“Don’t drop out of school.” “Invest in your future.” “Get your degree.”
It’s advice everyone knows. When help like this was given, it was usually saying “Go to university. Success will follow.”
Back in the day, having a university degree may have been a reliable way of securing a job that would provide a stable career. But now, with the amount of degree-educated individuals in the developed world in low-skill work and with large amounts of student debt, this advice is no longer necessarily useful, or even true.
The fall in the earning power of people with a university degree is reflected in official statistics from the Office of National Statistics. The pay gap between individuals educated to GCSE or an equivalent level was smaller when compared to those educated to a higher level between 1993 and 2010.
With student debts reaching all-time highs, cost and return on investment for education is increasingly becoming an insurmountable obstacle to people who want to get their qualifications.
In light of this reality, a lot of evidence is suggesting that one of the best courses of action is to take qualifications at level 4 and 5. It is these qualifications that offer the highest return on investment for learners.