When deciding which university course to choose, it is understandable that an A-level college student would consider how their choice could affect employability after graduation. Changes in the economy have had a lasting effect on the jobs market, and many who chose to attend university are likely to consider how to ‘future proof’ their careers before they have even begun. But should concerns about paying back student loans and long-term financial security lead students to choosing subjects purely on the basis of high earning potential?
It is good for A-level college students to have a long term plan, and to be thinking about what life after university could hold in store for them. However, careful consideration also needs to be given to what will happen when they enrol and actually have to study the course that they have chosen. A huge part of the university experience is learning, and prioritising a potential pay cheque in the distance could be at the cost of having an enjoyable experience. Love for a subject brings enthusiasm, which has been proven to produce better results. Tuition fees are higher than ever before, so looking for a course that will offer the best return on investment makes sense. But students should be mindful about focusing too much on this.
A-level college students in London and around the UK who wish to study at Oxbridge may find that having this kind of agenda is detrimental to their application process. When selecting candidates, Oxbridge admissions tutors show favour towards those who can show genuine passion for their chosen subject. Academic curiosity is something that they consider to be essential, and it is believed that only a student who truly loves a subject will be able to display this authentically. Tutors are faced with a large number of applicants each year, which makes it important for applicants to do their best to stand out. And as tutors will spend a considerable amount of time with potential students, they gain from giving priority to those who have a genuine interest, as the courses are academically demanding. Students with true enthusiasm for a subject are also a pleasure to teach.
In 2014, Oxford accepted 23% of history applicants, 21%of those who applied to English courses, and 36% of students who applied for classics. Understandably, they were even more selective with those who applied to medicine and law, accepting only 11% and 12% respectively.
In addition to the benefits of studying a subject that they truly love at university, A-level college students should also consider the different paths that may lead to their desired goal. Unless they have very specific career goal in mind such as medicine or architecture, which will dictate the subject of their degree, it is worth noting that many possibilities present themselves to graduates, especially those from a reputable school. A student will find it hard to find their feet in the employment world no matter what they study, so they should use the opportunity of university to immerse themselves fully in something they truly enjoy, whilst still having a strategy for when they enter the workforce
Source: The Telegraph