.
It's the best education you have get .IMHO
Great post dude.

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Yes. As odd as it might seem, the case can be made that a degree simply isn't worth as much as it used to be. Especially given the increasing debt that one is saddled with.

haha, I'm still a student at the university of life, it's free and the lessons learned are invaluable :)

Thank you, mate!

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Any time buddy

To be succesful you need to develope a congnitive mindset. Going to university might help you with that. So do you need to go, no but it might help. Do you need a degree, no in my eyes that's just a useless piece of paper. I'm not saying this because i'm a university dropout or anything because i do have a master degree in economics, just university helped me develop another way of looking at the world and thinking about stuff. Sure the degree might help me get a better paid job. But anyway if you want to be succesful you need to be you own boss.

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University will help you to develop a certain type of cognitive mindset, but in my opinion, it takes a little more than that to be successful. The way you deal with the challenges of the real world is most likely what will determine success. And yes, university can definitely help in this regard, but it is essential, no.

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Couldn't agree more!

Well... I have never gone to UNI, or College, and I ended up working in a fashion corp which owns several very famous global brands, and I am responsible for IT infrastructure of a very top notch platform, which other companies are drooling over. all whilst having my head in crypto world and tech updates :> dont waste your time on university and college if you want to succeed in life and have the unhindered critical mind.

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Great point and thank you for sharing your perspective, it's really important to see success not achieved by means of university.

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University might help you achieve that mindset in my opinion, but it's not a guarantee nor is it a necesity to devolp this mindset.

It depends what your idea of successful is, but in general, no, I don't think a tertiary education is a must. There are plenty of people out there earning some really great money that have never done any form of further learning, just as there are many people who have paid enormous amounts for their education and have never earned a cent from a professional career in their chosen field. I also think the same goes for Private vs Public education (in Australia, anyway) I've never really understood the educated/not educated argument, either. Let's face it, there are many other places that one can learn, other than a classroom, and reading a textbook doesn't make you educated.

Great article. :-)

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Yes, excellent point. The difference between be successful or not, in my opinion, is not decided by whether one enters tertiary education or not. Especially given the fact, as you mention, the vast alternatives available to an individual that does not want to learn in a classroom and from a textbook.

There are a lot of factors going into if a person is successful. First off it depends on their own subjective view of what success is.

In my mind it's using your talents and abilities, developing them and finding out what makes you happy. However, we live in the real world so you have to make money...for some of us that elusive dollar.

Higher education is good if it provides you with the intellectual tools to carry out your vision, but that may not be the case for some.

It could be that success is measured in emotional happiness, which depends on your interpersonal communication skills less than your formal education.

And of course a lot of people learn by research, like on Steemit, YouTube, and the internet in general.

Additionally since there are 16 distinct personality profiles as measured by the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) the measure of success will clearly be different according to type. There is an index that shows how each of the personality types tend to gravitate to specific occupations because there is a higher correlation to their personality preferences. That's an interesting read once you know your type.

So IMO there are a variety of factors going into what one considers success, and uniquely individual for each of us.

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Great contribution, especially regarding the MBTI. Success is such a flexible term,that I do not think society yet truly appreciates. Hopefully this will change in the near future.

Thank you.

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Thanks for your comment. I've learned a lot about life in general and clearing up a lot of confusion I've had by understanding the MBTI better. It's based on Carl Jung's work in psychology and added to by Isabel Meyers-Briggs.

Well my ans is no, I met many people without attending university succeed. Of course, this depends on many different factors, don't judge it by the traditional society stuff, make your own way instead.

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Making your own way is probably the best way to finding the success that you yourself have set out to achieve :)

Thank you for your comments!

I think school is great if you need specialized training to keep people alive or out of jail or teaching others to do the same. Other than that school is a massive waste, lining the pockets of over paid deans and professors that know nothing about wealth creation and economic stimulation.

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Strong words. But to an extent you are correct, tertiary education institutions are increasingly becoming more expensive. That money could be used in consumption, stimulating the economy.

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I wasted over $100k on university, all the important stull I learned on the job training. BUT I hope my civic engineer, lawyer or brain surgeon when to school and was valedictorian. Other than that it literally produces debt slaves making <$30k per yer before taxes. They system is broken.....

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The system is definitely broken, especially with regard to the huge loans one has to take out to attend university.

you have a great post by theway nice to see you here

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Thank you! Hope you enjoyed the content :)

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welcome.great post!!!

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To answer your question - absolutely not. All it requires is self-belief, persistence and determination!

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With you 100%, it's all about the character of the individual!

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Exactement my friend!

Nice post, afterall...i doesn't really matter how many things you know, it matters what you can do with what you know

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Excellent point, I didn't get to touch on the topic in my article, but universities do not emphasis the practical skills needed to thrive in the work place enough.

So many successful people in the world that didn't attend University. It all comes down to mindset, not much else. Great article

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I agree, your mindset is by far the most important factor in determining if you will achieve whatever it is that you have set out to achieve. Thank you!